Mac 'n' Cheese, or, for us Brits, Macaroni Cheese - it's comforting, isn't it? It's just the right mix of chewey and gooey and cheesy. But it's not so healthy. And I want to be healthy! So today, I cracked out a recipe from the newest Slimming World magazine for a lighter version of this comfort dish!
To serve four, you need:
300g dried macaroni
Fry Light, any other low calorie cooking oil spray, or, if you want, real oil - but not much, if you want it to stay healthy!
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
400ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp tomato purée (I completely forgot about this and didn't put it in mine)
200g fat-free natural yoghurt
1 level tsp English mustard (I hate mustard, so I used some Henderson's Relish instead - it's only made in Sheffield, but you could sub in veggie Worcestershire sauce)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
120g Red Leicester, grated (I used reduced-fat mature cheddar instead)
The magazine suggests romaine lettuce leaves dressed with lemon juice as a side - I steamed carrots, spring greens, and broccoli instead.
Preheat your oven to 200C (400F), and get some water boiling. Cook the macaroni and then set it aside.
Heat a pan, spritz it with oil, and throw in the tomatoes, garlic, and spring onions. Fry them off (keep stirring!) for about three minutes.
Get a big mixing bowl out and beat the stock, tomato purée (if your memory's better than mine), yoghurt, mustard/Worcestershire sauce, and eggs. Mix in most of the cheese - maybe 80g. I'm not going to lie, it doesn't look very pretty or smell particularly appetising at this stage! Persevere. It will be fine, I promise.
Tip the macaroni and the fried tomatoes, garlic, and onions into the mixture, and stir through so all the pasta and veg is coated.The original recipe suggests using four individual ovenproof dishes, but I used a big casserole dish - who needs all that washing up??? Scatter the rest of the cheese over the top
Bang it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until it browns on top and starts bubbling. Make your salad or steam some veg whilst it's cooking and - hurrah! Healthy AND comforting macaroni cheese!
What healthier verisons of classic foods do you make?