I love Macaroni and Cheese, but I gave up the boxed stuff years ago because it’s too processed and has too few real food ingredients in it. Here’s my “adult” version that adds tomatoes, basil, olives, and garlic to the traditional mac and cheese. It’s also vegetarian!
Make this the night before and refrigerate or freeze it for a quick dinner another night. Serve it with a salad, vegetable, and crusty bread for a complete dinner that takes no time at all but tastes fabulous and made from real food! I make and freeze these in single serving ramekins for the hubby’s lunch. They cook faster and keep portion sizes in control.
- 1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
- ½ onion, chopped finely or grated
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch grated nutmeg
- 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 can sliced black olives
- 8 Roma Tomatoes, cut in half (or 1 tomato chopped)
- 1 tbl chopped fresh basil
- Parsley for garnish if desired
- Preheat oven 350.
- Cook the macaroni according to packaging directions. Drain. Keep warm.
- In a large saucepan, bring the milk, onion, flour, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (3-4 minutes). Stir the cheese in slowly until it's melted and the sauce is smooth; stir in the macaroni and black olives.
- Transfer the mixture to a shallow 1-quart casserole dish (you can refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 3 months at this point). If preparing now, top the macaroni mix with the basil and tomatoes.
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
- If refrigerating overnight, store tomatoes and basil separately and add just before baking.
- If freezing, mix the basil and tomatoes into the macaroni mix before freezing or add them after thawing and before baking. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and cook 350 35-40 minutes. From frozen state it will be 60 minutes or more depending on the depth of your dish.
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