So I am a pretty healthy person consuming a vegetarian diet and exercises regularly. I eat vegan when I can, specifically and especially on #MeatlessMondays. I believe that anything in moderation is a good rule of thumb. That being said, I do appreciate comfort food.

Today in LA was rainy, windy and a down right 63 degree freezing! So after getting out of my Maui haze and longing for the 85 degrees I had just spent 5 days in, a slow cooked carbo loaded dish was all that would do.

Here is my recipe for Mac n Cheese*.
*it should be noted that when I eat dairy I use only Organic, no hormone, locally farmed products

Ingredients:

  • 1 box/lb. of pasta (pasta such as shells or elbows are great!). I used Pipe Rigate.
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter or butter substitute (I used Earth Balance).
  • 16 ounces of shredded melty cheese (Guerrier, cheddar, swiss are good).
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • Fresh basil (about 6 medium-large leaves).
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

What to do:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large saucepan, boil 5-6 cups of water with a few pinches of salt. Once at a boil, cook pasta for 8 minutes or until al dente.
  • In a second medium saucepan on medium low heat, warm the milk.
  • In a third small saucepan, melt butter and cook minced garlic for 1 minute. Keep heat on medium low.
  • Sprinkle flour in and begin to whisk to form a rue. This will turn a deep mustard color (after about 2 minutes).
  • Once this is formed, slowly pour in the warmed milk while continuing to wisk. This will thicken slightly after 3 minutes.
  • Add shredded cheese. Whisk to combine.
  • Drain cooked pasta.
  • Pour cheese mixture onto pasta. Combine with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Place mixture in oven safe casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs over until covered. Sprinkle basil on top as well.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. The breadcrumbs should turn a nice golden brown color.
  • Once done in the oven, let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Spoon out in heaps and serve!

Enjoy and stay warm and make sure to hit the gym tomorrow!


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