Sunday, January 31, 2010

Comfort Food Goes Organic (and Gluten Free, too)



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(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2010
Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese

When hubby arrived home from a long business trip to cold country, he sounded like he was getting sick. I knew exactly what he needed--good comfort food. His favorite? Macaroni and Cheese.

No! I'm not talking about Kraft, but the real thing. There is just no comparison between making it at home and anything you'll find at a restaurant or in a cardboard box (did I say powdered cheese?!!).

A recent foray into the gluten free realm has me experimenting with new and different forms of pasta. Tonight's macaroni was made with corn and Quinoa, by the the Quinoa Corporation. It was a delightful yellow color, apparently the result of the corn, and absolutely delicious. This is more than I can say for some of the pastas we have tried, and composted.

I can't claim any responsibility for the recipe, but I can share it with you, while giving full credit to my 32 year old Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. My substitutions, follow the ingredients in parentheses:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (Quinoa brand organic, gluten-free elbow macaroni)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (organic)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (organic)(for Gluten-free, use Pamela's baking mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (Sea Salt)
  • dash pepper (organic)
  • 2 cups milk (2% organic; you can use whole, if you like, but 2% made a lower-fat, deliciously thick, cheesy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced (organic yellow onion)
  • 8 oz. American cheese, cubed (organic sliced American, cut up)
Instructions:
  1. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water till tender; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter.
  4. Blend in flour, salt and pepper.  
  5. Add milk; cook and stir till thick and bubbly.
  6. Add onion (optional, but I highly recommend it) and cheese.
  7. Stir till melted.
  8. Mix the cheese sauce with the macaroni in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes, or till heated through. Makes 6 servings.
Macaroni and Cheese is a creamy, delicious complement to beef or ham dishes. For those of you who prefer to pass on the meat, this dish offers about 8 grams of protein per serving, plus a whopping 20% of your daily calcium. 

My 'comfort food' dinner on this dreary, rainy day included an organic meat loaf and organic baked apples.  Who needs dessert after a cinnamon sugar packed baked apple? Simple, but delicious. And don't forget satisfying.


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