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Tag Archives: mac and cheese

Roasted Broccoli Baked Mac and Cheese

Welcome to 2020: a year of uncertainty, unknown, and lack of clarity. This is also a new decade, with new memories to be made, new things to explore, new opportunities, and new experiences. It’s unfortunate what is happening in our world at this time, and while it takes us out of our comfort zones and forces us to isolate, we remember to cherish the time we have with our loved ones, FaceTime with family we can’t get to physically visit, and look for the silver lining: how lucky we are to be alive right now.

I decided to get back to simple and easy meals, some that really only require pantry or already-at-home items because while everyone stocked up on toilet paper, I was hopeful to just make sure I had enough milk, bread, and eggs in my home. I knew I wanted to make something equally delicious and comforting, so I opted for a staple: Macaroni and Cheese. My pantry always has pasta, heavy cream/milk. I had butter and flour, I also remembered I had some cheese in the house, as well as broccoli. To ramp up the fun in the MAC, I roasted broccoli and threw that in the mix too. It’s ok to drool on your screen, I won’t judge ya.

I love making pasta meals with veggies because it’s just a perfect balance of carbs: complex versus simple starch. Broccoli is a house favorite and we more often than not have it on hand at all times. I tossed the broc in some avocado oil, salt, and pepper and threw it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, right at the peak of crispiness, since I knew it would cook more and soften in the oven with the pasta. It added a whole other dimension of salt and savory to this dish that I didn’t realize I needed – this will absolutely become a freezer staple in my house.

Ok, enough narrative, here’s the deal with this recipe:

  • For the MAC:
    • 1 pkg macaroni
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 cups broth (veggie or chicken)
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2-3 cups grated cheese (cheddar: sharp and mild)
  • For the broccoli:
    • 2 cups broccoli florets
    • 2 tbsp avocado oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
  • Products used:
    • Organic Valley butter, heavy cream, cheese
    • Rao’s macaroni pasta
    • Chosen Foods avocado oil

Toss broccoli in avocado oil (or oil of your choice) and season with salt nd pepper. Bake at 375° for 20m.  Set aside. Boil pasta to al dente (2 minutes less than package).  Strain and set aside. For the cheese sauce, you’ll make a roux, which is flour and butter whisked together. Melt butter and whisk in flour to create a paste.  Add in heavy cream and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer.  Turn off heat and melt in cheese.  Using a oven-safe dish, pour in the drained pasta, then the broccoli, and then pour in the cheese sauce and mix, making sure the broccoli is dispersed evenly and the cheese sauce coats all the noodles.

Sprinkle a little bit more cheese on top and some breadcrumbs (totally optional). Bake for 10 minutes and broil for two to get a nice golden top. Serve and enjoy! PS. There will be leftovers, which is great for working from home 🙂

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Easy Baked MAC (Mac-n-Cheese)

It’s the holiday season, and there’s nothing better than seeing family, friends, and eating a ton of different foods. It’s the third night of Hanukkah, and while I didn’t make latke’s this year (which you can find my recipe from last year here), I did toy around with something anyone celebrating any holiday would love, MAC AND CHEESE.

There are a ton of different ways to make mac and cheese (or as I simply call it MAC), and I usually start by making a roux. A roux is a base for sauces such as a cheese sauce: you take chopped onions and butter, sauté until fragrant and translucent, then add flour and it makes a paste. Then, you pour in some cream/milk/alternative to milk and stock, and bring to a boil. This will thicken; turn the heat off and layer in the shredded cheese until fully blended and combined. Yeah, this recipe is labeled EASY MAC for a reason, because we skip the roux step. We use four ingredients and it’s done in one pot. You heard me, ONE POT.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb or box of pasta – I used Banza’s wheel shaped pasta (this is a chickpea flour pasta and it is delicious – find it here)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mixed shredded cheese – I used Organic valley cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs – to top off prior to broil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Cook your preferred pasta to the desired doneness, since Banza is gluten free I cooked two minutes below the recommended time on the box as I prefer to have pasta more al dente. Strain and rinse.

Add back into the same pot and turn the heat onto medium. Pour in the milk and butter, stirring the pasta in and coating. Have patience here, the butter will take some time to melt. Sprinkle in the cheese a little at a time, stirring to combine frequently. Keep the heat between medium and low, so the cheese melts and coats all the pasta.

Set the oven to broil. Pour the MAC from the pot into an oven friendly casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, plus a pinch more shredded cheese bc #yolo. Broil for three minutes, check after three because it can go from nicely brown to “OMG I BURNT IT” in a matter of minutes. Serve immediately and scarf down because this baby will go fast at your dinner table! NOMaste and Happy Holidays! <3

Cheesy Orzo and Broccoli

Who has two thumbs and LOVES mac and cheese? This girl! I also really just love cheese in general, and what’s funny about that is that when I was in high school, I would always tell a friend of mine that I did not like cheese. In reality, I love it, I just have particular types that I dislike… like gorgonzola, blue, and goat cheese. Sorry y’all.

This is one of the most delicious and easy recipes I’ve played with, because it’s a homemade cheese sauce with boiled orzo pasta and broccoli. I have a secret too: I boil the broccoli in the SAME pot as the orzo cooks! *gasp* It’s just easier this way, and when it’s all mixed together, the broccoli chunks break down and coat the pasta in a light green colors… it’s good I swear 🙂

The cheese sauce is made with a Roux: a simple mixture of butter and flour with simmered milk. I take three tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of cassava flour and whisk together until its fully combined with no lumps. Then I add in milk and chicken stock and simmer until the liquid becomes a bit thick. I turn the heat off and pour in all the cheese. I used mild cheddar for this. Sprinkle salt and pepper into the mix and voila, you have a cheese sauce!

For the pasta, I made regular orzo and boiled as per package instructions. I threw in the broccoli at the same time so both ingredients finished simultaneously. I drained in a strainer and added back to the pot. I poured the cheese sauce into the orzo and broccoli and stirred. At the last second I decided to add another cup of cheese because #yolo and the results were a deliciously cheesy, creamy, pot of lovely orzo and broccoli. Nomaste!

Cheesy Orzo and Broccoli

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword broccoli, cheddar, cheese, orzo, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg orzo
  • 1 16oz bag sharp or mild cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk or creamer
  • 1 cup chicken stock/broth
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Cheese Sauce

  1. In a small sauté pan, heat and melt butter.  When butter is melted, add in the flour and whisk until blended.

  2. Add in the milk and chicken stock.  Bring to a rolling boil and stir frequently.  Keep at this heat for 5-7 minutes.

  3. Turn heat off and add in cheese.  Stir to blend and melt.  Add in salt and pepper to taste

Orzo and Broccoli

  1. In a 3-4 quart pot, fill the water 3/4 of the way and heat on high.  Let water boil and add salt.

  2. Add in the orzo and broccoli and cook together until al dente (around 8-9 minutes).  Drain in a strainer in the sink and add back into the pot.

  3. Layer in the cheese sauce and stir until fully coated.  Add in 1/2 cup more of cheddar and mix.  Serve immediately.