Comfort Food – Lo Cal-ish, Baked Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
It has been an unseasonable spring here in Colorado, no snow, no rain, and really, really warm temperatures. I. am. not. complaining. However, Saturday night brought in a cold front and yesterday just begged for some homemade mac and cheese. BUT, being dairy intolerant, that makes things a bit difficult. Oddly enough (and I think this may go for a lot of us dairy intolerant folks) I actually tolerate cheeses with low fat content, cheddar, swiss, colby etc. so the thought of mac and cheese isn’t completely out of the question.)
Strange fact: When I was pregnant, I was no longer dairy intolerant, both pregnancies. The moment I had them both, bam, back to my normal, f’ed up stomach.
I also had a head of broccoli that I needed (and wanted) to use and so I combined two recipes I found on Pinterest and came up with this Lo Cal-ish, Baked Mini Wheels and Cheese (no Macaroni) with Broccoli.
The reason why I blended two recipes is because I am trying to perfect my cheese sauce by using rice milk….Rice milk does not have a lot of fat in it so it makes the sauce rather watery. Or not so much sauce at all but more so runny cheese water. So, I was looking for a recipe that called for an egg to help thicken up the sauce, I found this recipe from Pioneer Woman Cooks. And then I found this recipe for Skinny, Broccoli Mac and Cheese from Skinny Taste.com and was inspired to add broccoli. So this is kind of the recipe that I mashed up from the two:
- 8 cups Dried mini wheels (I wanted leftovers)
- 1 whole Egg Beaten
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 4 Tablespoons Flour
- 2-1/2 cups Rice Milk (This is what made it skinny!)
- 2 bunches of broccoli
- 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
- 2 tsp arrowroot (optional)
- 1 pound Cheese, Grated (I used Sharp Cheddar and Parm (1 1/2 cups cheddar, 1/2 cup parm)
- 4 Tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs
- Garlic power, salt, pepper to taste
- Spray Olive Oil
I followed the recipes from Pioneer Woman Cooks to make the cheese sauce but again, used rice milk instead of whole milk like the recipe recommend. And this is why I wanted a recipe with egg in it…I knew that protein would help thicken up the sauce, and it did. But not enough, so I added 2 tsp. of arrowroot, which is a more natural, corn starch-type product and it worked. My sauce was of sauce consistency. Not cheesy, gooey, and thick, but you want low fat or can’t use milk? You have to compromise somewhere.
As for the topping, I went with Panko because I never can seem to get breadcrumb topping right, Panko, I can do. I added maybe a a few shakes of salt, no more than 1/8 tsp of salt and a dash of garlic powder and covered the top, then sprayed it with olive oil spray to get it crunchy. Oh man, it was so good….so, so, so, so good. So good that I ate so much testing it, by the time dinner came I was full…that good.
What’s more, both kids devoured it for lunch today, I love it when at least one meal a day is this easy.
It is also another perfect day because of the chill and the rain outside…the perfect day for more comfort food.