Some days, I just love to cook. Today was definitely one of those days. As you can tell, I’ve been obsessed with food lately, namely obsessed with trying to eat healthier. Note, I don’t want to diet. Diets are temporary. I’d like to revamp my eating for the long haul.
And so, I got into the kitchen to make a delicious supper of homemade mac and cheese (I also wanted to sock some away in the freezer for quick lunches!) For dessert, I made cranberry and clementine muffins.
First off, I’ve included my recipes. Then you can see pictures of the work in progress. I apologize for the quality of the pics; I just have a point and shoot camera. I hope I can soon upgrade to a camera with changeable lenses… especially a wide angle lens…
These recipes are variations of ones I’ve snitched from elsewhere. However, since I’m trying to eat healthier, I’ve modified them some to pack a better nutritional punch!
Homemade Mac and Cheese
This recipe has no measurements because you should be able to modify it for the size of your family. I usually make it to fit a 13 by 9 pan or large casserole dish. Liberate yourself from measurements when it comes to cooking! (Just remember them for baking!)
- Boil a pot of elbow macaroni or similar pasta.
- Grease a large pan or casserole dish (I spray with canola oil.)
- Melt a pat of butter (approximately 2 tablespoons) in a large saucepan.
- Sauté chopped onions in the melted butter. (I used red onions and they tasted fantastic! Use as many onions as you enjoy. I used half a large onion.)
- Add pepper and large pinch of ground mustard to sautéed onion mix.
- Stir in a decent amount of flour to thicken sauce (approximately 3 tablespoons for a 13 by 9 pan).
- Add enough milk to make a sauce to cover your macaroni. This may be as much as 3 or 4 cups, depending on your dish size.
- Once your milk pot is hot, stir in cheese. Lots of cheese. I use about 4 cups of old cheddar (this is why you don’t need to add any extra salt!) Change up the cheese for different tastes or use low fat.
- Put your macaroni in the dish, then cover with cheese sauce. Stir cheese and onions through (they tend to settle at the top).
- Top casserole with buttered breadcrumbs (melt butter and stir into crumbs). I used whole wheat bread crumbs from the Bulk Barn and left them unbuttered.
- Cook in oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until heated and yummy!
Depending on how much butter you use, and what kind of cheese, this is definitely a much better option than pre-prepared mac and cheeses. Plus the onion makes it divine!
Cranberry and Clementine Muffins
I’ve fallen in love with Cranberry Orange muffins from McDonalds. This recipe is delicious AND helps get rid of those holiday clementines and cranberries that didn’t get eaten!
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup flax flour or flax seed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup diced cranberries
- 3/4 cup honey or other sweetener
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup clementine juice
- 1 teaspoon grated citrus rind (orange)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or other fat
Combine all your dry ingredients in one dish. Then mix all your wet ingredients in a second dish.
Add wet mix to your dry mix, then stir just enough to moisten dough.
Spoon into muffin cups.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes until firm to touch and no longer “springy”… I use a hat pin to make sure there’s no uncooked dough inside.
These healthy muffins are packed with awesomeness! Enjoy without stressing!