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Really, really good lowfat mac and cheese?

sushieat Apr 3, 2007 08:03 PM

On my weight loss plan, I find myself craving mac and cheese all the time! All the lowfat recipies I find are disgusting - any tips for making it myself so it will actually taste good? I know it won't be the same as full-fat, but something close would be nice (and if it was orange colored, even better!) Thanks-

  1. CookieGal Apr 3, 2007 08:10 PM

    I make a killer full fat mac and cheese... but 2x now I have made a low fat version, and really enjoyed the results... in fact it was way creamier.

    I made a basic roux, but used "Earth's Balance, Natural Buttery Spread < Non gmo non hydrogenated, no transfat, vegan spread" then added Whole wheat flour, must powder, hot sauce, sea salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Then added a blend of low fat mozzarella (use cheddar if you want it orange) and low fat cream cheese, with soy milk.
    I use whole wheat noodles and considering it's missing all the fat, it's pretty indulgent tasting.

    1. b
      butter Apr 3, 2007 09:00 PM

      This isn't from scratch, obviously, but I always add cheese to whatever boxed version I make (such as Annie's Organic, or Trader Joe's). If I'm trying to be healthy I will cut down on the butter, use soy milk or 1%, and then add lowfat cottage cheese. The cottage cheese will melt and add a lot more to the dish (and of course a ton of protein).

      Add a side of steamed broccoli or asparagus and it's the perfect healthy comfort-food meal.

      1 Reply
      1. re: butter
        hotoynoodle Apr 4, 2007 10:42 AM

        interesting report in salon recently that annie's and kraft mac and cheese are nearly identical in nutrition data.

      2. w
        wolive Apr 3, 2007 09:56 PM

        The Moosewood Lowfat Cookbook has a great recipe for macaroni and cheese. It uses lowfat cottage cheese, which you process in a food processor so it's creamy. You mix up the sauce with uncooked macaroni and bake it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wolive
          irishkevbo Apr 3, 2007 10:04 PM

          Use wheat shells, use half the butter, lowfat milk instead of cream, wheat flour for the roux, and low fat cheese. Or you could make the real deal and realize if you want to lose weight you're going to have to eat smaller portions of the food you like and dod the bad stuff for breakfast and lunch, not at night. Going on a diet only helps to lose weight but never keeps it off, change your whole approach to food and don't make yourself feel guilty when you indulge, just do it 1 day a week, not everyday.

          1. re: wolive
            prunefeet Apr 4, 2007 02:56 PM

            New York Times had a recipe like this a few months back...it got a lot of attention, I haven't tried it yet but it sounded intriguing...

          2. j
            jsaimd Apr 4, 2007 08:52 AM

            I would start by slowly reducing the amount of saturated fat in the recipe and reducing serving size. I learned to wean myself from very rich food and large serving sizes over time, and that made it painless. Now, that is just the way I eat and it doesn't feel like I am depriving myself. So, first, reduce the fat in the milk, and you can reduce the amount of cheese or use low-fat cheese. You can also make it with the sharpest cheese you can find - you need less to get the flavor. Also, you can use evaporated milk or blended cottage cheese for creaminess. Then, add flavor with something besides cheese - I use mustard powder and smoked paprika and garlic, and if my kids won't complain onion. Remember that a lot of calories come from the serving size of the pasta. So, I also eat the sauce on spaghetti squash and even sometimes, if I use sharp cheese, diced tart apples - yum. Finally, add a large side of veggies/salad. It helps to fill up on other things.

            1. a
              atomic Apr 4, 2007 11:37 AM

              Try using nonfat evaporated milk in place of whole milk. I hear this is pretty good, but I've never tried it myself. 2nd the idea to use lowfat cream cheese or cottage cheese (higher protein).

              1 Reply
              1. re: atomic
                dietfoodie Apr 4, 2007 01:49 PM

                That's something I do a lot, use non-fat or low-fat evaporated milk instead of whole milk or cream. It really depends on the recipe, but I've had good results, especially with soups and casseroles (and chicken pot pie).

                As irishkevbo said above, the best option really is to just enjoy a small serving (and, yes, it's depressing what an 'official' serving of some foods is) of the real stuff when you can budget it in your diet and go without otherwise. (Cheese was a 'red light' food for me, so I feel your pain.)

                Has anyone tried using the Laughing Cow wedges or low-fat Cabot cheddar in cooking, by the way?

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