Friday, June 10, 2011

Quick (reasonably healthy) Dinner

A dinner I often make for myself starts with a box of organic whole grain mac & cheese. My local grocery carries a couple of brands so I wait for a sale and stock up. No matter the brand, I generally ignore the directions.

What I do is fill my 6 quart pot about half to two-thirds full of water and when it comes to a boil dump in the macaroni. When the pasta is almost done I dump in a bag of mixed frozen vegetables. I like several varieties and usually have some different ones on hand. What ever you like will work, although I have never tried leafy greens; I think they would get overcooked.

When the veggies are hot I dump it all in the colander and drain well, then back into the pot. I add a couple tablespoons of butter (I object to margarine on several grounds but will save that rant for another day) and stir until the butter is melted. Then sprinkle in the cheese powder while stirring (this and the next step will give you a nice creamy sauce without lumps of powder, yuck.) Then slowly pour in a small amount of milk while stirring constantly.

After that I usually toss in a couple of handfuls of shredded cheese because I like it really cheesy. Sometimes I vary this by adding some chopped or shredded meat, leftover ham is my favorite but chicken or beef also work.

This takes less than 30 minutes to fix, the veggies and whole grain pasta offer fiber along with vitamins and minerals, the cheese and any added meat offer protein. If you use all organic ingredients then it will be a pretty healthy dinner. At any rate it is much better than running out for fast food!

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