I'm all for eating healthy, but come on Jessica Seinfeld, skim milk and no butter for mac & cheese? Help a girl out. What the heck is wrong with you? Kid's need fat. Kid's like to eat food with a little butter. Cream. Half & Half. Bacon. For the love of God, give them the butter.
But that is not Ms. Jessica's style. No sir. She is hard core. I actually have enjoyed her cook book in the past, which provides recipes with a secret pureed healthy ingredient. Think sweet potatoes, spinach and beans. It is a bit of work, making the purees before you even start the actual dinner, but it gets the kid's to eat their veggies. (Without knowing it, so I ask, is it really teaching healthy eating habits?)
The Seinfeld's are not overweight, their children look fantastic and healthy, so what is all the fuss? Do they really need to be drinking fat-free milk? I for one, do not believe in putting my children on a low-fat diet. Have you seen Zack? He is all skin and bones and runs about a million miles a day. He needs his creamy mac & cheese.
I'm getting off track. Today's Dinner Dilemma is Macaroni and Cheese with Beans, adapted from Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook Deceptively Delicious. In addition to the main course I made Carrot Ribbons, a recipe suggested by a friend. I will tell you now, the dinner went down well. Hallelujah.
Macaroni & Cheese (with beans):
1.5 cups elbow macaroni
1 cup skim milk (I used 2 percent, that is what we have on hand)
Half cup canned white beans
Nonstick cooking spray (I used a tablespoon of BUTTER)
1.5 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese. (I used full fat cheese, because why the heck not?)
Half tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder (I used a clove of real garlic)
1/8 tsp paprika, didn't have it, didn't use it.
1/8 tsp pepper.
Cook macaroni al dente. Drain.
While macaroni is cooking, combine the milk and beans in a food processor and process until pureed.
Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. (nix that, melted butter in pan and sauteed garlic.) Add the bean mixture to pan and cook over medium heat stirring until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cheese and cook until melted and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add in salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni and serve warm.
2 Carrots peeled into ribbons with a carrot peeler.
1-2 Tablespoons Butter.
Boil a pot of water
Place ribbons in water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain.
Toss carrots with butter.
Zachary gave the dish an unprecedented double five stars! He said he loved it the whole thing. He did a happy dance. That's about it.
Evan did not want to be generous with his stars. He was waving two fingers in the air with one hand, but shoveling mac & cheese in his mouth with the other, so I didn't believe the low score. I eventually convinced him to award the meal.... FOUR STARS. Evan liked it! He really liked it!
And me? Well, I thought that the macaroni and cheese was quiet good. I did not notice the beans, it was plenty creamy and tasty, quick and easy. The carrots were pretty and would make a nice side dish to any meal.
Hurray for me, a success at last. Note to Jessica. Butter baby.