Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Even though it's still in the 80's outdoors, it is, after all, fall. The leaves are already starting to turn. So, too, are my thoughts...to soups and stews and other comfort foods of autumn. At a recent farmers' market I bought some frozen crab cakes. Today was a busy day with an hour's drive to the dentist, so I decided to make the crab cakes with a salad of radicchio and romaine. What to do about a side dish? I just happened to have a brick of Cabot's 50% reduced fat Cheddar cheese and a box of Ronzoni Smart Taste penne. If you are interested in making healthier choices and haven't tried either of these products, you really should. I highly recommend both. They TASTE good and the cheese actually melts. Since I am still trying to focus on healthy eating, I toned down the roux considerably without sacrificing too much taste or texture. I also decided to forego the bread crumb topping since the crab cakes already had bread crumbs. I was pleased with the taste and the ease of preparation. Remember, this is NOT your usual decadent, fat-infused mac n' cheese. It is, however, a quick and healthy substitute when you want some daily points (WW) left over for another indulgence.

4 Servings (4 pts each)
2 cups dried pasta (elbows, penne, wagon wheels)
4 tsp all purpose flour
1 tbs Olivio
1/2 cup fat free milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 brick (8 oz) Cabot's 50% reduced fat Cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain and place in a bowl sprayed with non stick cooking spray.

Using the same pot, melt the butter and add the flour over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until the flour browns lightly. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken. Add the cheese while continuing to whisk until it is fully melted. Add to the pasta and mix thoroughly.

TO TURN THIS INTO AN ENTREE: Steam or broil or grill 8 oz of turkey kielbasa. Cut into rounds and add to the mac n' cheese. Serves 2.


  1. Mac n Cheese is a comfort food to us here at home. I don't think you can ever have enough or too much of this wonderful pasta dish. Considering all the delicious toppings or all the wonderful things you can add to it, one basic recipe for good Mac n Cheese is all you need. Thanks Arlene, great post.

  2. I will only eat Cabot cheddar. After living in VT, we have to stay loyal! So glad we can get it in FL. That mac n' cheese looks awesome! I am all about the healthy twists!

  3. Mmmmm I made something like a mac 'n cheese last night! Jumbo elbow macaroni, store-bought low fat alfredo sauce, parmigiano reggiano cheese, LOTS of black pepper, a splash of white wine and some fresh basil leaves thrown in...... It was SO delicious!

  4. Homemade Mac n'cheese and a good salad.. Whew, I'm a happy camper. Homemade is soooo much superior than the fake stuff that comes in a box, and you add milk and butter to cooked maacaroni, plus the fake cheese. Yuk

    Hugs, Peg

  5. I love this! it looks simple, but delicious. And I'm going to look for that cheese, too!


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