Thursday, June 2, 2011

tofu mac & cheese

I read an article on a cooking site a few months ago about healthy versions of comfort food.  I made a few of the recipes, but one that stuck was a "healthy" mac & cheese recipe.  At some point over the past month, I had the possibly brilliant idea to make it but dump some tofu in it, so it would be a protein-loaded comfort food.  So I bought roughly the ingredients I remembered, plus a container of silken tofu.  


The problem with listing this as a recipe is that I didn't exactly follow one, so if you make it....good luck.  I also forgot to do several steps, but I'll include those for you.


Ingredients:
Bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 package spinach
1 pint milk
Flour
Shredded cheese
Silken tofu
Salt
Pepper
Box of pasta


Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450º.
2. Boil water.  Pour in entire small box of pasta.  Cook pasta about 2 minutes short of fully cooked (yeah, good luck with that).
3. Pour about half of the milk in a large saucepan.  Let it heat until it is steaming.  Whisk in a small amount of flour and some more of the milk.  Dump in the silken tofu and whisk until it is blended.  
It is important to use a whisk with a mad face.
4. Dig out all the half-full bags of shredded cheese in your fridge (I had mozzarella, mexican white, and cheddar).  Add and stir, add and stir.  Also add some salt (I used garlic salt because it was closer) and pepper in here at some point.
5. I used too much milk, so the sauce never really thickened all that well, but it should thicken.  Remove from heat and keep stirring.  
6. Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly.
7. Here's a step I forgot: GREASE THE CASSEROLE PAN.
8. Pour half of the mixture into the pan.  Put down a layer of spinach and then cover with the rest of the mixture.  (Note: I completely forgot the spinach here).
9. Top with the rest of the bag of cheddar cheese and some hearty shakes of bread crumbs.
You can see in the background I also forgot to preheat the oven until just now.
10. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until brown and crispy.
I also put the mixture in a casserole pan that was far too big, so it ended up being about an inch high. It was pretty delicious, especially once I topped it with some grated parmesan cheese.  The next time I make this, I'll remember the spinach, grease the pan, and will use about half as much milk.  Fortunately (for me), it's hard to go wrong with noodles, cheese, and an oven.

12 comments:

  1. You just keep trying new things. That's awesome. Glad it turned out yummy.

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  2. This is just an FYI for future... pre-shredded cheese is coated with some sort of... component...that keeps it from clumping. Which also keeps it from melting super well. Not like it matters in the long run since we're both like CHEESE GET IN MY MOUTH. But if you have the time to grate a block of cheese, you might be amazed at the difference. The end.

    PS - GOOD IDEA about the tofu, since I've never tried that now I have to.

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  3. OMG...must try this recipe....looks delish

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  4. I believe that mac and cheese is SUPPOSED to be made the unhealthy way and you eat it in spite of that fact. And that is why I make it two times a year, once for my office holiday potluck where it is requested by name and every scrap of the gruyere/goat/mozzarella cheesy goodness is consumed - and then for the Daytona 500 in February when we accompany it with Budweiser tallboys.

    I ain't using no tofu and spinach when I only get to eat this twice a year.

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  5. I think you also missed the step where you open the packet of orange cheese powder. Silly.

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  6. I wonder if you can make healthy mac and cheese with spaghetti squash?

    My goal for the month is to cook new things, so I will be trying this!

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  7. Healthy mac and cheese? Hmm... I don't know? The unhealthy stuff is so good :)

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  8. Tofu addition is so smart! I have yet to try and make homemade mac n' cheese, though D would lose his sh*t if I did. I'd have one happy eater.. :)

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  9. YUM! I would have never thought to add tofu.
    The crispiness looks delicious (although I'm sure it was hell to clean that pan)

    I LOVE that you commented on my blog that you're obsessed with cheese and the latest post on your blog is cheese-related :)

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  10. Jamaican jerk marinade is special for the fresh spices from Jamaica, which are world famous for its natural oil and aromatic contents and are low on cholesterol content compared to other spices.

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  11. YUM! so glad you shared this recipe...and I am OBSESSED with that whisk!! haha!

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  12. tofu mac and cheese?!?!?! Wha-whaaaat? How did it taste overall?

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