Mac and cheese gets a healthy makeover

shutterstock_216292384The holidays are behind us, and in their wake they’ve likely left a resolve for healthier eating habits to make up for last month’s seasonal indulgences.

But with winter being a lean time for fresh produce, and cold weather prompting cravings for cozying up with less-than-healthy comfort food, choosing nutrient-rich salads over carb-centric calories can be a challenge.

With a mac and cheese makeover, however, you can have your classic casserole – and eat it too. And with the addition of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, the below recipe is feel-good health-wise, while also being rich and creamy to satisfy all your comfort food requirements.

In fact, by substituting white pasta with a whole-grain alternative, and introducing flavourful veggies into the mix, you’ve got a dish that’s not only nutritionally superior, but also curbs cravings.

The following vegan-friendly recipe is a base for you to throw in leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, or superfoods, like broccoli, cauliflower or leeks. For something sweeter, try tossing in roasted squash. And for enhanced taste, use Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese in Herbs & Chives, French Onion or Garlic & Herb flavours.

Serves 4-6 people

2 cups whole-grain noodles, cooked al dente

1 cup veggies of your choice, chopped or sliced

4 tbsp. vegan margarine

1 tbsp. whole-wheat flour

1 cup plain soy milk

6 oz. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

1 cup vegan cheese, shredded

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

4 tbsp. chopped chives

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. of margarine and stir in flour to form a roux. Pour in the soy milk and stir until smooth and thick. Add Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and shredded vegan cheese and continue to stir until both are melted.

Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F). Meanwhile, combine the sauce with the cooked noodles and veggies and mix until fully coated. Place the pasta in a casserole dish and set aside.

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, melt remaining margarine. Stir in breadcrumbs until coated. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pasta and bake the dish for 20-30 minutes, or until top begins to brown. Garnish with chives and serve with a simple salad.