My coworker and I were discussing her mother-in-law’s homemade Mac & Cheese recipe a few days ago. I thought it was really interesting that she includes some tomato sauce in her version, although my coworker said it wasn’t enough to color it orange, but only deepened the flavor. This got me thinking about my use of ketchup on mac ‘n cheese, and the classic combination of stewed tomatoes as a side dish; so I searched online for a low fat mac ‘n cheese with tomatoes recipe.
Success! Thanks to Food.com, I started with this basic recipe and of course made a few tweaks. Minus the grocery shopping, this was about a 10 minute meal:
2 cups Prego Veggie Smart Chunky & Savory Sauce
1 can 98% fat free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Tbsp dried garlic
1 small can sliced mushrooms (rinsed)
1/2 cup shredded 50% less fat Cabot Cheddar Cheese
I’m usually a pasta sauce snob (aka, I avoid the jarred stuff), but I’ve been starting to buy them for use in other recipes. As tacky as Sandra Lee is, her semi-homemade concept really is ingenious. To make the sauce, I combined all of the above ingredients in a large pot over medium heat.
I used CarbaNada Egg Noodle pasta, cooked according to package directions and warmed it in with the sauce after it simmered for about 10 minutes. I was really surprised at how great the flavor was… to call this “cooking” is pretty much cheating! The use of the cream of mushroom soup makes it so rich tasting without the calories. This would definitely be a trick worth trying in a alfredo-type sauce.
I added some spinach and a diced Boca burger when I reheated it for lunch today. Adding the protein made it super filling!
Approximate nutrition for 3/4 cup pasta, 1/2 cup sauce, and Boca burger: 290 calories, 6g fat, 35g carbs, 18g protein
Are there any semi-homemade meals that you swear by?