So GoodFeb/Mar 2011 Issue

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Macaroni & Cheese

Quick, easy—and not just for kids

<br>© Oksana Charla 2010


© Oksana Charla 2010

 

Brought to you by Lundberg Family Farms.

I hadn’t tasted macaroni and cheese in over 20 years. Gluten-free versions aren’t on restaurant menus and making it from scratch—well, let’s just say, it seemed like a lot of work. But this year as winter lingered outside, I gave into craving and headed to the kitchen to develop a gluten-free, dairy-free version of this universal favorite.

My goal was to make something fast, yet flavorful. A mac and cheese full of creamy good taste without the time-consuming preparation. I had no desire to stir up a cream sauce or shop for ingredients. Instead, I quickly used what I had on hand—packaged shredded cheeses with spices added—and introduced extra flavor with sausage. Then I melded flavors (and saved time) by using the microwave.

The result? A wonderfully grown-up version of mac and cheese that speaks comfort. It’s so delicious and easy to make, I wonder why I waited so long.

Chili Mac and Cheese

START TO FINISH: 25 MINUTES

SERVES 6

This versatile recipe tastes even better the second day. To add a bit of fire, use hot sausage and replace the shredded cheese with grated pepper jack. For even more zip, stir in a small can of chopped green chilies.

3 cups (12 ounces) dried elbow pasta or 3-4 cups (8-10 ounces) other short pasta, uncooked
3-4 hot or mild chicken, turkey or pork sausages
1½ cups frozen corn
1 cup gluten-free, dairy-free chicken stock

2½ cups shredded nacho/taco cheese or dairy-free cheese substitute, divided

1. Lightly oil a deep ovenproof dish (7½x11-inch, 9x13-inch, 9-inch round).

2. Cook pasta in salted water for half the time specified on package. Pasta should be undercooked (slightly opaque but not brittle). Drain and transfer to prepared baking dish.

3. While pasta is cooking, remove sausage from its casing and crumble into a well-oiled saucepan. Sauté meat until brown. Add corn, stirring to combine.

4. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold meat mixture into pasta.

5. Heat chicken stock in the saucepan until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add 2 cups cheese. Stir until smooth and pour over pasta. Gently toss to coat.

6. Top mixture with remaining cheese. Cover dish with moist paper towel and microwave on medium-high for 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Each serving contains 431 calories, 12g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 44mg cholesterol, 683mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 20g protein.

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