Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

So you may have realized we're trying to lose weight and be healthier overall. That can be very, very difficult when you love to eat. Thankfully a magazine like Cooking Light exists. A few months ago I won a subscription from my friend Heather over at Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks and once the subscription runs out I'll definitely be renewing it on my own. What a fantastic magazine. The recipes are things I love to make but healthier, like this Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese. Bacon (and we aren't talking turkey bacon here) and creamy cheese sauce? Sign me up!

As soon as SP heard it was from Cooking Light he was skeptical, but after one bite he was hooked. I loved it as well, especially the subtle onion flavor from the scallions. The bacon added great flavor, but since you're only using two pieces it isn't overwhelming (or that unhealthy). I decided to cook the broccoli with the pasta instead of steaming it separately and even though I thought we had rigatoni in the pantry we didn't, so I subbed rotini. I was skeptical about this being enough food for 4 hungry people, but with a side salad it's a great meal. I reheated the leftovers the next day for lunch and the creaminess was lost, which can happen with stovetop mac and cheese.

I can't wait to make this again, and again, and again. Mac and cheese with less guilt? Yes, please!

Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Slightly Modified from Cooking Light

8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
3 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces reduced-fat American cheese, cut into pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)

Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Add the broccoli 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain and keep warm.

Wipe pan with paper towels, and return to medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk to the flour mixture in pan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick, and remove from heat. Add American cheese; stir until smooth. Stir in sliced green onions and the remaining ingredients. Stir in broccoli and pasta; serve immediately.
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  1. I have been a Cooking Light fan for years. This looks great!

  2. Yummy! This looks fantastic - will definitely have to try it soon!


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