Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weeknight Dinner: Broccoli Mac & Cheese

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Once we turn the clocks back, I wake up a lot happier - when the sun is shining.  But, when you trudge home from work in the pitch black, you realize how quickly summer turns to autumn.  And now, how winter is coming.   Fast. 

We are expecting a nor'easter this week (as if we haven't had enough crazy weather over the last 2 weeks).  And when I hear "snow" in the forecast, I start to crave comfort, warmth, and deliciousness. When the weather turns this chilly, usually the first comfort dish I make is my mom's macaroni and cheese. 

Since John and I have been doing great at being healthy lately, I acquiesced to my craving and made macaroni and cheese.  But, I "healthified" it with lots of broccoli and less cheese than normal.  John didn't complain about our "healthy" version but we did grate some extra tablespoons of cheese over the top of each plate.  And, he admitted it was tasty. 
Broccoli Mac & Cheese (adapted from SkinnyTaste)
Serves: 6
8 ounces elbow pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup skim milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
12 ounces broccoli florets (frozen pre-cut or cut and steam it yourself like we did!)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.  Transfer pasta into a large bowl.  In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and stir until clumpy.  Add milk and stir until fully smooth.  Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and continue stirring until fully melted and creamy.   Pour milk mixture into the pasta, and add remaining cheddar cheese.  Mix well.  Pour into a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Cook 20-30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Serve immediately.

I love to double this recipe and stick one in the freezer for another night.  To serve, either defrost it beforehand and then bake for 30 minutes or bake 60-90 minutes to fully defrost and warm the middle of the casserole.

Until the next time my oven is on...
  

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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