Mac & Cheese with a Twist

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Today I want to share with you one of the most popular American comfort foods. It also happens to be one of my daughter’s (and mine) favorite dishes.  My daughter is 2.5 year old and as many kids her age, she is a very picky eater. There are certain foods that she will eat and it is extremely hard to trick her into trying something new. One thing that she really likes is mac and cheese. Unfortunately,  as we all know, mac and cheese is not the healthiest choice. So to make it a little bit more nutritious I substitute regular pasta for whole wheat and for a little bit of twist I add corn and my secret ingredient. Sometimes, I also add some steamed or roasted broccoli. This is one vegetable that my daughter really likes. Mac and cheese is so easy and quick to make that anyone can do it. So whenever my daughter tells me she wants to eat mac and cheese I have no problem making it for her.

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I enjoy cooking and spending hours in the kitchen but many times it is hard to find that time with a small child who needs constant attention. There are days that my daughter will nicely play by herself while I’m cooking but sometimes she needs mommy to be around and play with her. Like anyone else she has better and worse days. Mac and cheese is a perfect dish to make when I’m short on time. It is also very versatile. You can choose any kind of cheese you like and  any kind of pasta plus you can make it more nutritious by adding all kinds of vegetables.

My mac and cheese has also a secret ingredient. This ingredient is not typically used to make mac and cheese but I like to use it for couple of different reasons. My secret ingredient is turmeric powder. Turmeric is a great spice that has many health benefits. Research shows that turmeric has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer activities.* It also gives the dish very nice flavor and beautiful yellow color that mac and cheese needs.

October is a National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since my mom passed away with breast cancer over ten years ago I am very health conscious and want to make sure that I take all measures possible to prevent this disease. So I will try anything that I hear works in preventing cancer. If turmeric has those benefits why not add it more to our daily diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of uncooked, whole wheat or whole grain pasta of choice ( I use the traditional elbow macaroni)
  • 1 ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cup of reduced fat milk
  • ¼ cup of whole kernel corn
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • 2 tbsp. of flour
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. of granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp.. of turmeric powder.
  • 1 tsp. of salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. of breadcrumbs

To make it:

I boil pasta until al dente. In the meantime I melt the butter in the pan. To the butter I add the flour and cook it for 2-3 minutes to remove the raw taste of flour.

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Then I slowly add milk and keep whisking. The mixture will start to thicken. After the milk I add the cheese, turmeric powder, nutmeg, garlic powder and mix everything together.

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I turn the heat off and mix everything until the cheese is melted and the mixtures is nice and smooth.

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I drain the cooked pasta and add it to the mixture.

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Then, I stir everything together to make sure the pasta is all covered.

Okay,  the mac and cheese is done. You can eat it like that or you can make it even more delicious. So to make it even better I transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs on top. I spray the breadcrumbs with the olive oil cooking spray. Then bake it in the oven preheated to 425 F for 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs become golden brown.

Who can say no to this cheesy, bubbly goodness ??? 🙂 ENJOY!!!

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If you like the recipe please share it with your family and friends and don’t forget to leave the comments and give me your feedback. Thank you for reading!!!!

 

Source  *http://blogs.webmd.com/food-and-nutrition/2012/10/turmeric.html

 

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