Zesty macaroni and cheese
Unless I was one step short of starving, I never could tolerate more than the smallest serving of macaroni and cheese. It was too bland for my taste, and too stodgy. In a word -- blah. So my wife did some experimenting and came up with a winner.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Looking around for something to improve the acceptability of the macaroni dish, she turned to some of the offerings from teh vegetable garden. The result -- blah turned to zesty and a single dish became a balanced meal in itself.
My wife was inspired in part by a recipe in the natural foods cookbook, "Wings of Life," by Julie Jordan (Trumansburg, N.Y: The Crossing Press). Ms. Jordan added a medium onion and a green pepper to the otherwise ordinary macaroni and cheese. Why not go further, my wife thought. So she doubled the onions and peppers and added a medium-sized zuchini. Then she threw in a handful of mushrooms for good measure.
Here then is the recipe: Macaroni and Cheese With Garden Vegetables 1 cup macaroni elbows 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated 2 medium onions, finely chopped 2 green peppers, finely chopped 1 medium zucchini, diced 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/4 cups hot milk 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs Handful of mushrooms, sliced 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt Dash of paprika
Bring 4 to 5 cups of water to the boil and add macaroni. Allow water to return to the boil and cook macaroni 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Place lid on pot and remove from burner. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Saute onions, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms in butter.
Pour hot milk over breadcrumbs and 3/4 of the grated cheese in a large bowl. Add sauteed vegetables, beaten eggs, and salt and stir. Add cooked macaroni and mix in well.
Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350 degrees F. oven for 30 minutes.