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My son and husband LOVE mac and cheese. I usually make this version. I decided to give this an Eat Like Alton makeover.

Mac And Cheese Madeover

The first change I made was to add about 1/4 cup of wheat germ to the flour butter mixture before letting it bubble. I love wheat germ, I add it to smoothies, sweet breads and a family favorite is toast with peanut butter, honey and wheat germ. It’s a great snack.

The second change I made was to use whole wheat elbow pasta. I found a store-brand in our local grocery store, but there are also name-brands out on the market too. I cooked it a little longer than the 8 to 10 minutes suggested, thinking that often whole wheat pasta is tougher, but I may have overdone it. The pasta had no tooth and was just this side of mushy. Next time I’ll follow the time suggestions on the bag.

What are those little orange specs you wonder? Carrots. I put about 1/2 a cup of baby carrots in our mini food processor and tossed these in just after adding the milk. These cooked up, but still had some texture after the whole thing was baked. My husband said he liked them and although it caused my son to stop mid-song and ask “what are those orange things” after hearing they were carrots, he ate up as usual.

The two other changes I make from the recipe above: I have an older version of this recipe, before they modernized it with ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce, though I bet those would be good additions. I usually add a little bit of nutmeg, and on top I add bread crumbs or panko.

Close up of mac and cheese

The end result tasted very similar to my usual mac and cheese, both guys liked it, and this recipe makes plenty for left overs. Next time I’m going to add spinach at the same time I add the carrots. I love spinach, but the other folks in my house are not fans.

Lets recap: I added 2 whole grains (whole wheat pasta and wheat germ) and carrots, both on the ‘eat every day’ list. It’s still mac and cheese, made with butter and cheese, but it’s a step in the right direction. Remember, pasta is a once a week food, so bring the leftovers into your  work mates!

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