Mac and cheese is a much-loved comfort food that normally contains a lot of fat, and too little fiber and nutrients to be considered healthful. Adding veggies of any kind and whole wheat pasta make this perennial favorite a guilt-free, healthy indulgence. In this recipe, we used tomatoes for color, antioxidant vitamin C and lycopene, a significant anti-cancer nutrient. Using an old-fashioned cast iron skillet helps crisp the edges.
2 c. whole wheat elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 T. olive oil
1 c. diced fresh or unsalted canned tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 c. low-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ c. parmesan cheese, grated
½ tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste
- Put the macaroni on to cook. Time it for al dente (about 6 minutes).
- Grate the cheese. Dice or drain the tomatoes.
- In a large skillet, saute the tomatoes in the olive oil for 3-5 minutes.
- When the macaroni is done, drain but do not rinse it. Put the macaroni and cheese in the skillet with the tomatoes. Stir to mix.
- Cook over low-medium heat 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and paprika, and cook a bit longer until edges of dish brown a bit. If you like, place under broiler to brown the top.
- Serve from the pan.
- A green vegetable, such as broccoli, goes well with this dish.
Nutritional Information per Serving: 300 calories, 20 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 15.3 g fat (7.3 g saturated), 33 g cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 290 mg sodium.