Monday, March 22, 2010

Me vs Kraft vs Pioneer Woman

OK - I know, I know. I've overloaded this blog recently with macaroni and cheese. The creamy fatty goodness ooseth over - I am sorry. I know what you're thinking...does this girl really feed her kids healthy foods?

YES - I do. And yes, we do eat macaroni & cheese on occasion - like once or twice a month in some form or another. But you see, I'm a little tunnel visioned, and when I wrap my head around something I don't let it go till I figure it out. Fortunately, I've found a way to make macaroni and cheese fresh and feel a lot better about it!

Here is my new recipe. It's still in the experimental stage...but it's at least now quite edible and tasty. I'm getting closer to making it taste nearly perfect!

Creamy Squashed Mac & Cheese - serves 8-10

12-16 oz dry pasta
3 tblsp butter
3 tblsp all purpose flour
3 cups low-fat milk
1 tsp yellow mustard
1.5 to 2 cups pureed cooked banana squash
.5 to .75 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt
ground pepper

Boil in salted water and drain pasta, set aside.
In a large & deep saucepan, melt butter. Turn temp to medium low and add flour to butter and stir or wisk constantly to create a roux, 3-5 minutes cooking time.
Add cold milk and stir.
Add pureed squash and mustard.
Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes, allowing it to boil, stirring often.
Add cheese, stir to melt thoroughly.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add drained pasta to the creamy cheese mix and stir to coat.

ENJOY!

Now for a little fun!





COST & NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON:
Kraft "Cheesiest"
410 Calories
18 grams Fat
49 grams Carbohydrate
12 grams Protein

LOSER
My Recipe
282 Calories
6.8 grams Fat
42 grams Carbohydrate
12.8 grams Protein

WINNER!



Now, this fun would not be complete without a comparison to a mistake I made a few weeks ago, which was giving in to a hankerin and making a recipe I found online:

Pioneer Woman's Macaroni & Cheese
512 Calories
25 grams Fat
47 grams Carbohydrate
25 grams Protein

Wow, that's all I can say, "WOW!"

Did you enjoy the sneak peek 1 hr into Jamie Oliver's FOOD REVOLUTION last night? I did - can't wait to see how he does in the states!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Interesting Article

I ran across this article today. It's got some good information in it. Some would say that articles like this "ruin" food. I guess the question that begs to be answered then, is: "Is it food that is being ruined, or is it highly processed chemically engineered food replacements - that are difficult to digest and glean nutritional value from?"

I'm the first to admit that there is a place for fast food. When I'm on the run and don't have time to eat at home or take a meal with me, my meal of choice is a Burger King Whopper Jr and a Spicy Chicken Sandwich with a cup of water. No - it's not great, and I know it. But I also know that with balance, I can "afford" those little slip-ups.

Let's just try to eat real food most of the time shall we?

Roast & Potatoes

I grew up in Idaho - yes, on the potato field side. Even though I lived in a pretty much dairy and meat free home, my husband also grew up on the potato field side, so meat and potatoes makes a showing in our home quite frequently. I don't profess to be a whiz at meat...in fact my husband usually cooks meat better than I do. And my baked potatoes? Well, they're usually a little underbaked.

I do however profess to be a whiz at CrockPot meat and potatoes. Here you go! It's in my crock right now.

Crock Pot Roast & Veggies

1 medium sized lean chuck roast
6-7 whole garlic cloves, peeled
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

tin foil
russett or red potatoes
carrots
onions
garlic salt
pepper

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in your crock.
Place the meat in the crock.
Place the garlic cloves on top of the meat.
Pour several tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the meat and garlic.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

After 2 hourse, place 1 or 2 layers of tin foil on top of the meat and let the edges curl upward to make a basket.
Wash and cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes, skins on if you like.
Peel and slice the carrots in slightly smaller bits than the potatoes.
Cut the onions to desired size - I prefer wedges.
Place the veggies to the tin foil basket.
Season with pepper and garlic salt.
Fold the corners of the tin foil toward the center.
Replace the lid.

When cooked long enough the meat will fall apart when you attempt to remove it from the crock - no matter - in fact, that means it's cooked to perfection!

I like to dip the potatoes in sweet bbq sauce or ranch....I know - extra calories.
Don't forget to add a fiber filled veggie like a green salad or broccoli.

It only takes 10 minutes to prepare this meal and it makes your home smell delicious while it cooks!

Don't throw away the AuJu (beef juice in the bottom of the crock). Strain it to remove the leftover chunks from the meat. Chill it, skim the fat off the top, and freeze it. This is the perfect base for homemade dark gravy - for the next time you make mashed potatoes.