Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Healthy Mac and Cheese


This tastes as good as it looks.

With about half the cheese and fat usually associated with macaroni and cheese.

And you know where it came from?

This guy:

Good old Dr Phil - the smart-talkin', no-drinkin', weight-watchin' TV lord. Once upon a time he wrote a book about losing weight. I read it even though I'm 5'10" and 59 kilos dripping wet because I'll read anything he writes. I'm a teensy bit of a fan.

But even if you're not, some of the recipes in his cookbook are actually good! Admittedly I did change this one a tad, because I just cannot do low-fat cheese. I think I'm allergic to it or something. I'm definitely allergic to food without flavour, I know that much.

This mac and cheese has a ton of flavour, with only one cup of cheese, low-fat milk and two cans of chopped artichokes... even though I only used one. Praise be to TV, it's a welcome addition to anyone's repertoire.

Once upon a time I made Paula Deen's macaroni and cheese. It's a heart attack on a plate and it still didn't taste as good as this. I sort of want to slap myself for saying such a thing, but it's true! I'll be making it again. And again, and again, etc.

If you want to make it too, here is the original. No butter, wholemeal pasta, low-fat mozzarella. It'd probably be pretty good.

If, like me, you have to change stuff according to your own tastes, you can follow what I did. And suit it to yourself!

Bon appetit, baby!

Nonstick spray
2 cups low fat or fat free milk (I used soy)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup tasty cheese
1/5 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
8 canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 cups cooked pasta (I had no elbow pasta so had to use fusilli Jerry).


1. Preheat oven to 200C. Spray a baking dish with spray and set aside.

2. Heat butter and flour over a medium heat until melted. Stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups milk and stir constantly until thick and bubbling. You can turn the heat up if you're brave.

3. Stir in cheese and cook, stirring until melted.

4. Add onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, nutmeg, pepper, artichoke hearts and macaroni. Cook until just heated through.

5. Pour into prepared baking dish and press down lightly. I topped mine with a little extra cheese and multigrain breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbling and lightly browned, about 20 mintues.

Do you believe me? Would YOU try it?


  1. My boys LOVE macaroni and cheese so I'll have to give it a try. Artichokes? Think I'll try just one can for starters. Looks good and my repertoire sure needs expanding. Thanks!

  2. apparently pureed cauliflower through mac and cheese is really good too. I'll have to give this a go. LOVE mac and cheese. 

  3. I'd try it if I could substitute the artichoke hearts. Can I? Other than that, damned right I'll try it.

    I have to say. I've never 'met' an actual confessed Dr Phil fan!

  4. I have actually made this of my own version for some time for the kids. It is my easy peasy fall back.have never tried the artichoke though I usually just add in a cup of frozen peas/corn/carrot which the kids will eat.

  5. You absolutely can't even taste them... and I love artichokes! Even better if you blend them. It just helps the sauce go further so your pasta dish isn't dry. Hope you like it!

  6. That is such a good idea... I love cauliflower. I think they used artichokes as they have a milder flavour... but I like the idea of a cauliflower gratin-style mac and cheese!

  7. Yep, just double the sauce recipe. The artichokes have no flavour whatsoever in this, they're very bland. Even better if they're blended! But if you're not concerned about uber-healthy mac and cheese, just make more sauce, it'll be awesome x

  8. Veggies in mac and cheese are the best! I especially like corn, as it's very sweet and adds a nice flavour. What a smart cookie you are :)

  9. Why fusili? Because you're silly!

  10. Yay! That's look yum - so trying it :)

  11. I'm making this tomorrow it looks and sound delish! X

  12. did you do it? how did you go? man, it's so good.

  13. I'm also a fan of Dr Phil, although I usually keep this a deep dark secret, tee hee. I also forgot that I have his cookbook somewhere & must find it. Thanks for this recipe, I've never eaten an artichoke before, but will give it a try. First time visitor, am enjoying your blog.

  14. Oh I'm pleased, welcome! Artichokes are delicious, but you can't taste them in this x