so i decided the key was to make the Mac n' Cheese a little more healthful in itself. without, of coarse, compromising the crave-able goodness that it Mac n' Cheese. to do this i shook things up a bit. when i was a kid Mac n' Cheese was and occasional treat made from Velveeta and shells. I wanted to use real cheese and see what i could do about plain old noodles.
Healthy Mac N' Cheese with Tomatoes
2 LBS Rotini pasta (I used one whole wheat and one 'garden vegetable)
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Each:Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika
16 oz Cottage Cheese
1 Can Peeled Plum Tomatoes
1 LB assorts Cheese Ends (broken or chopped into chunks)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Each: Black Pepper,Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
salt to taste
bring a pot of water with garlic powder, onoin powder, paprika and salt in it to a boil. add pasta and boil for 9 minutes or according to packaged directions.
drain pasta and set aside. put your paste back on the stove, no need to rinse. pour your pasta into the pot along with the cottage cheese, juice from your can of tomatoes, cheese ends* and Parmesan cheese. stir and cover with a lid for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to begin to melt.
take off the lid and take a tomato from the can in your hand. dig a finger into the vegetable to prevent a juice explosion and squish it into the pot. repeat with all the tomatoes and stir. add the spices to the pot, then the milk to moisten. be sure to stir bring the bottom contents of the pot up to the top to prevent burning and sticking.
once incorporated and cheese is fully melted, dish the mac and cheese onto the plates of the hungry family that has been standing like hungry dogs around the stove top for the last 15 minutes.
serve with a salad or by itself and enjoy. after all there are some veggies and calcium in there.
*NOTE: My father and I have gotten into the habit of buying 'cheese ends' from a local deli. what cheese ends are is a collection of the cheese chunks left over from deli slicing. some grocery stores sell them, some use to make deli salad and other (unfortunately) throw them in the trash. throwing the ends away is not only a TERRIBLE waste of good food that could be eaten and enjoyed, donated to the needy or used for various other uses. anyway, ask at your deli counter whet they do with their cheese (and Meat for that matter) ends.
I try not to support delis that just throw the ends away as it is a highly wasteful and unsustainable practice.
donating is cool, but if they sell or give the cheese away, get yourself some! these ends are usually an eclectic mix of cheeses and make the most amazing mac and cheese ever, pasta salad, or sandwich wraps.
if you do not have access to cheese ends, buy a couple chunks of your choice ( i recommend a bit of provolone, Munster, cheddar and cheddar) and use a bit of each, or use what you have in your fridge.