Healthy Mac and Cheese…and a GIVEAWAY!

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Hello friends! Want to win a $35 gift card from CSN where you can buy anything from nesting tables to bakeware, and more? If so…keep reading!

So if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you already knew this was coming, because I’ve been tweeting about this non-stop! Healthy macaroni and cheese?!?! Count me in! (Because healthy means I can eat MORE of it…right?)

Before I get started on the healthy recipe, let’s take a trip down memory lane to what inspired this recipe…

Remember my review of Cheeseology?

cheesy

Oh yes you do.

It was GOOD. The mac and cheese was gooey, cheesy, and fattening, I’m sure. I could eat there everyday, but I don’t think my arteries would be very happy with me.

Ever since that visit, I’ve been thinking about how I could recreate that oooey gooey macaroni and cheese.

Maybe I could try to recreate my mom’s awesome macaroni and cheese! Hers is TO DIE FOR. It’s super cheesy, rich, and has a delicious ‘crust’ that only comes from baking it in the oven. Andy begs me to make it all the time! Maybe this would be my chance? But after talking to her about the recipe (you add how much Velveeta?) I knew that probably wouldn’t be any healthier than what I had at Cheeseology.

However, I’m a huge reader of healthy living blogs, and I spotted the perfect recipe on Meals & Moves – she borrowed the recipe from Oxygen Magazine, and now I’m borrowing it from her! It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

Let’s get started! Here’s what you need for healthy mac and cheese that’s so good, you’ll wanna slap your mama (but not MY mama, please!)

I slightly modified the recipe. I’ll post the original at the end of this post.

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Black pepper, bread crumbs, pumpkin, cottage cheese, sea salt…

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nutritional yeast, whole wheat macaroni…

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frozen shrimp…

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and shredded cheese!

1. Cook 8 ounces of noodles (8 oz = about 2 cups dry), drain, and dump into a large bowl. Set aside.

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2. Puree 2 cups of cottage cheese and 1/2 cup pumpkin in a food processor or blender. This will be the base of your cheese sauce! I know it sounds weird, but just roll with it.

IMG_2947Puree it until it looks like this:

IMG_2968Creamy! I had to add just a touch (about 1/4 teaspoon) of soy milk to get it moving. If you’re super adventurous, add some nutritional yeast. You won’t taste it, trust me! The nutritional stats are astounding.

IMG_2962 Blend it a little more, and then set aside.

3. Defrost your shrimp (shrimp is optional, of course!). I take mine right out of the freezer, put it into a bowl, and run cold water over it. That does the trick.

IMG_2965And then I take off the tails!

IMG_2979Pretty.

4. Melt a tiny bit of butter in a pan (I just used the pot I boiled the noodles in) and saute the shrimp until they’re just warm (if you’re not using pre-cooked shrimp like I did, cook the shrimp until they’re almost done). Season with salt and pepper.

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Psst…instead of real butter, use this:

IMG_2970It tastes exactly like the real thing, but it’s good for you! It’s changed my life.

5. Now you’re ready to combine everything! Drain your shrimp and dump them into the bowl with the noodles.

IMG_3004Then add your “cheese” sauce.

IMG_3006Looks like real cheese, doesn’t it?

Now add 3/4 cup of your shredded cheese.

IMG_3010 6. Season everything with a little more salt and pepper, and if you like things a little spicy (who doesn’t?) Add some of this:

IMG_29927. Pour everything into an 8×8 glass baking dish and sprinkle it with some breadcrumbs!

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8. Cover your dish with aluminum foil and place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Take the foil off during the last 3 or 4 minutes to get a crispy top!

IMG_3028Voila! Easy peasy healthy mac and cheese. 🙂

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This was a hit. Andy didn’t watch me make this (otherwise he probably wouldn’t have tried it!). He tried it and LOVED it. And so did I! You can’t taste the pumpkin, cottage cheese, or the nutritional yeast! Just cheesy, melty goodness. I can’t wait to make this again!

Here’s the original recipe for you. I bolded my additions.

8 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni (2 cups dry)

2 cups low fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup sharp cheddar

bread crumbs (enough to sprinkle…about 1/4 cup?)

salt and pepper

cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 bag frozen shrimp

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Let me know if you try it. 🙂

—————————-

Now it’s time for my very first giveaway! CSN is giving away a $35 giftcard for one of my readers! For those of you not familiar with CSN, they’re an online retailer with over 200 stores where you can find anything from nesting tables to fitness equipment to cookware!

I’M GIVING YOU THREE CHANCES TO ENTER AND WIN! (Leave a separate comment for each!)

1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite healthy recipe and why!

2. Email, tweet, Facebook, or link back on your blog telling others about this contest and leave me a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3. *Bonus entry!* Make this recipe and email me a picture of it! (stephanie [at]offtheeatenpathstl [dot]com)

Please note that you don’t have to do all three things to enter the contest; you can just do one thing if you’d like! But each item counts as a separate entry! Increase your chances of winning!

You have until Sunday, October 3rd at 11:59pm (CST) to enter! I’ll pick a winner on Monday morning.

Good luck!

Share.
  • I love Quinoa and to make this recipe:

    http://www.killerbunniesinc.com/2010/09/quinoa-black-beans-corn-salad/

    It is so easy and tasty! YUM!

    • Stephanie

      Thanks for the recipe! Looks awesome. Quinoa is great!

  • Vanessa

    My favourite recipe is actually a very traditional Italian dish, that many would assume is fattening but it’s actually very healthy and incredibly delicious- Pasta Alle Vongole (or, Pasta with Clams).
    It’s super easy- Flavour EVOO in a pan with lots of garlic cloves. Add freshly chopped tomatoes. Add some white wine (optional) for flavour. Add some clam juice. Add your clams (canned or fresh, but only for a few minutes to heat through). Then toss it all with cooked whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti. Add some hot pepper flakes and parsley. Voila!

    • Stephanie

      Wow, that sounds awesome. I think I might try that!

  • Blair

    I love using spaghetti squash in place of regular noodles and making all kinds of pasta dishes. I’m also a huge fan of roasting any and every vegetable.

    BTW, I’m SO jealous you get to go to that Cheeseology place, I wish there was one near me!

    • Stephanie

      I love spaghetti squash, too!

      Yeah…cheeseology is pretty awesome. I need to return for a 2nd visit!

  • Karyne

    I recently saw an orzo salad recipe on Bobby Flay’s Grill It show, and I haven’t gotten to try it, but I hope I get to soon when I have time to go buy ingredients and spend some time in the kitchen. It had orzo, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes, topped with a dill-mustard dressing and feta, paired with grilled shrimp…mmm, wish I could make it now.

    I want to try the mac recipe, though; I have some pumpkin and wheat pasta in the pantry and cottage cheese in the fridge, so I think that’s a good sign…will report if I get to make it! 🙂

    • Stephanie

      You should definitely try it, and let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • Kim

    My favorite healthy recipe is a good summer recipe, which also happens to be quick and delicious!

    You make some whole wheat or veggie pasta. Cool it, and thrown in some low fat mozzarella, sliced cherry tomatoes (or sun dried, which I love!), green olives, artichoke hearts, and little pieces of broccoli. If you like chicken you can put in some grilled chicken, but I personally use vegan chicken pieces which I like even better! Put a generous amount of fat free Italian dressing (I prefer Wishbone), and put it back in the fridge for a couple of hours. It’s fantastic!

    • Stephanie

      That sounds super healthy, as well as quick and delicious!

  • Courtenay

    That looks yummy! Would have to leave out the shrimp or maybe substitute chicken for my whiny-baby boyfriend.

    I’m southern so I’m all about the fried but my healthiest recipe actually came about from sheer laziness! I love spaghetti but hate the whole mess of browning ground beef so I always make mine with the Morning Star crumbles. Add some veggie pasta and spaghetti sauce that’s been spiced up with a little cajun seasoning and you’re good to go!

    • Stephanie

      That recipe sounds awesome. I love morningstar crumbles! 🙂

  • Debbie

    Your healthy mac and cheese looks so good. I would try it if I didn’t know what was in it!! Keep up the good work and your blog is awesone! I put a post on my facebook account linking this website.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Jess

    Hello, I’d like to know – how many people does this recipe serve? Thanks!

    • Stephanie

      I’d say it serves about 4.

  • Jess

    Thanks! Looks interesting – will give it a shot!

  • Anna

    Do you have other measurements other than cups? I don’t use this measurement so have no clue how much I actually need…thx

  • Cynthia

    Hey I posted the link on twitter! =)

    • Stephanie

      Yay! Thanks 🙂

  • This is lame, but I love a big grilled chicken salad.

  • Marcia

    Hey, this recipe looks great, sounds delicious, can’t wait to try it for myself! Thanks for posting.

  • My favorite healthy recipe is a greek salad that I make with spinach, greens, pecans, onions, tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, and feta cheese. Tossed with a low fat vinegarette dressing. 🙂

    If I am really feeling bad, I add some boiled shrimp to the mix. Yummers!

  • I Facebook’d and tweeted in my stream 🙂

  • mmm i’ll be giving away a similar giveaway soon 😉 but in the meantime maybe i’ll win yours! my fave healthy recipe is simple salads such as this one: http://www.thesweetslife.com/2010/07/southwestern-chicken-salad.html

  • I thoroughly enjoy reading your food blog. Your new addition “in the kitchen” is interesting. Your healthy mac and cheese dish looks good, but without the shrimp. I would taste it if I didn’t know what was in it. 🙂 Your pictures really enhance your comments. (You could be a photographer as well) I have shared your blog with my computer literate friends.

  • I’ll be a pimp and say I love MY recipes. They’re usually always healthy, and they’re super good. Tra la la~

    I LOVE your mac and cheese though. If I could, I would prob eat the whole pan!

  • Christina

    I’m gonna try this! Thanks

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      I hope you enjoy it, Christina! Let me know what you think!