I'm all about finding ways to lighten up favorite foods, as long as it doesn't involve using zucchini, Greek yogurt, or Fiber One cereal. I want my food to taste like the "real thing," so these replacements just don't do it for me.
On the other hand, Marlene Koch is a magician in the kitchen. Her ability to slash sugar, fat, and calories from everyone's favorites while retaining the tastes we love, puts her at the top of my list for "go to" recipes. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of her cookbook, Eat What You Love, but in the meantime I've been visiting her website, www.marlenekoch.com, for this week's meal plan.
These macaroni and cheese muffins come in at 127 calories or 3 WW Smart Points each.
INGREDIENTS - 12 servings
8 ounces small elbow macaroni (about 2½ cups)
2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place foil or paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray
2. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and immediately return to the pot. Add the cheese and stir until it is nearly melted.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and milk. Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Pour the milk mixture over the macaroni and mix well.
4. In a small bowl combine the butter, garlic salt, and breadcrumbs. Scoop the macaroni mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tins (it will be wet and milky, but don’t worry, it will bake up fine). Sprinkle 2 teaspoons crumbs on each and bake for 20 minutes.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (1 muffin): Calories 127 | Carbohydrate 18g (Sugars 1.5g) | Total Fat 3g (Sat Fat 1g) | Protein 9g | Fiber 3g | Cholesterol 20mg | Sodium 210mg | Food Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Lean Meat | Carbohydrate Choices: 1 | Weight Watcher Plus Point Comparison: 3 Smart Point Comparison = 3
There are no false notes--or tastes-- in these quick fix mac and cheese muffins. They have the same delicious flavors of the macaroni and cheese you crave and reheat perfectly in a microwave at 50% power. Either served as a side dish with a grilled flank steak and green beans for dinner, or with a big tossed salad for lunch, this is real food that satisfies at a fraction on the caloric cost. Marlene is a nutritionist who is also an excellent cook.