Not-So-Classic Mac & Cheese

I’ve always considered Mac & Cheese an ultimate comfort foods However, as I got older, I started eating gluten-free and my taste buds evolved a bit and boxed mac and cheese lost its appeal.

Banza 2

I came up with a healthy gluten-free mac and cheese recipe using Banza noodles made from chickpeas. They are high protein and have a unique texture. I think they taste especially great in this mac & cheese recipe and add something interesting to it.

Banza 1

A fellow blogger recommended cooking the noodles in chicken broth for extra flavor which was a great idea. I also threw in some broccoli to cut down on the carbs a bit and add some extra veggies. However, that is totally optional and can be omitted. This is a great recipe for a healthier twist on classic Mac & Cheese that both kids and adults will enjoy. This recipe will make about 3-4 servings as a side dish or 2-3 servings as a meal.

Ingredients (Total time: 30 min. Serves: 8):

  • 1 box Banza Noodles
  • 2 cubes chicken bullion
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all purpose flour (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ cups shredded parmesan
  • extra salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook noodles in a medium pot according to package directions, but throw 2 cubes of chicken bullion into the boiling water. Once cooked, drain, place back into pot and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli until completely cooked, drain and place in pot with noodles.
    In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Let the mixture bubble for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring the entire time.
  3. Slowly add milk to flour mixture about ¼ cup at a time whisking the entire time. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the next ¼ cup of milk. Repeat until you have added all the milk and until the sauce is nicely thickened. Continuing to whisk the entire time.
  4. Whisk in paprika and garlic powder. Once incorporated, add in all of the cheese and whisk until totally melted.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and broccoli and mix in cheese sauce.

Whole 30 Compliant Curry Chicken Salad

I am currently about 1/3 of the way through my first Whole 30. At the end of the month, I am going to post a bunch of tips as well as more about my experience with the challenge. For now, I have a recipe that I came up with last week for a curry chicken salad.

Chicken Salad

I made a big batch of it last Sunday and had it multiple times during the week. It was a nice break from some of the more plain meals I have been making and was very flavorful and filling.

This recipe makes about 8 hearty servings and is completely compliant. Just make sure you check the labels on all of your ingredients. If you prefer, you can easily swap the almonds for cashews or pecans. This would also be delicious with fresh grapes instead of raisins I just didn’t have the patience to cut a bunch of grapes in half.

If you’re not doing Whole 30 this is still a great dinner idea, you just don’t need to be as worried with the mayo that you use.

Ingredients (Serves: 8):

  • 2.5 lbs chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup compliant mayo (either primal kitchen or homemade)
  • 3 Tbsp. mild curry powder
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 2/3 cup diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 ½ medium apples chopped (I used gala)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake, depending on thickness, for 12 – 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool off.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine mayo and curry powder. Add in raisins, celery, carrots, red onion, apples, and almonds.
  3. Once chicken has cooled off, either shred or cut into small cubes. Mix in with vegetables and mayo until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Refrigerate at least 3 – 4 hours or overnight before serving.
  5. Serve with lettuce cups of either romaine or butter lettuce to make wraps.

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 
There is nothing quite like a piece of buttery, delicious quiche. However, it’s generally a more heavy dish and I’ve found making a gluten-free pie crust to be fairly difficult. I fixed that by making a naturally gluten-free crust made of sweet potatoes.
IMG_9415

It turned out wonderfully and the sweet potatoes were a great substitute for a regular pie-crust. I am sure that you could experiment with this and try using potatoes as a crust instead of sweet potatoes. You can also be flexible as far as what you want to add to the egg mixture. Just try to keep the veggie ratios somewhat similar. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did!

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Ingredients: (Prep Time: 30 min. Total time: 90 Min. Serves: 8):

  • 1.5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oi
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar (I used reduced fat)
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a pie dish with ½ tbsp olive oil.

2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Then cut them into very thin slices, around 1/8 in. thick and layer them in the pie dish so that the bottom and the sides are covered. Place in the oven for 15 min until the sweet potatoes have softened slightly.

3. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).

4. Then add the kale, mushrooms and zucchini to the pan. Sauté them very briefly (about 1 min), remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool to about room temperature.

5. Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

6. Add cooled vegetables to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the pie dish with sweet potatoes.

7. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until the middle of the quiche does not jiggle.

8. Remove from oven, allow it to cool slightly before serving (about 15 min). Enjoy!