Noodle Cheese Bake

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz whole wheat noodles (measure dry, then cook)
  • 1 c egg beaters
  • 1 4-oz jar baby food carrots
  • 1 ½ c shredded low fat yellow cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, or a Mexican blend)
  • Optional: salt & freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spray a 9×7” pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
  • Boil the noodles until cooked al dente; drain. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg beaters and baby food carrots together until well-combined.
  • Add the cheese, and stir until blended well.
  • Add the noodles, and stir until mixed thoroughly.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Cover the pan with tin foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, and bake for 15 min.
  • Remove the foil, and bake for another 10 min, or until brown and bubbly.
  • Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving. Salt & pepper individual servings to taste.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 170 calories, 6.5 g fat, 16.5 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 13.5 g protein.

My notes:

  • I used extra-wide whole wheat noodles, but any size and shape of pasta will work. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Or, if you want to make the recipe “fun” (for kids, or for yourself), consider using ‘crazy’ shapes like wagon-wheels, bow-ties, etc.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very Low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Wildly Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Ridiculously Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Quite Low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Pretty Darn Low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.5

The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
This recipe is about as straight-forward as they come. The only thing some people might raise an eyebrow at is the baby food; but it’s all good.

So what *is* the deal with the baby food? Long story short, my sister-in-law got a “healthy cooking for kids” recipe book for Christmas, and during the holiday visit I looked through the book. I saw how the author “snuck” healthy food into various and assorted recipes, and I thought, “Well, why should extra nutrition be reserved for kids? Why shouldn’t I try to sneak some extra health into my meals? It could be a fun little challenge, anyway.” So I decided to try it.

Similar to the “tuna” noodle casserole recipe I made a few weeks ago, I have had a slight hankering for some quality [read: not-from-a-box] “macaroni and cheese” for a while – but I just couldn’t bring myself to consume a meal that I knew was loaded with cream, butter, fat, calories.

So I tried to think creatively about what might mimic a noodle-and-cheese meal while maintaining some semblance of health – and decided to try this ingredient combination.

And I must say, I think it worked pretty well. The casserole is firm (versus a more “slippery” noodle-and-cheese combination some people like), but I prefer this ‘toothy’ texture to a sloshy one. The recipe could not be easier to make, and I like the way it tastes. The flavors are simple, and some people might call the dish ‘bland’; but I prefer to call it mild. Subtle.

Anyway, to answer the primary question of “Will I make this recipe again?”, my answer is a definite “yes”. Simple, easy, quick, tasty, and cheap – that’s my kind of recipe.

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in casserole, cheese, noodles, postaweek2011, vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Noodle Cheese Bake

  1. Pingback: “Pepperoni” Veggie Bake | Savory Sundays

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