Friday, July 27, 2012

#85 Carroty Mac and Cheese

Everyone loves mac and cheese but you really haven't lived until you have have tasted it homeade and fresh from the oven. I had been looking for a recipe for oven baked mac and cheese for a while. I was thinking about trying "Four-Star Macaroni and Cheese Bake" from Kraft Canada ( but I ended up settling for this recipe from Oprah Magazine (March 2012 adapted from a recipe by Melissa Clark). The recipe can be viewed online at:

I liked that this recipe called for whole wheat pasta. I also liked the idea of the recipe being infused with carrots…any sneaky way to incorporate vegetables into a meal was suddenly appealing to this new mom!
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups whole wheat macaroni
  • 2.5 cups carrot, coarsely grated
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp mustard powder
  • 4 grinds black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400° and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
2. Grate 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces).
3. Cook 2 cups whole wheat macaroni in salted boiling water; a few minutes before pasta is finished, add 2½ cups coarsely grated carrot. Drain, then stir in 2½ cups Cheddar and 4 Tbsp. butter.
4. Whisk together ¾ cup sour cream, ¼ cup whole milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. kosher salt, ¾ tsp. mustard powder, and a few grinds of black pepper. Fold into pasta and pour mixture into prepared pan.
5. Sprinkle ½ cup remaining Cheddar and ¼ cup Parmesan on top.
6. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
(Serves --)

I would possibly consider experimenting with some different cheeses in this recipe. I wouldn't eliminate all the sharp cheddar but instead of using 3 cups I might use 2 cups and a cup of something else. Just a thought!

Monday, July 16, 2012

#84 Quinoa

My first experience with quinoa (pronounced 'Keen wah') was as a side dish at a restaurant. Impressed by its texture and taste I purchased a couple cups of it at my neighbourhood dried goods store. While making my purchase I learned that quinoa is a superfood. Being high in protein and fibre, it is a great food to incorporate in one's diet if trying to lose weight. Be sure to do an internet search on the many other health benefits of quinoa! Trust me, you won't be disappointed!
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 dash fresh lemon juice (optional)
1. In a small fry pan melt 1 tbsp of butter. Melt the other tbsp of butter in a larger frying pan.
2. In the small frying pan add the shallots and garlic. Saute until transparent.
3. In the larger frying pan, add the quinoa, and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
4. In a bowl, toss quinoa together with sautéed shallots and garlic. Add parsley, thyme, salt, and onion. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and serve.
(Serves 4)

I use Epicure Selection's Herb Garlic Salt instead of regular salt. If interested in this product, visit my website at