Monday, October 12, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

I have never met anyone who did not love macaroni and cheese. There is simply nothing more comforting or soul satisfying than a dish of macaroni baked in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce covered in a crusty layer of baked cheese.

Macaroni and cheese it is said had its origins in China and was brought to Italy by Marco Polo.  In the eighteenth century, this dish in one form or another became popular in Europe and the colonists from England brought along their recipes to North America.  If the folklore is correct, this dish became popular after it was served during a White House dinner under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson in 1802. Since then, recipes for various versions of macaroni and cheese appeared in many American cookbooks and remain a mainstay today, on American dinner tables.

The simplicity of this dish is only part of its charm.  I don't need anything fancy like imported ham or cheeses, or a bit of truffle to place a smile on my face. The basic macaroni and cheese dish is still the best hands down.

My personal favorite is a Paula Deen version that is creamy, cheesy and just plain delicious. It is also just plain fattening! Paula does not hold back on the butter, cream and cheese. The problem for me is that I can't control my portion when eating macaroni and cheese. I always seem to be returning for just one more bite.

I have been enjoying a new food blog called Cookin Lean Like Paula Deen www.Cookinleanlikepauladeen.blogspot.com
Lindsay has been taking on the task of creating lighter versions of the fabulous Paula Deen's recipes. Lindsay tackled Paula's recipe for Creamy Macaroni and Cheese and I could not resist trying this recipe out for myself. The results were excellent. Lindsay does a really good job of keeping the creamy, cheesy texture alive while reducing the amount of fat and calories. I am now replacing my traditional Paula Deen recipe with Lindsay's lighter version.




Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
 (Adapted from Paula Deen)
Ingredients:
4 cups cooked Whole Wheat elbow macaroni, drained
16 oz  1 % milk fat cottage cheese
4 egg whites, beaten
1/2 cup fat free or light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low fat milk
16  oz Velveeta Cheese, cut into cubes
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After the macaroni has been boiled and drained, add Velveeta cheese,  cottage cheese, egg whites, sour cream and salt to the hot pasta and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour into casserole dish, top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.
Bake for 30-45 minutes.

Enjoy!

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69 comments:

Chris said...

You know, I abhor Velveeta and "processed cheese food". But there are two dishes where it reigns supreme, Mac n Cheese and that rotel dip. There just is no substitute in those cases!

5 Star Foodie said...

Mac & Cheese sounds excellent baked, yummy!

Palidor said...

That looks so yummy. I don't fret too much about calories, but I also like to eat healthy, so anytime a recipe can be "healthified" without losing flavor, all the better!

Jane said...

Thanks for posting this! I love Paula Deen but my waistline can't handle a steady diet of her recipes. My kids love Mac N Cheese so I'm definitely going to try this one!

NMOS said...

Mac & cheese is one of my favorite all time classics (along with grilled cheese & tomato soup, PB&J, etc). Next time try throwing in some lobster for a cheesy lobster mac & cheese.

Heather said...

girl, that sounds amazing! i love mac n cheese!!

Amateur Foodie said...

thanks for the mac n cheese recipe and the link to that fabulous website! I never have the time to surf other blogs too much. Thanks for passing that link along! :)

Amy said...

Hi Velva - thanks for stopping by! This Mac and Cheese sounds perfect...so much better than anything you can get from a box. And just as good as the chowder. Ah, nothing like comfort food.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Hi Velva,

I love mac and cheese. My favorite version of it has truffle oil drizzled over it or with crumbled bacon. Yummy!

Best,

Christine

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I loooooooooove Paula Deen's recipes, but my arteries clog just watching her make them. How nice that someone is slimming down her recipes. She's the queen of oil and butter!

Ferni's Food said...

Yummy that looks so good and I love how you made it healthier with cottage cheese, and light sour cream. Makes you feel a little less guilty when you eat it hehe. I love mac and cheese.

Gina said...

Oh that looks delicious, Velva! I love mac and cheese and Paula's recipes..I'm making one of hers for pumpkin bars for this weeks food network chef challenge at I blame my mother's blog. Good job on slimming the recipe down!

Heavenly Housewife said...

How lovely, is there anything more comforting than macaroni and cheese? And paula deen? You know its going to be fatty good!

Red's Nest said...

Oh, it looks so good! I definately have to try this - mac & cheese is my all time favorite comfort food and I still need comforting. Thanks for the post and thank you for visiting my mosaic. Blessings

A Year on the Grill said...

Looks pretty... Now I have to go see how you can make skinny Paula dean recipes... thanks for all the tips

Laura in Paris said...

So nice that you actually make this dish. Looks delicious.

Miranda said...

mmmh...Homemade Mac and Cheese is a staple in our home. So much so that a my 4 yr old told the teacher, "My favorite food is Mac and Cheese. The real kind not Kraft!"
How funny is that?

Mimi said...

Looks delicious. Homemade Mac and Cheese is my son's go to meal when he cooks for himself. Thanks for the link to the lean Paula Dean.
Mimi

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

There is nothing better than good mac 'n cheese! Thanks for the link to the lean Dean :)

Lea Ann said...

I love, love, love macaroni and cheese! I even like that boxed Kraft kind...I think it has drugs in it! :-)

Also, thanks for the "cookslikepauladeen" blog. I'll subscribe.

George Gaston said...

Comfort food at its best! This looks like a keeper... Thanks

Larry said...

Isn't anything with cheese and pasta a good thing?

teresa said...

fantastic! pure comfort at it's very best!

Katy ~ said...

Macaroni and cheese ~ proof that the gods love us and want us to be happy!

Bella Biscotti said...

I love, love, love Mac-n-Cheese & Paula Deen! Good to know that you don't have to include all the fat and calories to make her dishes just as yummy.

Erica said...

Mac and cheese is one of the dishes I make for my kid once a week! Thank you for this recipe.

Lucia said...

It looks delicious!

Karine said...

Kind of weird but I never think of making macaroni and cheese. I should make some because it is delicious!

Thanks for your last comment on my blog, I greatly appreciate it! :)

Rita said...

Mac&Cheese is an all time favourite at our house. They are calling for frost tonight and this would make a nice cozy comfy meal by the fire. Yours looks yummy! Rita

Devon said...

Velva,
Thanks for stopping by my blog. We always had mac and cheese as a side growing up which helps with portion control. The Paul Dean recipe conversion idea is great.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Yum! I could use a big bowl.

Claudia said...

I love the notion of homemade macaroni and cheese. It was never a meal I tended to make and the kids did the box thing themselves. Now this looks scrumptious.

Danielle said...

Ooooh...mac n cheese! you can't beat that. (believe it or not, one of my daughters doesn't like mac n cheese!)

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog....cuz now i get to enjoy yours :)

Grace said...

but of course paula deen would make a FIERCE mac & cheese. i like your adaptation, but then again, i don't think i've ever met a batch of mac & cheese that i didn't like... :)

Ben said...

I just discovered this dish last year, and I fell in love with it. But I need to spice it up a little, of course, LOL.

I like this simple version, so homey and warm.

TKW said...

I'm sure Paula's version is an ass-buster! How wonderful that there's a lighter version out there! Thanks for the recipe!

lisaiscooking said...

Such a great idea to lighten up a Paula Deen dish! Mac and cheese is the best.

The Blonde Duck said...

My husband has always turned his nose up at homemade m&c for box mixes--I bet this breaks him!!!

kimberleyblue said...

I have the same problem with mac and cheese - I'll eat the whole pan if no one is around to stop me.

Michelle said...

OH...I love Macaroni and Cheese and I like to make a topping of green onions and crumbled bacon. Perfect dish for there's 1' of snow on the ground!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I adore macaroni and cheese! One of my very favorite comfort foods! Love the lighter version. Thanks!

Karen Harris said...

Hi Velva! I absolutely agree with Chris that Velveeta mac and cheese is the best. As a matter of fact, mac and cheese is just probaby one of my favorite foods period and yours looks great. Yes, I am thrilled about my article and my trip. I'm a lucky girl. You're right though, I'm going to freeze my butt off. I guess I'll have to drink lots of red to warm me up from the inside out!

homeladychef said...

Macaroni & Cheese, my favourite! Nobody wouldn't like sucha comforting food. :) Nice to have you dropping by. Nice recipes here! Keep them coming. :)

Shandy said...

YUM! Mac and cheese, you are soooo right. Comfort food all wrapped up in a tight little cheesy bow. Originated where? Really? China? Who would have thunk!

shaz said...

Yum, thanks for sharing this. Great for the waist but not skimping on taste!

Sophie said...

Here in Belgium we aren't familiar with macaroni & cheese. It is not an institution like in the USA.

We are also known for macaroni, chopped ham picees & a cheesy b├ęchamel sauce,...all mixed together & then placed into the oven to let the cheese turn brown & melted

Angie's Recipes said...

When don't we all have to worry about the calorie? I love the baked macaroni with lots lots of cheese!

Angie's Recipes

Simply Life said...

Wow, that looks like a meal that will happily bring a whole family (and the neighbors) to the dinner table in no time! looks great!

Lo said...

Calories... *sigh*
But, this looks like it's totally worth the sacrifice :) Bet the sour cream brings a pleasant tang to this dish.

Chef Shari said...

my baby is at FSU Law and he loves Mac and Cheese, can he come for dinner?

Olga said...

I don't think I've ever made mac & cheese from scratch. Insteresting about putting cottage cheese into it.

Juliana said...

Wow, your mac and cheese looks terrific, egg white and sour cream! Sounds great!

Nil said...

hum hum hum ... delicius !!!!!

Chow and Chatter said...

wow love this post and what cool history love the look of your blog Velva keep up the great work Rebecca

Mags said...

How wonderful for someone to have taken the time to create a full-flavor mac and cheese without so much of the fat. I personally don't think you can beat Velveeta for mac and cheese. I've tried, oh I've tried. But never been successful. Nice blog you have here. I'll be back!

D. @ Outside Oslo said...

Thanks for sharing, Velva! Macaroni and cheese truly is one of those wonderful, cold-weather comfort foods, and one you've encouraged me to try making again soon! I never would have thought that some of those ingredients in your recipe would be used in a classic mac 'n' cheese, but I love the fact that someone's come up with a guilt-free way to enjoy the dish!

Thanks, by the way, for the comment on my blog! I hope you'll stop by again for some of the Scandinavian-inspired recipes I'm thinking about!

petite nyonya said...

I was watching Rachel Ray's show last week where she made macaroni cheese. I was salivating! Then, I forgot about it, but now, you've made me crave for it again. Yummy!! Thanks for reminding, I'm so gonna try making this soon. :D

stephchows said...

that is too fabulous that she is taking on the task of lightening up paula!! such a great idea!! and of course I love mac and cheese!

Ozoz said...

You know, I've never made Mac and Cheese...I could be forgiven since I'm not American! Yummy

Nat said...

Hello Velva, thats such a great combination of ingredients. I love the use of Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream, what an amazing flavor that would make... I will save this one for the next time i baked mac n cheese for my hubs and little girl...

Chef E said...

My mom burned me out on mac n cheese when I was young, and I just made a version this past September, and now I am ready for a bowl of yours!

You should submit it to 5 Stars Mac n Cheese thingy...I apologize for forgetting what it is called, I am trying to thaw out from my long cold trip this past week!

The Absence of Alternatives said...

*hangs head* I abhor cheese... So I actually try not to breathe when I make my kids Mac&Cheese (Kraft. Gasp!) It's interesting you thought it came from China since there's a joke amongst Chinese about how pizza originated from China when Marco Polo went home with scallion pancakes in his luggage... ;-) Anyway, when I flew home with the boxed Mac&Cheese for the kids (so they wouldn't starve), my dad was intrigued. He ended up eating most of the mac&cheese while my kids opted for white rice...

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mac & cheese is literally my favorite food on earth. I could eat it every day, especially my mom's version. Its to die for! I love the idea of the cottage cheese here and also that you've used whole wheat mac. It looks spectacular!

Taste of Beirut said...

Well, thanks so much. My kids love this dish and would be so appreciative !

passions and soapboxes said...

Who doesn't love mac and cheese. A staple in any mom's kitchen.

homeladychef said...

I would like to have 1 too!! So nice!! I am a cheese-lover!!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Cooking lean like Paula Dean is a very clever blog name and idea. Thanks for pointing us to it.

Barbara GF said...

I love a good mac 'n' cheese, Velva. Yours looks delicious.

Jen said...

I LOVEEE mac and cheese, just made some last night. :)

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