What can be more comforting than a plate of cheesy warm macaroni and cheese? I was not a fan of mac and cheese in restaurants because they were loaded with just too much sodium! My younger daughter Riya loves Mac & Cheese and I felt awful depriving her of such a comforting dish. I came across an online recipe with sharp cheddar cheese but I felt it would be a little too sharp for children. I used mild cheddar instead and substituted full fat butter with light butter (50% less fat).
This is a recipe for a basic Mac & Cheese. You can even bake it with breadcrumbs sprinkled on the top. There are so many other varieties online as well.
Ingredients (for 4)
3 cups medium size elbow macaroni/shell macaroni
2 tbsps. light butter (or the usual butter if you prefer regular mac and cheese)
2tbsps all purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
4 tbsps. grated Cheddar Cheese
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Parsley Flakes for garnish
Boil macaroni in salted water till al dente. Drain and set aside.
Take a medium sized pot and melt the light butter.
Add flour and whisk until it becomes a thick paste.
Next, add milk and cheese alternatively till cheese melts and the whole mixture become sticky.
Then, add in the boiled macaroni and give it a stir.
Check for seasoning and add in salt and pepper if required.
Garnish with parley flakes and serve hot with roasted vegetables/baked potato wedges and a simple garden salad.
These Double Baked Potatoes with Broccoli is a favorite with my family. I have baked these many times at home and even for family gatherings. They always turned out delicious and was very well received by many. Because they are mainly made up of potato and cheese it will be quite popular with young kids. As the broccoli is hidden within the mashed potatoes and under the cheese, fussy kids never need to know they are having their vegetables and lovin' em'!!
Ingredients ( 12 servings)
6 medium sized potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 and half cups small broccoli florets, washed
2/3 cup veg stock
2 cups cheddar cheese for mixing with the mashed potato
1 cup of cheddar cheese for topping
red chilli flakes
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 deg F and oil a flat baking tray.
Rub olive oil, salt and pepper over all the 6 washed potatoes and bake for 45 mins or till the inside is cooked when you prick them.
In the meantime, steam the broccoli florets for 3-4 mins in microwave high.
Let them cool for 15 mins, then cut them horizontally (sideways) in half.
Spoon out the potato flesh into a mixing bowl being careful not to tear the soft skin.
In the mixing bowl, pour in the veg stock and add in the 2 cups cheese, steamed broccoli florets and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Scoop the flesh back into the potato skin cups and place the cups in muffin oven tray so that there is support and they don't topple over.
Top the potato cups with more cheddar cheese, sprinkle with chili flakes and bake 30 mins till the top is golden brown.
Sere warm with any Pasta dishes or any other western style dishes. Great for parties!
Sandwich idea 2 of a request from a reader.
Have you noticed how each dish is somehow connected to a memory? Amazing isn't it? As your taste your food, it brings back fond memories of when you first tried it, whom you shared it with, the conversation that followed...etc
This super easy dish of asparagus is sure to guarantee thumbs up from your family members.
This is a popular dish at home because the sweetness of the zucchini blends well with the sourness of the Parmesan cheese. They taste like they have been fried but they are baked and so healthy.
I used to bake this a lot back in Spore. It was well appreciated today because of its long absence.
Served with pasta or by itself as a snack.
Ingredients ( for roughly 30 chips)
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 medium zucchinis sliced angly
Salt & pepper to season
Dried parsley flakes to garnish
Preheat oven to 375 deg F ( 190 deg C)
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl stirring with a whisk. Season with salt & pepper.
Place milk in a shallow bowl.
Dip the zucchini slices in milk and then dredge in the Parmesan mixture.
Coat the baking tray with cooking spray and then place the coated slices on the tray.
Garnish with the dried parsley flakes.
Bake on the oven for 30 mins or until browned and crispy.
Serve immediately. It will disappear fast !!
Chock ful of protein, eggs are an excellent way to get this essential nutrient. Simply scrambled or whisked into quiche, having eggs at home is such an easy way to whip up a quick nutritious meal in a jiffy.
Though the whole eggs have a higher amount of protein and other necessary nutrients like iron, selenium and vitamins, egg whites are not that bad either. And if you are in a low cholesterol diet, egg whites are the way to go.
Anand and I prefer egg whites because we just can't stomach the smell of cooked eggs after ostracizing them for more than a decade. But I make it a point to give my girls whole eggs everyday.
I have recreated a basic scrambled egg whites recipe with mushrooms and spinach. I am power packing this dish with the goodness of egg whites, mushrooms and spinach. What better way to start the day?
We had this when we were in Hyatt Orlando and it was so so delicious.
Ingredients ( for 2)
2 tbsps EVOO
1/2 medium yellow onions, sliced
2-3 button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup firmly packed spinach
3 egg whites
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat EVOO on non stick pan and fry the onions followed by the mushrooms. The mushrooms will give out water, so fry till the water evaporates.
Then add in the spinach and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Again, fry till the water from the spinach evaporates.
Season with salt & pepper at this point.
Best the egg whites and add into the pan.
Fold in the egg whites to scramble in big pieces. Or break it up into smaller pieces. It's totally your game:))
Serve hot anytime of the day with a little hot sauce for spicing up your dish.
Roasting Vegetables, instead of frying, helps retain their nutrient value because nothing is lost in the cooking water or in the steam. I had a request for this recipe Roasted Vegetables which has an incredible flavor and is so simple to make.
Ingredients ( Serves 3 )
2 tbsp EVOO
I medium yellow onion(sliced thickly)
3 medium potatoes (skin scrubbed, eyes removed and cut into big cubes)
I small zucchini (sliced thickly)
1 small red / green bell pepper( cut into cubes)
1.5 tbsp potato seasoning mix ( See note below)
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F ( 180 deg C)
Heat a big pot on medium heat and add in the EVOO.
In goes the sliced onions first, after 2 minutes. add the seasoning mix, potatoes, zucchini and red pepper.
Sauté for 10 mins stirring occasionally to prevent the vegs from sticking to the pot.
Switch the fire off and place the entire contents of the pot onto a baking tray.
Spread the vegetables out evenly and bake for 30mins or till vegetables are all cooked and browned. Check by piercing with a fork or a knife.
Enjoy hot with any western dishes. It goes perfectly with Mac & Cheese (which is the next recipe on the way).
Note: If you are not keen on using store bought potato seasoning mix because of the preservatives, you can make your own using the recipe below.
I tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Mix everything in a bowl. Leftovers can be stored in a container.