We will say that we have made it into Mac N' Cheese 2.0 though! We've added broccoli and chicken and went a slightly different way with the cheese. We also converted the noodles to whole grain.
Mac N' Cheese 2.0
makes 7 one cup servings
1 lb whole grain Barilla pasta shells
4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
5 tablespoons margarine
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz monterey jack cheese (shredded)
4 oz pepper jack cheese (shredded)
1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli
1 bag (6 oz) Tyson fajita chicken breast strips
Cook pasta shells according to the directions on the box. Really... boil some water and toss 'em til their nice and soft (I really hope your directions say something to that effect).
Meanwhile, in the sauce pan add the butter and flour over medium heat.
Stir until the butter starts to melt. When its done, it should look something like the picture above.
After all the butter is melted and mixed into the flour, (Betty said their is a fancy word for this: roux) pour in both the heavy cream and the 2% milk. Check out the action shot in the above picture. You want to be as awesome as that. You want to be sure to pour in both the heavy cream and 2% milk slowly while mixing. This is to ensure that it mixes well and you don't get lumps of flour.
Shred the cheese. Don't cut the cheese the though, unless you want to end up like this couple: Breaking the Barrier
And then slowly add the cheese. We did it by having Tony drop it in by pinched finger fulls while Betty whisked it away. In the picture above, you can see bits of cheese falling from the sky Chicken Little style.
After the cheese is all mixed and melted, keep whisking until the cheese sauce thickens. Here, we show the thickness of the sauce by dipping in a spoon and pulling it out showing that it uniformly covers the back of the spoon.
Mix in the cheese sauce with the noodles.
Cook the broccoli and the chicken in the microwave. If you bought frozen broccoli, you may need to add a little bit of water to help the cooking process.
Mix in the broccoli and the chicken.
Wallah! Prepare your bowls and enjoy!
We took the effort of determining what the "damage" (or not?) of this recipe would be for a 1 cup serving (a bowl like the above is 2 servings):
Total fat: 28.4 g
Saturated fat: 15.8
Cholesterol: 105.1 mg
Sodium: 471.6 mg
Potassium: 368.8 mg
Total Carbs: 49.3 g
Protein: 25.1 g
Vitamin A: 25.3%
Vitamin C: 29%
We compared this to the Kraft box, and we win in all areas except total Fat (and calories, but I claim that for the good stuff we beat them in 100 calories is a small price to pay). Next time we plan on using all 2% milk and no heavy cream and that should change the fat content dramatically. We will edit this and report the results after we do that.
Enjoy! And if you do try it out and like it, feel free to leave a comment! Try changing up the cheese, this is our second time with this recipe and we went a totally different route with the cheese, and may just change it up every time.