Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shells & Cheese

The lunch lady strikes again!  What American kid doesn't love a hot bowl of shells and cheese on a chilly day?

If you can't resist the creamy goodness of Velveeta shells and cheese, reconsider giving them up because of the recent recall.  I have a recipe for smoked gouda mac and cheese that I have been dying to try, and today the mini McGhees were asking for mac and cheese.  Don't ya love it when the stars and the moon align? 

  • 1 (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 2 minutes). Add cheeses; stir until melted.
  4. Add spinach and macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until bubbly.'s what I did....I skipped step 1 & 2.  I followed step 3, using a yellow onion.  I didn't shred the cheeses, I cut those puppies into chunks and they melted just fine.  After I made the cheese sauce, I poured it over the cooked noodles that I had mixed the spinach with.  That's it, I didn't bake it.

**sidenote** I had about a cup of leftover cheese sauce.  I stuck it in the fridge.  There is some broccoli in my fridge screaming for smoked gouda cheese sauce.

I served the mac and cheese with kale chips and apple slices.  Delish, thumbs up from everyone.  And here you go, mac and cheese with chips....the unprocessed way!

And, yes, that is an awkward picture.  For some reason, blogspot keeps rotating it.  And, for some reason, swearing at the computer does not fix the problem.

Tonight the McGhee family is going all crazy and eating out.  The boys are heading to a hockey game, where I can promise there will be nachos, popcorn, pizza, and cotton candy consumed.  I get to take my little ballerina to her first ballet.

I am using the term "my little ballerina" loosely, as thus far, all she's managed to do is cry hysterically during ballet class while I get to sit and listen to the other moms lament about how they are so proud they are raising confident and strong girls that are brave enough to try new things and would never cry during ballet class.  And, I'm all like, keep telling yourself that mama, kharma is a b****, ya know?!?

But, anyway, tonight my little ballerina and I will be heading to see the Hansel and Gretel ballet and going out for a fabulous girlie dinner of small salads with the dressing on the side and a big ole' DQ Blizzard for dessert!