Sunday, January 17, 2010

Paula Deen's Lean: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

By popular demand, I am bringing to you a dish that takes the top spot as my most favorite Mac n' Cheese recipe ever! I am so serious y'all, it is the best! I don't know if it's the cheese or the slow cooker, but something made this classic stand out and above all the others. If I have you more excited about cheese and noodles than you ever believed possible, then please follow the lean recipe below from Paula Deen's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. You will be so happy you did!


Thanks so much to those who took part in my first recipe poll. I love making over these recipes for my family, but at the same time, I want to tackle the recipes you want the most. Look for more polls to come and please take a second to cast your vote. I love the feedback!


CREAMY MACARONNI AND CHEESE
Makes 12 Servings


INGREDIENTS:


1 cup 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon Smart Balance Butter-Blend w/EVOO, cut into pieces
1/2 cup FAT FREE sour cream
3 eggs whites or 1/2 cup Egg White Substitute, beaten
1 cup FAT FREE cottage cheese
10 oz. 2% Velveeta block cubed
2 cup uncooked Whole Wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon pepper



DIRECTIONS:


Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and Velveeta. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter-blend mixture and add the sour cream, cottage cheese, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Add egg whites.


Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
RESULTS:


Know your slow cooker. I am not one to use a slow cooker very often, so when the recipe said LOW, what I later discovered was that mine was actually too warm for three hours of sitting. Next time, I will use the WARM setting if I am going to let it sit the full three hours. My macaroni and cheese was actually perfect at about two hours on our slowcooker LOW setting. Since not all cookers are created equal, it's best to watch it over the first hour, stirring occasionally. We wouldn't want to burn this masterpiece.


Instead of using the 2% version of cheddar cheese, I used 2% Velveeta. Not only does it taste great and melt beautifully, but it actually has 1/2 the fat per ounce than cheddar. In comparing the two, 2% cheddar has 6g of fat per ounce and 2% Velveeta has 3g. The Velveeta allowed me to shave roughly 30 grams of fat off the entire recipe. That is a Lean Deen Victory!


I tried a new ingredient in this recipe; Smart Balance Butter Blend with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As far as function and taste, it works as a great butter substitute. On top of that, it is packed with essential nutrients such as Omega-3 and vitamin E. Butter with benefits? Sounds good to me! If you haven't already, I would definitely suggest trying it out.


ENJOY the Mac n' Cheese!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):  161.42 calories;  5.36g fat;  20.51g carbohydrate;  9.68g protein;  1.67g fiber

10 comments:

  1. God, I love macaroni and cheese. Delicious!!!

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  2. I have never thought of cooking mac cheese in the slow cooker. What a great idea!!

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  3. I love Paula Dean.... everytime I see her on TV she makes me smile!

    Droppin' in from SITS!

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  4. Popping over to say hi.

    I really like Paula she reminds me of my own Southern family.

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  5. stopping by from sits. love your post. the recipe sounds and looks so good. I love mac and cheese. :)

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  6. I am in a war against the box mac and cheese over my husband's cheese adoration. This is my next battle!

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  7. Thanks so much for stopping by Theta Mom! Nice to "meet" you! Glad you did because I could really use some help in the kitchen! lol I've written a a few posts on my cooking method, which I call, "cut and dump." Cut open the package and dump it in! (I really don't enjoy cooking... Maybe your blog wil change my mind!

    And yay for another adjunct! I don't do it full-time, though...I teach just enough to keep me home with my kids. :)

    Look forward to blogging with you!

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  8. mac and cheese yummy. thanks for sharing
    im new to the blog world and sits...
    i welcome you to check out my blog at http://cabralfamilyblog.blogspot.com/
    and
    photosbyria.blogspot.com

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  9. It appears that you and Paula Deen have just managed to make my favorite food even better. Mac and cheese in a crock pot?! I can't wait to try this out- probably for dinner tomorrow!
    Stopping by from SITS

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