Rocco’s Healthier Mac & Cheese

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Rocco DiSpirito's healthier mac and cheese boasts half the calories but twice the flavour of the full-fat original.

From Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This! Diet (Grand Central Publishing, 2011)

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Serves 4

Non-stick cooking spray
1 large vidalia onion, roughly chopped
9 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. whole-wheat elbow macaroni
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 3/4 cups (about 7 oz.) 50% reduced-fat cheddar, such as Cabot, shredded
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, such as Fage Total
1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) Canadian bacon, diced
1/3 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, such as Ian's All-Natural
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray an 8-in. x 8-in. x 2-in. baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine onion, garlic and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets; drain.
  4. While pasta is cooking, bring the puréed onion mixture, mustard and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove pan from heat and whisk in yogurt.
  5. rocco_bio.jpgIn a medium bowl, toss the cooked macaroni and the Canadian bacon with the cheese sauce to coat thoroughly. Season with salt to taste. Pour the macaroni into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle the panko over the top. Top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  6. Bake until the cheese has melted and the macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Before: 47.5 g fat, 866.7 calories
After: 11 g fat, 399 calories

 

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