Healthy Mac and Cheese

My go-to casserole dish to take to picnics, covered-dish parties, holidays, and pretty much anytime someone asks me to bring something is Mac and Cheese.  I have a recipe that was from Southern Living way back when that my Mama passed to me.  I love it and so does everyone else.  I think it is by far the BEST Mac and Cheese recipe there is.

But it is definitely not the healthiest.  Sometimes you still want comfort food that is delicious and cheesy but doesn’t wreck your 80% clean eating plan!  And that recipe doesn’t include any lean protein to keep me full.

I was really in the mood for some comfort food this week and turned to Fixate, by Autumn Calabrese, the creator of 21 Day Fix and prepared her Mac and Cheese.  The only difference is I had already cooked all of my broccoli before I got to this recipe and just went without, deciding I would pair it with a salad.

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MMMMmmmm doesn’t that look delicious!  And it was!

I will include the complete, original recipe for you if you want to prepare a one dish wonder for your family.

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz dry whole wheat macaroni (I used penne)
  • 4 tsp organic grass-fed butter or organic coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp unbleached whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups cookec chopped chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 6 cups chopped broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  • Cook macaroni according to package directions (omit salt)
  • Melt butter or coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat
  • Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until brown (don’t let it burn).
  • Slowly whisk in almond milk; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture thickens and there are no lumps.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add cheese; cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until melted.
  • Add chicken, broccoli, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until heated through.
  • Serve immediately

Serves 8. 21 Day Fix Container Equivalents: 1 green, 1 yellow, 1/2 red, 1/2 blue.

It was a hit with the littlest Anderson too!

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