Monthly Archives: June 2012

Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

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So, for the past week or three I haven’t felt well. At all. So tonight, being Tuesday, is pasta night, and I just didn’t feel up to doing anything complicated, and I did want something comforting. So, homemade mac and cheese! Perfect.

The original recipe comes from Big Oven. I found it on Pinterest. I made a few small alterations. Here ya go. This makes 6-8 side servings, or 2-4 main dish servings.

Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 cupsElbow macaroni; uncooked (I used bow tie pasta, as that is what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 cupButter; (1-stick)
  • 1/4 cupAll-purpose flour (I used freshly ground flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoonDry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoonWorcestershire Sauce
  • 2 cups milk (I used soy)
  • 2 cupsSharp cheddar cheese; (8-oz), grated
  • Bread crumbs. I used Italian, but use whatever you like/have on hand

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
  2. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in cheese and cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
  3. Drain macaroni and gently stir into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake uncovered until bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving

Serve it up with some salad, or as a side dish to your favourite meal. Nom nom!

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Tropical Quinoa Salad

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Monday is salad night. So tonight we went tropical. Reminded me a bit of our week in Jamaica, actually. Or perhaps our time in Mexico/Honduras (2 days… 1 in each place. Cruise.) I found this recipe on Pinterest. Big surprise, right? It’s from a website called The Fit Cook. And because I am me, I added kale. Here’s my altered recipe (click on the recipe title to go to the original page). This serves 4-ish.

Tropical Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • about a cup of kale, sliced finely (or in larger pieces if you prefer)
  • 1 red onion, diced (I didn’t have an onion, so I skipped it. Still good, but the onion would have been better)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 – 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used dry beans and soaked them)
  • 1 lime (I just used a very generous amount of juice from a container.)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 mango (I think I would use 2 mangoes next time)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. To cook the quinoa, bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, plus a pinch of salt, and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pot or a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, kale, onion, corn and black beans, and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion and bell pepper are lightly caramelized and slightly soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the lime (or lemon, if you don’t have lime)  juice, the remaining olive oil, and the agave nectar. Whisk together and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the bell pepper, onion, corn and beans to the bowl. Add the mango and the cooked quinoa to the bowl and toss. Refrigerate until cooled. Add the cilantro, and serve.

The end! It’s sweet, healthy, and tropical. Perfect one dish dinner.