Transform mac and cheese into a heart-healthy meal — well healthier — with this creative alternative from Food Republic co-founder, Chef Marcus Samuelsson. He recently demoed this dish on The Dr. Oz Show. The chef’s secret? This dish uses whole-wheat pasta and swaps out the traditional milk and cream for rice milk. With almost no fat and very few calories, rice milk adds the perfect twist to this classic dish. Combine with collard greens for a hearty but still healthy dinner.
- 1 package whole wheat orecchiette
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups rice milk
- 1/2 pound low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 pound, plus 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 pound gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/4 pound light creme fraiche
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parsley, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, washed and dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 2 cups cooked collard greens
- Preheat oven to broiler setting at 375°F.
- Cook the orecchiette per the package’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a stock pot, and sauté shallots until caramelized then stir in flour. Add garlic and rice milk. Continue to stir until flour is dissolved and there are no lumps. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low then add all cheeses, including crème fraiche. Whisk until cheeses are melted and incorporated into the sauce.
- Mix in nutmeg, mustard powder, salt and pepper.
- Toss pasta together with sauce and greens and transfer to a baking pan.
- In a food processor, blend panko, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper until fine.
- Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over the pasta and place in oven. Broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.