I really wanted some mac & cheese last night. I make it myself, no Kraft boxed death for me. If I'm going to go into a comfort-food carb coma, I'm going to have something good. But I'd been thinking for a while on how to make it better...get some protein in there.
What I came up with is very simple, so simple that it's probably out there somewhere under someone's name. But I didn't read this anywhere, I just thought it, and it turned out great, so I'm calling it mine.
Gwen's High Protein Mac & Cheese
1 box Mori-Nu Silken Tofu (the soft, silken stuff, NOT firm)
1 1/2 cup (more or less) cheese--sharp cheese, like sharp chedder, allows you to use less
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 bag (7 oz) Whole Wheat & Flax pasta (I used Nature's Path Lifestream Organic Whole Wheat and Flax seed Rotini, see below for nutritional breakdown)
Serves 4 (2/3 c. servings)
Place tofu, ground mustard, and about 1 tsp salt in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Pour into sauce pan and heat through on medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add cheese, and continue to cook until sauce is smooth and cheese is evenly melted and distributed. Add salt so that sauce is just slightly salty--the noodles will absorb some of this.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until done. Drain, add noodles into cheese sauce, stir and enjoy.
I used the cheese I had on hand: a little 2% medium cheddar and some swiss cheese, because I wanted to use the rest of these up. The rest of the cheese was 2% sharp cheddar and some part skim mozz. The mozz makes the sauce stringy, so if you don't like that, skip it.
The nutrition facts on the pasta is as follows: 1 serving of 2oz uncooked noodles (about 2/3 c. cooked, roughly) contains 210 cal, 3.5 gm fat, 700mg omega-3 FA and 200 mg omega-6 FA, 8 gm dietary fiber and 9 gm protein. That's quite a whallop for pasta, which is supposed to be a carb bomb.
When I ran the sauce and pasta through FitDay, I came up with about 375 cal per serving, 15 gm fat, 40 gm carbs and 21 gm protein. Now, it is not a low fat food (you can thank the cheese for 9 gm of fat, mostly saturated) and it's not really a low carb food, but it's MUCH better than any other mac & cheese I've ever eaten, or made, and that's a crazy amount of protein, thanks to the tofu and the pasta. I realize that some people cannot digest tofu, so this would not be a great recipe for them. But the sauce is SO smooth, and tastes great. Honestly. I don't know why I'd ever make it any other way again. And the pasta is good--if you like whole wheat pasta. I can't really justify eating white semolina pasta anymore, and I like whole wheat pasta, so this whole thing was a big win for me.
Bottom line: Tasty. Not an every day kind of food, but when I'm really craving some comfort food, I can eat this with a minimum of guilt. Portion control is a must, though. I could really hurt myself if I don't watch it.