Monday, June 20, 2011

Shells and Cheese with Broccoli - Quick Side

When my husband is not going to be around for dinner I usually don't plan an extravagant meal. I still try to make dinner healthy, but with much less effort. Tonight I knew I was going to have fresh garden green pepper strips and carrots for our vegetable side dish, but needed something with a little more substance. Neither one of my kids really "loves" macaroni and cheese, but I found a recipe online that I thought sounded delicious, Quick Macaroni and Cheese. I made some minor changes and additions and here is the result.
Shells and Cheese - Quick Side


7 oz of pasta shells
1 tbsp of butter (I used bestlife butter)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp of unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup of skim milk

1/4 tsp of salt

1 cup of reduced fat extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 small bunch of broccoli cut into smaller bite-sized pieces

Cook pasta shells according to directions (al dente). While the shells are cooking stem broccoli over the stove in a double broiler or in the microwave. If you steam in the microwave add about 1 tbsp of water.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter. Add garlic and cayenne pepper. Cook for one min. and then add flour. Cook for an additional min. and then slowly add the milk and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for about 2 mins. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese.

Place broccoli into a food processor and process until it is in very tiny bits (skip this part if your family likes the broccoli in small bite-sized pieces). Add broccoli and pasta to the cheese sauce and stir until coated.