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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 30, 2024


Dec. 9, 2001 – A bountiful Virgin Islands holiday table would seem a bit skimpy if a casserole dish of macaroni and cheese were missing from the offerings.
While this dish is definitely a "comfort food," some health-conscious folks have grown uncomfortable with the heaping serving of fat in the traditional recipe. Coming from a family of macaroni and cheese lovers — and a family with a history of heart attack and stroke, I was insipired to do a bit of culinary experimentation.
The trick to maintaining flavor while trimming fat was to use reduced-fat dairy products such as nonfat milk and low-fat cottage cheese; a reduced amount of real cheddar cheese, a sprinkling of high-flavor Parmesan cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs for the topping; and a bit of nutmeg for added pizzazz. Even if you're skeptical, give the recipe below a try. You might find that your holiday table will henceforth forever be set with this new version of an old favorite.
Skinny Macaroni and Cheese
Non-stick coating spray
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose white flour
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, if desired
1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with non-stick coating spray. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.
Stir together 2 tablespoons of the milk and flour in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining milk to almost boiling. Add the milk and flour mixture to the hot milk. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheddar cheese. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pour sauce into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Place cottage cheese in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Stir this into the cheese sauce. Gently stir in cooked macaroni. Spoon mixture into the baking dish. Stir together Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle over top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 40 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned on top and bubbling.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 205 calories, 5 gms fat (22 percent fat calories), 15 mg cholesterol, 246 mg sodium.

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