The road warriors are back from Chicago! We traveled across the state of Iowa and over to Illinois for the weekend to stay with my sister-in-law (Joey’s sister) Amber and her hubby Jake. They are expecting a baby in a little over four weeks so this will most likely be the last time we see them until the baby arrives. So darn exciting! The other purpose of our trip was to watch Jason, Joey’s brother, play football. He’s a senior in college so we are going to try and make it to as many games as possible this season.
Before we headed out for the weekend, I found myself with a bag of quinoa pasta on my hands (more on that later). Paired with a block of cheese, it seemed like the perfect excuse to make a slightly healthier version of macaroni and cheese. I’m a sucker for a good homemade version of the cheesy stuff and figured Cooking Light would be the best place to start looking for a recipe.
Of course, they did not disappoint. The original recipe wasn’t gluten-free, but making a few small alterations quickly turned things around. I also added in some creamy Dijon mustard and paprika for a bit of tang and dimension and sharp white cheddar cheese for another punch of flavor.
After making the stovetop recipe, I spooned the mixture into four ramekins and covered the ramekins with aluminum foil. When we returned from our trip, dinner was ready to be heated up in the microwave and finished in the oven, just be sure not to top with cracker crumbs and broil until you are ready to eat.
Personally, I find the best way to eat this dish is when paired with a large side of steamed broccoli to balance out all the cheese. What’s your favorite mac and cheese add-in?
Updated 9.13 to Note: Reader Jennifer sent me a very kind and insightful e-mail after I originally posted this recipe (which called for gluten-free whole wheat crackers) letting me know that such a thing doesn’t exists since it is made with wheat, which contains gluten. She is completely right and I’ve made changes to the recipe to reflect this.
Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
*1 1/4 cups quinoa (or other gluten-free pasta) elbow macaroni pasta
*1 cup 1% milk
*2 tablespoons quinoa flour or other gluten-free flour
*1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
*1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*Crushed gluten-free crackers (optional)
*Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
*Combine milk and flour in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring constantly. Add in the mustard, paprika, shredded cheddar cheese, salt and black pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
*Add pasta to the cheese mixture and stir gently until evenly coated. Spoon pasta mixture into four ramekins. Top with crushed crackers, if desired.
*Preheat broiler. Broil mac and cheese for 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.