Wednesday, October 20, 2010

pasta made healthy ........ being greedy for the leftovers...


The thought of a nice creamy cheesy macaroni n cheese gives an instant smile , an instant craving . But most of the times we brush off the idea of a hearty meal of mac and cheese just because it scares ....... for it's calorie count and virtually no fiber content . High on yum factor , the dish does not confirm to my food ideology . A dish high on fats and carbs must be accompanied with a lot of vegetables for me.

My husband loves the cheesiest of the macaroni and cheese and i had to come up with something which satiates his taste buds and my food ideology at the same time... this version of less cheesy mac and cheese has been served to people ranging from teenagers to senior citizens and one phenomenon has been repeated time and again....every time i made it for friends or extended family , all of them got greedy for the leftovers .

That 'abc' would love it , or it will be great for my diabetic 'xyz' ..... and while i would happily pack them a dabba full of this pasta , i would always cheat .....i would always keep a small bowl for my own 'xyz' ... the husband . He always asks if there is some leftover ...

As with other healthy homemade options , this one comes with a bit of additional peeling , cleaning and chopping too . But the effort can be minimized if you use the food processor or a convenient chopper , the effort is worth as you'd repeat this pasta for many meals to come.

ingredients...
( For 2-3 servings )

whole wheat macaroni pasta  2 cups ( boiled )
milk 300 ml or some more if needed
oats 1 tbsp ( heaped )
onion 1 large
garlic 4-5 cloves or as much as you like
celery 2 small sticks and leaves
I use spring onions instead of celery sometimes and it's good too
1 small carrot
4-5 florets of cauliflower
nutmeg freshly grated 1/4 tsp
black or white pepper powder 1/2 tsp or more
red chilly flakes 1/4 tsp
dried oregano 1/2 tsp ( or use fresh if available )
grated processed cheese or any other cheese of your choice 50-75 gm 
butter 2 tsp
salt to taste 

procedure...

Finely chop the onions , garlic , celery sticks and carrots using a chopper or food processor.

Heat the butter in a pan and throw in the chopped veggies into it , keep the flame low and stir fry till they are translucent but not pink ..


Meanwhile chop the cauliflowers and celery leaves too in the same chopper and throw them in the cooking mix...


Add salt , pepper and oregano and stir fry for a minute . Add the grated nutmeg and turn off the heat .


Now pour milk into a casserole dish , add the oatmeal and cook in the microwave till the cereal is cooked . This can be done in a separate pan too. In the casserole , add the cooked vegetables and mix to make a slurry with bits of colorful vegetables . Adjust seasonings . It can be made white by using just the onions , garlic and cauliflowers and it's great that way.


Add half of the cheese and boiled macaroni to this mixture ...


Grate the remaining cheese on top of it . Some mozzarella cheese will be great but i avoid as i want to keep it balanced.


I add some more milk to this as we like it a bit gooey and not dry .... also the finished dish becomes thick as it cools so adding milk is better...


Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degree C till the cheese gets golden brown on top and the pasta sauce sizzles...


Turn over the pasta so that the browned cheese is mixed up with the gooey sauce , giving a nice smoky taste.
The thickness is nice , do not add more milk if you want it drier...


 Serve in shallow dishes , i sometimes bake it in individual soup bowls or cups and serve immediately ...


I am yet to see if somebody becomes greedy for this barley  version . Well , i am the one who will choose the later always . Try replacing your pasta with boiled barley at least once . You'd love it . See one more recipe how i like barley in a tomato based pasta sauce......

Enjoy...

14 comments:

  1. hy sangeetha,

    first time here...awesome space you have with lovely collection of recipes...am your new follower now..

    do drop in at my space sometime..

    Tasty Appetite

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  2. looks yummy... i love cheesy stuff tooo.. but reducing on it .. getting health conscience you see ;-) yours looks so tempting.. i love it. will def try this dish.

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  3. You know what Sangeetha...I am drooling for your pasta here..nice presentation and recipe.

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  4. Dear Sangeeta
    Very nice recipe. I note that you have used oats. Next time I will use oats instead of roasted flour for making the sauce.
    Have a nice day

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  5. Thanks Everybody for the sweet words...

    Dear Ushnish ... the use of oats is so good , nobody noticed it yet and i have to tell every time that it has oats . It saves us from maida and some more butter . Butter is not bad but maida should be avoided.

    Having said that , fresh herbs make it so flavorful that the taste of oats is not noticeable .

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  6. nice healthy choice of using oats. The pasta version looking very inviting than the barley version.

    I have a packet of macroni with me, I dont know to cook it. This looks tasty.

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  7. Pasta looks so tasty !!! Slurp slurp !!! mouth watering !!!

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  8. I like the combination of flavors with this unique dish! Very healthy :)

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  9. Macaroni and Cheese is a classic American tradition. Yes, high in fat and calories but, the ultimate comfort food when enjoyed reasonably.
    Looks like you brought macaroni and cheese to healthy level. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Hello from Italy! I found this blog and I really like your kitchen! I'm so fashinating by Indian recipes so I hope to learn it by visiting you :) I love your Country!!!

    Skip to us, we like to exchange cultures and recipes!

    I hope you like what we do!

    Many greetings from Italy!

    www.whitedarkmilkchocolate.blogspot.com

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  11. This is a healthy mac and cheese! It would be a great way to get those veggies for folks who aren't big veggie fans. :)

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  12. Its goodbye to white sauce as far as I am concerned. Great way to incorporate oats and veggies in such a kid friendly dish. This recepie is already a big hit with my daughter.

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  13. my god i have only one word for it DROOL !!!!!

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