Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grandma's Mac n' Cheese - #SundaySupper Lightens Up!

I know a decent amount of people who serve baked macaroni and cheese casseroles as part of a Sunday family dinner. Now, where I'm from, mac and cheese is more or less "kid food", a simple slap-together meal for even the pickiest kids after a long day at work and school... but as I (and my family) get older, I'm realizing that comfort food can be a better Sunday night meal than the most gourmet roast beef or fancy platter. 

We usually invite my grandmother over for one family supper a week, partially to visit and partially to make sure she's still eating at least one decent sized, nutritionally balanced meal a week (or two/three with leftovers). It's no secret that my grandma's not overly fond of nutritious eating - especially when it comes to vegetables and quality protein - but she loves pasta, bread and cheese. Grandma's become more of a "nibbler" than an "eater" lately, too, having a piece of toast or a tiny pot of yoghurt as a "meal" more often than not. With this in mind, I decided to make a few "TV dinner" style mini-meals for her that she could re-warm in the oven as needed and could last a day or so in the fridge if (read: when) she didn't eat a whole one.

Grandma's Mac and Cheese

The first thing I did, knowing her eating patterns, was to take a leaf out of the many "kid food" cookbooks and puree a bunch of cauliflower and tofu into the three-cheese sauce, fortifying it with protein and vitamins while keeping the undeniable creamy-cheesy flavour and texture. Pasta-wise, I opted for enriched brown rice fusilli and topped each little pan with a sprinkle of gluten free breadcrumbs. She's none the wiser, and claims that the meals are delicious! 

With the holiday season, filled with decadent and delightful meals, creeping ever closer, it's still important to balance that indulgence out by eating lighter fare during the "lull" periods between feasts. This week for #SundaySupper we're sharing these lighter types of dishes that taste just as great as the richest feasts of the holiday season.This week’s event is hosted by Kathia of Basic N Delicious. Thanks Kathia!

Drinks

Appetizer or starter

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts
Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

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Grandma's Mac n' Cheese
Serves 6
5 oz cauliflower florets
8 oz low-fat silken tofu
1/3 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
300g shredded low-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup hot 1% milk
½ tsp salt
pinch garlic powder
pinch paprika
pinch pepper
2 cups whole grain fusilli pasta (I used Tinkyada brown rice fusilli), cooked and drained
3 tbsp whole grain breadcrumbs (GF if needed), or crushed whole-grain crackers, for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and lightly grease a 9” square foil pan (or mini loaf pans).
  2. With a double boiler or the microwave, steam the cauliflower florets until very tender. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the tofu, ricotta and Parmesan and puree.
  4. Add the Cheddar, milk, salt and spices and puree again until smooth.
  5. Place the pasta in a large bowl and pour the sauce overtop. Fold in well to coat the noodles.
  6. Pour into the pan(s) and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake 15 minutes.
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 222.6
Total Fat: 6.7 g
Cholesterol: 17.6 mg
Sodium: 615.1 mg
Total Carbs: 20.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 19.8 g