Well, the best laid plans ...
A few weeks ago (before the great diet challenge began), I made this great crock pot mac and cheese from my dear friend Bethany's recipe. Wow. It was really, really good.
While Bethany's version was relatively healthy (emphasis on the "relatively" - it's mac and cheese!), I decided I would try to slim down that recipe, by subbing pureed butternut squash for some of the dairy and cheese. Another friend had once served mac and cheese with roasted butternut squash cubes in it, and it was awesome. Using the squash as a substitute sounded like a great idea. I found several recipes online, cobbled them together, and cooked.
I was crushed (in part because it left me without a dinner plan at 8 o'clock in the evening).
But I learned something. You can only cut so many corners. Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet, eat the fatty cheese, and accept that it is good.
Thus, for your dining pleasure, I bring you Bethany's Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese*, in all it's dairy goodness. Enjoy!
* Note that Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams has another Crock Pot Mac and Cheese recipe, posted in 2010. This one's a little different. Not necessarily better, just different.
Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese
10 oz. elbow macaroni or mini penne, cooked 5 minutes in boiling, salted water
1 1/2 c. milk (2% or more)
1 - 12 oz cans evaporated milk (I used 2%)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch black pepper
seasoning of choice
(I used 1 1/2 tsp. Penzey's Mural of Flavor, a salt-free general seasoning)
16 - 18 oz. shredded cheese (I used mild cheddar and mozzarella, but you can mix it up)
1/2 c. shredded parmesan
Whisk eggs and milk in a large measuring cup (or small bowl). Add evaporated milk, melted butter, salt, pepper, and seasoning. Whisk until combined.
Spray the inside of a crock pot with nonstick spray. In slow-cooker, combine par-cooked macaroni with egg/milk mixture and shredded cheese (except for parmesan). Sprinkle parmesan over top. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
|Before cooking - not terribly appetizing, right?|
|After cooking - delish!|