Monday, March 12, 2012

Tip Tuesday (Recipe): Veggie Mac-N-Cheese

I found the 'Tip Junkie' via Jenn from Peas & Crayons and I thought I would join in on the fun as well!

I know this isn't anything incredibly new or innovative, but one of my goals for my blog is to educate anyone who is reading about nutrition, as well as ways to increase the nutritional value of their everyday recipes.

Last night I was rummaging around in my pantry and fridge trying to think of something to 'create.' I found bow tie pasta, some cheese, almond milk and LOTS of frozen veggies.

I decided what better way to utilize these ingredients than to make a 'healthier' version of mac-n-cheese?!


Like I said, I used what I had in the pantry, which was bow-tie pasta that wasn't whole wheat (because it was on sale!), so obviously I would suggest whole wheat pasta if you can.

I also didn't make an actual 'cheese sauce.' This is more of a 'cheesy pasta.' If you want instructions on how to make a proper cheese sauce click here.

I like for these recipes to be as easy and accessible for everyone as I can make them. One of the number one issues people have in our area is that fresh produce can be too expensive for their budget. So, I use a lot of frozen vegetables in my recipes and in my own house. Plain frozen vegetables (no sauces!) are perfectly fine as a substitution for fresh produce, when used correctly.


Ingredients:
-6 oz (3 cups dry) of bow-tie pasta (preferably whole wheat)
-1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (mine had peas, carrots, lima beans, corn)
-1/2 to 1 cup finely shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend of cheeses)
-1/4 cup of milk (any kind)
-1/8 cup Plain 0% Greek Yogurt
-Salt and Pepper

Preparation:
-Boil the bow-tie pasta for 12 minutes (or follow instructions on box)
-Drain Pasta
-Add already cooked/steamed frozen vegetable mix
-Add Milk and Greek Yogurt
-Stir in cheese until melted
-Serve

How was it?
It was good! I accidently used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk instead of plain, so I think it would have been even better with plain. It was pretty stringy/cheesy, but that was fine by me.

Why add the vegetables anyway?
Adding the vegetables to a pasta dish, or any side, increases the nutritional value of the product as well as making it less calories for more volume. In this case, the peas, carrots, lima beans and corn added Vitamins A, C, Thiamin and Fiber.

Let me know what you think and happy Tip Tuesday!

Check out the whole party:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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