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Lighter Everyday Mac and Cheese

I was looking for a healthy version of a favorite comfort food that I could make for dinner and not feel guilty about chowing down on a bowl.  I haven’t tried this yet, but it will be tonight’s dinner of choice.  I’ll be using whole wheat elbow noodles and may end up adding some ground flax for added nutrition.

Lighter Mac and Cheese

Lighter Mac and Cheese

 

Everyday Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 5

According to the recipe, don’t be tempted to use either preshredded or nonfat cheddar cheese in this dish—the texture and flavor of the mac and cheese will suffer substantially. For best results, choose a low-fat cheddar cheese that is sold in block form and has roughly 50 percent of the fat and calories of regular cheese (we like Cabot brand).

Salt
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
1 (12-ounce) can reduced-fat evaporated milk
3/4 cup 2 percent milk
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or celery salt (optional)
Pinch cayenne
2 teaspoons cornstarch
8 ounces 50 percent light cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and the macaroni; cook until the pasta is completely cooked and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and leave it in the colander; set aside.
2. Add the evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of the 2 percent milk, mustard, garlic powder (if using), cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the now-empty saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup milk together, then whisk it into the simmering mixture. Continue to simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth, about 2 minutes.
3. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cheddar until melted and smooth. Stir in the macaroni, and let the macaroni and cheese sit off the heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 5 minutes, before serving.

Per serving: Cal 360; Fat 10 g; Sat fat 6 g; Chol 40 mg; Carb 45 g; Protein 24 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 720 mg

Variation: Everyday Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Peas

Follow the recipe for Everyday Macaroni and Cheese, adding 2 ounces deli-style baked ham, cut into 1/3-inch pieces, and 3/4 cup frozen peas with the macaroni in step 3.

Per serving: Cal 390; Fat 10 g; Sat fat 6 g; Chol 45 mg; Carb 49 g; Protein 28 g; Fiber 3 g; Sodium 880 mg.

Thanks to the Early Show website for this recipe!

Mango Champagne Spritzers

Not necessarily a “healthy” beverage, but certainly not one that you will be kicking yourself for drinking later.  These are delicious and extremely easy to make.  I’m posting a non-alcoholic spritzer as well.  The sorbet is healthier than ice cream, so that takes away a little bit of the guilt.  These are a BIG hit during the holidays! Just don’t drink a bazillion of these!

Mango Champagne Spritzer

Mango Champagne Spritzer

Mango Champagne Spritzers

Glass of champagne

Haggen Daas Mango Sorbet

OR

Haggen Daas Raspberry Sorbet

Add one scoop to your glass and poor champagne over top.  Delicious!!

Sweet Sorbet Spritzer

Sweet Sorbet Spritzer
SERVES 4

1 cup canned mango nectar, chilled
1 pint mango sorbet
1 pint strawberry sorbet
2 cups ginger ale, chilled

1 Divide mango nectar among 4 chilled glasses.
2 Scoop sorbets into glasses.
3 Slowly pour ginger ale over sorbets.
4 Drink immediately.

Thanks Sandra Lee for this recipe!

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

30 Day Shred

Getting Fit In Your Living Room

As soon as the cold begins to set in, we immediately dread going out for our morning jog. Some days it’s just so not worth freezing your bazoobies off!

Instead, this year invest in workouts you can do in the comfort of your own warm and cozy home. Workout dvds are a cheap and fantastic way to workout without having to step out into that winter chill.

If you aren’t ready to commit to an expensive dvd program like P90x, but still want an intense workout, try these!

30 Day Shred – Jillian Michaels
I love this video! 3 different levels of intensity and each workout is only 30 minutes. Great if you are short on time, but want an all over workout. You’ll need light handweights and a mat if you want. If you don’t have weights, use two cans of soup. It’s honestly better than nothing!

Jari Love Workout DVD

Jari Love Slim and Lean

Jari Love workouts
I love her dvds! She does a lot of weights with high reps and she doesn’t have an expensive studio or videographer, but her videos provide a great strength workout. The exercises are broken down into sections, so you don’t have to do the full hour long video if you don’t have time. Also, she demonstrates proper form for each exercise as well as modifications. No cardio specific workouts here, but you’ll break a sweat…trust me!

These are just some suggestions. If you want to try before you buy, go to your local library!! If they don’t have what you want, they can get if for you from some other library. And they are free to check out (usually for up to a week)!