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low car mac and cheese?

I can't remember if we have covered this in this forum. I saw several mac and cheese recipes which mainly trim the fat--cheese and dairy. The most intriguing was a macaroni-broccoli bake using broccoli in the crunchy topping.

Do any of you have a lower carb mac and cheese? I am willing to use whole wheat macaroni. I would also like less fat in the recipe. Is this just a fantasy?

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  1. Hmm, a low carb Mac and Cheese will be very tough because of the Mac.

    <I am willing to use whole wheat macaroni.>

    Whole wheat flour has the same amount of carbohydrates as refined white flour.

    Whole wheat flour: 87 g of carbohydrates in 120 g of flour
    All purpose white flour: 95 g of carbohydrates in 125 g of flour

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/c...

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/c...

    For low fat Mac and Cheese, you can use low fat milk, but I don' think that will taste nearly as good.

    1. You could try it with tofu shirataki noodles, but I'm not sure if that would work out. 3 carbs per serving.

      1. Low carb and low fat is going to be hard to do. Check out the shirataki mushroom noodles for low carb substitutes.

        1. When I make a pasta dish (from actual pasta) and try to get the carbs down to an acceptable level per serving, I sub in veg. Either cauliflower for texture or squash for cheesy things.

          Edward Lee has this recipe I am going to try tonight for dinner: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

          I will make a few subs- add some nutritional yeast to cut down a bit on the cheese, fat free half and half or yogurt/sour cream mix instead of whole milk.

          Here is one with no cheese at all and you could mix in broccoli or cauliflower to sub for half the pasta. I haven't tried it yet, but I have made a "cheese" sauce similarly (before) and liked it. I like cheese but I try to cut it down a bit when I can. I like the squash/cheese/nutritional yeast combo the best.

          http://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/03/butt...

          3 Replies
          1. re: sedimental

            I have made the sauce from ohsheglows before-its amazing!! (Ps you must try her avocado pasta sauce- crazy good on anything)

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Yup. It is a balancing act....what tastes good, what is healthy, what is ethically acceptable.....it all matters.... Just on different days :)

              I really try to keep a balance of heathy and tasty each day. I only go "off rails" on weekends. I will check out the avocado pasta sauce......to be sure :)

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                I can't wait to try that avocado sauce - it sounds amazing. I'll maybe toss it on some roasted cauliflower though, instead of pasta. Wow, thanks for the mention of it.

            2. http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/mockafon...

              not so low fat, but i suppose you could use neufchatel instead of cream cheese.

              1. I make low-carb mac and cheese by subbing extra-firm tofu, cut into macaroni-sized pieces, for the mac. My cheese sauce is thickened/emulsified with pureed cauliflower and cream cheese rather than the traditional roux. It is delicious - my DH actually prefers it to the real thing. It is not in any way low-fat, though. You could use lower fat cheeses, like neufchatel and reduced fat cheddar, but it wouldn't taste nearly as good.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Sure - it changes every time I make it, depending on what type of cheese and dairy I have in the house, but the basic recipe is:

                    2 pkgs (12-16 oz) extra-firm tofu (not silken), drained, pressed and cut into macaroni-sized pieces
                    10-12 oz frozen cauliflower (you can use fresh, of course - a pkg of frozen is just easier)
                    2-3 oz cream cheese (fresh goat cheese also works well, or even sour cream or yogurt if that's what you have)
                    1/4-1/2 c. heavy cream or half and half
                    2 oz Velveeta or American (this helps emulsify the sauce - it's optional, but it really helps smooth things out)
                    12-16 oz grated cheese (usually mostly sharp cheddar, with some gruyere or whatever else mixed in)
                    salt, pepper, cayenne and dry mustard to taste
                    pork rinds or parmesan to top (optional)

                    Cut up the tofu and let it drain while you make the sauce. Boil the cauliflower in water until it's completely soft, then drain and place in a blender. Add cream cheese and heavy cream and blend until completely smooth.

                    Pour this mixture into a saucepan (or I often use an oven-safe saute pan with high sides that I can just bake the mac and cheese in) and place over medium heat. Add the other cheeses by handfuls, stirring until melted, until all the cheese is incorporated. Season as desired. Gently fold in tofu, mixing well to coat.

                    Transfer this mixture to a buttered baking dish (or smooth it out in the saute pan if you want to bake in the same pan). Top with parmesan and/or crushed pork rinds and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until top is crispy and sauce is bubbling (you can run it under the broiler, too).

                    SUPER delicious and very versatile - you can use just about any cheese and any type of dairy in the sauce. I've been meaning to try the extra firm tofu with a carbonara-type sauce as well. It's kind of amazing how much it mimics the texture of pasta in this - it's a little softer than traditional al dente pasta, but it really works. Now I'm craving it!!!!

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      I'm planning to make macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving and I'm really tempted to use this recipe!

                1. Whole foods seves up a baked summer squash casserole on the hot food bar that kind of has the same flavors as mac and cheese. You might try looking for a similar recipe, but it is certainly not low fat!

                  1. OK, I want to use this occasionally as a treat, esp. in the winter. I understand this dish cannot ever be totally low in carbs. I would settle for reduced carbs and lower fat.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Oh by low carb I thought you meant truly low carb, including vegetables (which is why I wasn't sure if the summer squash casserole would fit the bill). http://www.peasandcrayons.com/2011/01...

                      Or if you are craving real Mac and cheese, have you tried a higher fiber pasta? Trader Joe's has one that isn't whole wheat. I also love using cottage cheese in baked mac and cheese.

                    2. I made the Edward Lee (Smoke and Pickles) recipe for the kabocha squash Mac and cheese....fabulous! Not kidding, it was great. I used nutritional yeast instead of all the cheese. It was great.

                       
                      1. The two most popular mac subs I know of are chopped cauliflower and tofu chunks.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mcf

                          Celeriac works as well as cauliflower; even better, some think.

                          1. re: magiesmom

                            I've never heard of that variation for mac and cheese; too strong and distinct a flavor for me. I've used it as a potato sub in my favorite gratin but didn't like it, as compared to rutabaga or even baby white turnip. But that doesn't mean it won't work.

                            1. re: mcf

                              My family and friends adore it.