Specifically, homemade raspberry white cheddar mac and cheese in a homemade wheat pretzel bowl. And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds.
Make no mistake, there was nothing low cal about this dinner, but it was reasonably healthy and incredibly yummy, so absolutely worth every last calorie it took. I used whole wheat pasta, made whole wheat bread bowls, and chose recipes for both that used as little butter and oil as possible, so I made it as healthy as I could; there’s just a limit to how few calories you can use with these things, and that limit is relatively high.
I used this recipe for the bread bowls. I made all four because I didn’t know how to use only part of a packet of yeast, so I’ll need to figure out some way to use the other three. They were really good, so I look forward to doing that.
A warning: I probably should have known this, because I feel like it’s classic third grade science experiment, but be prepared for a volcano when you pour the baking soda into the boiling water in step five. It took me a very long time and several coats of Windex to clean my stove after that disaster.
The mac and cheese recipe, I crafted myself. I spent this past weekend in Wisconsin, so before I left I made sure to pick up some genuine Wisconsin cheese (they’re famous for it for a reason – it’s phenomenal). I chose a block of raspberry white cheddar, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that anywhere else, so you could really use any type of cheese you wanted. The cheese flavor wasn’t quite strong enough for me, even after I added some mozzarella, so in future iterations I may try to throw some asiago or something in there to add a bit more of a kick. That said, here’s the recipe I used, which makes one serving:
2 oz pasta (I used whole wheat rigatoni)
1/2 cup raspberry white cheddar, shredded
1/8 cup shredded low fat mozzarella
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tablespoon butter
Flour (a few pinches, as needed; I used whole wheat flour)
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2) Cook the pasta according to package instructions
3) Melt butter over medium heat in a small pot
4) Once butter is melted, slowly pour milk into the pot, stirring constantly
5) Add shredded cheeses to the mix and stir until melted
6) Add a pinch or two of flour to thicken the sauce, and continue to stir and/or add flour until it becomes a little thick
7) Arrange pasta in a baking dish; I used an 8×4 pan, which was probably the biggest you’d want to go for a single serving. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until covered.
8) Put pan in the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese starts to turn golden brown
The pasta turns out to be around 500 calories, and the bread bowl around 450, so the meal as a whole is going to be 950. But again, totally worth it. I mostly only ate fruit the rest of the day in anticipation of this high calorie meal, and I would absolutely do that again. Plus it’s incredibly filling, especially since I used whole wheat products.
So get ready to make a giant mess in your kitchen and then enjoy! 🙂
(In case you forgot how yummy it looked, here’s one more picture without the extra mac and cheese surrounding it.)