Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

Ingredients
3 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
2 large yellow summer squash
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
Optional: salt and black pepper

Directions
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.

In a large pot, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar to the size of penne, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.

Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

Add spinach and tomato to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomato is soft, and most of the excess liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Drain any remaining excess liquid. Set aside.

Place cheese wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to break them up. Add sour cream and cheese slices, breaking cheese slices into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.

Add cheese mixture and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. Top with bacon. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 1 cup): 227 calories, 5g fat, 491mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugars, 13g protein

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Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

I have been testing new recipes to make sure that I stay on track with my diet. I feel like I am getting my momentum back and don’t want to loose it. Today for lunch  I made a low calorie mac and cheese. The one thing that I have found so hard to give up during this diet. Again this is another recipe from Hungry Girl show. This episode aired yesterday on Food Network.

Ingredients
3 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
2 large yellow summer squash
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
Optional: salt and black pepper

Directions
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.

In a large pot, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar to the size of penne, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.

Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

Add spinach and tomato to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomato is soft, and most of the excess liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Drain any remaining excess liquid. Set aside.

Place cheese wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to break them up. Add sour cream and cheese slices, breaking cheese slices into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.

Add cheese mixture and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. Top with bacon. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 1 cup): 227 calories, 5g fat, 491mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugars, 13g protein

I did not have the spinach today to mix in but it still turned out okay. Now I am not going to lie and tell you that this is the best mac and cheese that you will ever have because it isn’t. There is nothing like some crock-pot or baked mac and cheese, but to curb my craving for this cheesy goodness it did the trick. It is a decent dish to help get through this diet without feeling deprived.

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