CJOB What’s for Dinner – Mac and Cheese!

What’s for dinner?

A family favorite, a childhood classic recipe with a healthy twist, it’s Polka Dot Mac and Cheese.

Most of us have eaten macaroni and cheese.  Maybe it was made from a box or for me, I was lucky that my mom made it from scratch.  That’s how I grew up with home-made mac and cheese.  It’s a comfort food, it’s the perfect winter food and it’s one of those recipes that is always in Top 10 of favorites.

I haven’t made Polka Dot Mac and Cheese for my family in a while.  It just fell out of my recipe rotation, so I have decided to bring it back for dinner and have the leftovers for lunch.  It’s easy, healthy and simple.

Healthy Polka Dot Mac and Cheese

Family classic with a twist of health

It’s similar to my mom’s recipe but I have switched out a few ingredients such as skim milk, low fat old cheddar cheese, added vegetables like peppers and broccoli.  I upped the flavor by sautéing onions and garlic in canola oil and using whole-wheat flour to make a roux. That gooey, cheesy sauce smoothers the whole-wheat pasta instead of white noodles.

Sweet Bell Peppers

What’s a roux?

If a roux scares you, don’t let it.  It’s a culinary technique that will change how you make a sauce or thicken a soup!  A roux is a thickening agent traditionally used for sauces and soups using flour and oil paste until the raw flavour of the flour cooks out and the roux achieves its desired colour.  There are different degrees of “browness” for a roux and they are used in different recipes.

The trick with the roux is once the onions and garlic have soften in the canola oil add the whole-wheat flour.  Mix it around in the pot, making sure that it covers all of the onions and garlic.  Cook the flour for about 1 minute and then slowly add in the milk, whisking as you go.

I hope your family loves this healthy dish, my family approves and so does the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.

Grocery List:


Fruits   & Vegetables



Herbs   & Spices

Pantry   Items

Red and yellow peppers Whole-wheat elbow pasta Skim milk Onion Canola oil
Broccoli Reduced fat old cheddar cheese Garlic Whole-wheat flour
Carrot Pepper

Eat Well…Ellen

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