Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

Two things I have been doing far too much of lately: Watching The Real Housewives of Orange County and craving, then eating, cheese.

The former will be soon remedied (Housewives‘ season is ov-ah! but lives on in reruns & TiVo) and the latter: oh, I don’t know. I’m not usually a big fan of cheese but I’ve been crazy for it lately, particularly melted, gooey, and topping a starch.

One of the highlights of last weekend (Jenny & I high-tailed it to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake) was eating The Buttery’s Welsh Rarebit. Mmmmmm, it was amazing testament to English muffins, Canadian bacon, and heaps of sharp cheddar cheese. (The perfectly crisp french fries topped with malt vinegar and salt didn’t hurt either.)

Despite this past weekend’s rendezvous with fat, salt and sugar (hey, chocolate! Where have YOU been?), I’ve still been trying to eat healthier foods, so the cheese cravings have had to work around that.

Another craving hit Monday, so I whipped up Cooking Light’s Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes (sans the breadcrumb topping). I liked the macaroni, but the best part was the roasted tomatoes — warm, rich, delicious.

It figures: in trying to sate my cheese craving, I wound up discovering a new way to prep tomatoes.

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces sourdough bread, torn into pieces
1 teaspoon butter, melted
12 ounces large elbow macaroni
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Place tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.

While tomatoes cook, place bread in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until crumbly. Toss crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs on a baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.

Cook macaroni in boiling water 7 minutes; drain. Return macaroni to pan; place over medium-low heat. Add cheese and remaining ingredients; cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes. Sprinkle each serving with about 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

CALORIES 357 (29% from fat); FAT 11.4g (sat 6.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 18.1g; CHOLESTEROL 33mg; CALCIUM 350mg; SODIUM 669mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 2.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.2g

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Categories: Entrees, Grade Range: B- to B+, Lighter Fare, Pasta, Vegetarian

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