Creamy Cheese and Mac

And I didn’t even have to steal the recipe from anyone on Pinterest! πŸ˜‰ This is perfect if you’re the one in the relationship who has been skipping out on the gym and partaking in the “no carb left behind” diet. My other half has been disciplined and diligent and I’ve been all like, “Yes I want to eat raw cookie dough for dinner!”

So if you’ve sworn to change your ways starting tomorrow, here’s to one more day of cheesy deliciousness. Since it’s far too hot to be hovering over a stove, it’s a good thing this will only take you about 8 minutes to prep. It’s a small price to pay for the creamiest, tastiest, healthiest variation of an old fashioned “homey” favorite.
What you need:
1/2 c pasta of choice (I’d use something big and hole-y)
1 T whole wheat flour (regular works fine, too)
3 T olive oil
1/2 c 2% milk
1/2 c water
handfull of cheese of choice (personally, I think the bagged shredded cheeses work just great – I used the “Mexican” shredded blend here. It has monterray jack, sharp cheddar, and something else I can’t remember)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t smoked paprika

1. Make pasta as usual.

2. While that’s cooking, make your cheese sauce: Put medium size pot over medium-low heat. Add your olive oil and remove from heat. Stir in flour and whisk until combined and golden. It should have a relatively thin consistency, so if it clumps up on you, add a little more oil. Put back on burner and immediately turn the heat down to low.

3. Add the milk and whisk constantly until it thickens. This happens FAST, so pay attention! (Mine got really thick and was too sticky to manage, so I added the water to thin it out. You may not need it.) The consistency here should also be thin and creamy, not thick. It’s too thick if it starts to look like mashed potatoes. (Random, but that’s what mine started to look like, haha.)Β Stir in cheese until melted and season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

4. Remove pasta from heat and strain. Put pasta in pot with cheese sauce and stir until combined. Add shredded spinach until wilted and tell everyone you’re eating a healthy well-balanced meal. πŸ™‚
Bring it to the pool or stay inside away from this sweltering, sticky, exhausting heat! And we have about 90% humidity…
We. Are. Melting. Today our UV index is 11, which means your skin will burn in less than 5 minutes. I’ll be taking a bath in sunscreen later, thank you very much, FL!
P.S. The giveaway winner is… *DRUM ROLL!!!*… LITA!
E-mail me at erin.motz@gmail.com and I’ll let you know who you need to contact to claim that slow cooker πŸ™‚

What’s the best thing to do on a painfully hot day? Even our pools are warm enough to be bath water, so not very refreshing. Ice cream melts in seconds, I felt like I needed to shower just from walking to the mailbox, and I’m pretty sure my shoulders burned just from standing in the Target parking lot unloading the cart!

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12 thoughts on “Creamy Cheese and Mac

  1. That mac n cheese looks ridonk! Afger a weeks’ vacation where I fully indulged at every possible chance, without any boundaries, I sadly will not be able to even THINK about pasta, wheat, cheese or anything gooey for prolly like the rest of the year. However, I like to eat frozen fruit, like raspberries or strawberries, blueberries, etc… My boyfriend is from Colorado, where it has been hotter there than here, and so I took him to the coldest place in Florida. The Icebar in Orlando! πŸ™‚

  2. It’s never too hot or to cold or to sunny or too rainy for mac&cheese. Love the addition of spinach there. I have this theory that anything green will wipe out 100% of the calories of the food you’re eating. So eat away πŸ˜‰
    We finally got a tiny little break from the heat over here. Not for long though… Stay cool!!!!

  3. I lived in Lake Havasu City in the summers while doing my phd research, so I know hot pool water. Our pool got up to 95!

    Incidentally, I ate a version of this mac n cheese very often out there. I used a box of annies though and added salsa and greens. The greens cancel out the rest of the junk.

  4. Haha! Erin, you always crack me up! Love your humor, girl :). The picture looks really great! YOU should pin some of your mouth-watering pictures on the board!
    I’m just going to go into hibernation mode..Wake me up when the triple digit temp. days are over…sigh wishful thinking…

  5. Yuck, the temps are out of control right now!! I think the best way to spend a super hot day is out on a boat. The breeze feels great and you can always jump into the water!! Now it’s just a matter of finding a friend with a boat… πŸ™‚

  6. This looks yummy! Hmmm I think my “cheat day” should come sooner than the weekend.
    When the weather gets too hot for us I head to the nearest lake or ocean water! Always colder than the pool. So refreshing! or Sangria or Smoothie popsicles always work too πŸ˜‰

    I came across your blog from your article on Mind Body Green and love your sense of humour!
    -Michelle

    • Ah, yes! I “cheat” all the time, which is why I try to make a semi-healthy version of those amazing cheat foods. Thank you so much for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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