Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest Canada
Introduce vegetables to old favourites for healthy family meals. This well-loved macaroni dish is delicious with mushrooms, peas and red pepper added. Using a small amount of powerful blue vein cheese adds flavour, but not too much fat.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Cook the macaroni in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until almost al dente. Add the peas for the final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain the macaroni and peas well.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and cook the red pepper for 1–2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2–3 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer until thickened.
Add the mustard and blue vein cheese with pepper to season, and stir until the cheese has melted. Add the pasta and peas and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish.
Mix the Cheddar cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle this over the pasta mixture. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbling hot. Serve mushroom and cheese macaroni immediately.
22 g protein
17 g total fat
5 g saturated fat
25 mg cholesterol
43 g total carbohydrate
13 g sugars
6 g fibre
404 mg sodium
*Frozen vegetables often contain more vitamin C than fresh ones. For example, frozen peas retain 60–70 per cent of their vitamin content after freezing and maintain this level throughout storage.