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Perfect Low-Fat Mac & Cheese recipe? Or tips?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 



I am on the quest to perfect a low fat mac & cheese recipe. Kids love it and if its low enough in fat (but tasty!) even adults will indulge. So, it makes a great go-to item for mixed age dinners. Personally, I love Martha Stewart's full fat version. I had a few bites of it at a party and it was delicious. I just can't get into the habit of making something with that much butter and full-fat cheese. So, I tried to make a modified version of it with a mix of low-fat cheese, 2% milk, a little bit of 0% greek yogurt and regular fat gouda and sharp cheddar. I also used olive oil rather than butter and substituted whole grain macaroni. Yes, I am that mother!!! Wire hangers are allowed (sometimes) but we will be having whole grain buckwheat pancakes for breakfast whether you like it or not! 


The kids liked my mac and cheese but I felt it was too bland. I fixed it with truffle salt for the grownups but that was not the effect I was going for. I have also tried a Cooking Light version, which I think was better than my attempt, but I'm still willing to experiment. Basically, I am trying to hit the sweet spot between delicious cheesy goodness and a feeling that I am not serving my family a heart attack on a plate. I don't make pies or dessert for this reason. Its hard for me to see what goes into the really good ones! As a final consideration, I also care about the dairy being organic. Not all substitute products (evaporated milk, lowfat cheese) come in an organic or even non-rGBH option.


So, if you are a similarly obsessed mom with some tricks up her sleeve, please share! Thank you!

post #2 of 5
Funny for me to be posting on this topic, since I'm dairy allergic, but the title brings back memories. The thing these all have in common are tuna and cheddar cheese. I was just out of college and not eating as healthy as I am now, so the ideas need tweaking.

I used to *love* Kraft mac&cheese. I added tuna to it sometimes, and sometimes ate it straight.

I also made a cheddar cheese sauce and added tuna, then served it over rice. The sauce was made with margarine (trans fats, boo!), flour and either milk or soup stock. Then whatever cheeses I was in the mood for and had on hand, plus cheddar.

I also put tuna on bagel halves, topped with cheddar cheese and toasted.

Those were the days!

Good luck with your recipe hunt!
post #3 of 5

Lol, um, you do know that you posted this in Traditional foods which is an proponent of a full fat diet and we believe that fat is GOOD for you and does not cause heart attacks, right?  You will likely have much better luck posting in the general nutrition and good eating area.

I used to make a recipe that used raw cheddar cheese and cream cheese and I think some parmesan and milk too.  I of course used full fat everything but I'm guessing there are low fat versions of those available if that is your thing.  I used rice noodles too, but we try to avoid pasta's altogether although lately we've been slipping....   I did make the same sort of dish with cauliflower and broccoli which was really good tho!

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip, Ilove4ever. I didn't realize the difference between the two groups. blush.gif


I will cross-post or re-post over there. I am not against fat in general. I see its purpose as part of an overall balanced diet. I'd just like to have a mac and cheese recipe that I can feel good about serving often given that we do eat a fair amount of dairy throughout the week already. Next time I think I will try cream cheese and/or parmesan. The key seems to be in getting a lot of bang from the densely flavored cheese that is used. I thought the full-fat gouda would do it but perhaps I need to taste some more brands or just up the ratio of full-fat cheeses. I will report back if I come up with something good!  

post #5 of 5

Yeah, I make macaroni (whole wheat) with just regular cheese and butter and skim milk. But I also add peas. Vegetable content!

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