Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sometimes simple is what you need
--Quick Kielbasa Macaroni and Cheese

Quick Kielbasa Macaroni and Cheese
Comfort Food Makeovers Copyright 2005

Canola oil cooking spray
1 small box macaroni and cheese (with cheese packet)
¼ cup low-fat or fat-free milk
2 tablespoons no or low-trans margarine or butter
8 ounces turkey polska kielbasa sausage, sliced diagonally
¾ cup diced tomato
¼ cup chopped green onions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking dish with the cooking spray.
2. Boil 6 cups of water. Pour in the macaroni from the box and boil for 7 to 10 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain the macaroni well and return it to the pot.
3. Add the milk, margarine, and cheese-sauce packet and mix well.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the kielbasa slices until they’re lightly browned on both sides.
5. Stir the kielbasa slices into the macaroni and cheese mixture, along with the tomato and green onions. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 320 cal, 18 g protein, 41.5 g carbs, 9g fat, 2 g fiber, 984 mg sodium, 45 mg chol

When I'm planning the menu for the next week, I often peruse the cupboards for inspiration. Spying two boxes of Spongebob Macaroni and Cheese, I recalled seeing this recipe for doctored up boxed macaroni and cheese. It's been a long week, I've been really tired and I was so happy to have something so easy on the menu last night. Normally the boxed mac and cheese only comes out on the weekends.

I thought this was very flavorful. I like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese prepared as usual but this made it very different which was very good too. I loved the smokiness from the sausage, the tanginess from the tomatoes and the bite from the green onions. I wasn't sure what my son would think about the tomatoes and the onions but he didn't complain. He was way more into salad last night and asked for more salad twice. You never know what will be popular with him. On Sunday he asked for more green beans about four times and I can't remember the last time he showed any extra interest in green beans.

Blast From The Past: Sausage and Mushroom Pasta from February 2006. I almost forgot about that one - it went over really well in my house. I'll have to make it again soon.

Question of the Day: What have you added to macaroni and cheese (homemade or boxed)? I've added ham, tomatoes, hot dogs and I'm sure some other things I can't think of but mostly I like it straight.


Anonymous said...

I've added those items also. The only other thing I can think of is ground beef.


Anonymous said...

I may have put salsa in it once. My kids would probably love this kielbasa recipe, but I can tell you right now that they would want the kielbasa separate from the macaroni and they would pick out the green onions. Sigh. My kids are pretty good eaters except whenever a recipe is labeled "kid-pleasing"...

Henny A. said...

this mac and cheese looks delicious! i like adding sausage too, or sometimes crispy bacon. my mom used to add scrambled eggs (!) to her mac and cheese so i have a particular fondness for that.

. . . said...

hmm. we've done hot dogs in my family. i think the only other slight oddity is ketchup . . .

in college, i was a master of mixing different things with pasta roni, however!

ThursdayNext said...

I like adding ham...its a nice balance of flavors!

Anonymous said...

Canned tuna. It was a huge staple for me when I was in college and I used to make it for kids when I babysat as a teen.

Anonymous said...

My kids like a can of tuna and a can of peas mixed in at the end. I always said it was poor mans tuna noodle casserole.