"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"
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Malia Dell - Author & Wellness Consultant - Left
Malia's Cookbook "Food that Works" - Right



Southwestern Baked Mac and Cheese
Try this mature twist to liven up traditional mac and cheese. By making it yourself, you can make it healthful!
The cumin, peppers, and onions give this dish a distinct Southwestern flair.  Go on back for seconds
because this dish has more vegetables in it than pasta. Shhh! The hardest part is not to overcook
the pasta or the mac and cheese will be mushy. To keep noodles firm, simply boil the
noodles until they just start to soften and are al dente. They will cook the rest
of the way when they get baked in the oven.  Serve a portion of this warm
deliciousness with a side salad for an exceptionally colorful plate.


Ingredients:
(Serves 6)
1)   2 teaspoons Salt
2)   3 cups (half of a 16-ounce bag) Whole Wheat Spirals or Elbows
3)   1 cup chopped Zucchini
4)   1 cup chopped Summer Squash
5)   1 cup chopped Yellow Onions
6)   1 cup chopped Green Bell Peppers
7)   ½ cup chopped Red Bell Peppers
8)   Cheese Sauce (see recipe below)
 
Preparation:
1)   Fill a large pot halfway with cold water, add the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat,
       about 5 minutes. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium.
2)   Add the pasta; stir. Set timer for 3 minutes exactly. Do not overcook pasta, it will get
       fully cooked in the oven.
3)   Drain pasta, and return to the same pot. Quickly add the zucchini, squash, onions,
       and peppers to the pot of pasta and pour in the cheese sauce.
4)   With a large spoon, gently combine, trying not to mush the pasta too much.
5)   Pour the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish.
6)   Sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese and the remaining 2
       teaspoons hot sauce; these bake up nice and crispy!  Bake until the top is golden
       brown, about 20 minutes.
7)   Serve with a side of Mixed Salad with toppings of your choice.


The Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

1)   4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted Butter
2)   ¼ cup Flour
3)   2 cups unsweetened Almond Milk or Milk of your choice
4)   1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar Mheese, divided
5)   ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
6)   ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
7)   3 teaspoons Hot Sauce, divided
8)   1 teaspoon Salt
9)   ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
10) Optional: dashes of Turmeric and Paprika for color
11) 1 teaspoon Safflower Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to grease baking dish


Preparation:

1)   First, create a roux: Melt the butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
       With a whisk, slowly add the flour to the butter. Keep breaking up the flour with the
       whisk, pressing up against and scraping the sides.
2)   Whisk while slowly adding 1 cup almond milk. Turn the heat up to high, and whisk
       continually until the sauce bubbles, thickens, and turns white.
3)   Add the remaining 1 cup almond milk; whisking another 2 minutes until the mixture
       bubbles and thickens again. Turn heat off but leave pan on the warm burner.
4)   Add 1 cup cheese, the cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
5)   Stir until cheese is melted. Taste. This is your cheese sauce, and ultimately what
       the mac and cheese will taste like. Add more spices if desired. Set aside. 
6)   If you want to make your mac and cheese to be a nice orange color add generous
       dashes of turmeric and paprika to your cheese sauce!
7)   Preheat the oven to Bake 350°F. Grease a large glass or ceramic baking dish with oil,
       spread with your hands or a paper towel to coat all surfaces.




Mixed Salad
(an example of prepping the whole foods for the week)

Assemble this colorful salad on your Prep Day for easy grabbing throughout the week. Don’t even think about it;
just dump the ingredients directly into the plastic tub that the salad greens came in. Voilą!  Your fridge
 is now a salad bar. This Mixed Salad will serve as a dry base to build upon with toppings and
leftovers. To-go meals can be assembled in minutes and then you are out the door!

This Mixed Salad is deliberately composed of dryish vegetables so that it will last for 7 days in the refrigerator.
“Dry” ingredients will not cause the lettuce to wilt prematurely. This is why you don’t
halve the tomatoes now or add “wet” ingredients like peppers or cucumber.



Ingredients:
1)   1 (5-ounce) tub Salad Greens
2)   ½ pint Grape Tomatoes, rinsed and dried
3)   2 Carrots, scrubbed, rinsed, dried, and sliced into thin rounds
4)   Optional Ingredients to be added during the day of serving to
       the individual salads.  (See below)


Preparation:
1)   Open the tub of salad greens.
2)   Dump the tomatoes and carrots directly into the Mixed Salad container.
3)   Toss lightly with your hands.
4)   Keep covered and refrigerated. Use within 7 days.
5)   Add any of the optional ingredients you desire the day you eat the salad.

The Optional Ingredients:
1)   Leftovers
2)   Cottage Cheese
3)   Salsa
4)   Hummus
5)   Chopped Veggies
6)   Fresh Herbs
7)   Chopped Apples
8)   Orange segments
9)   Grapes
10) Raisins
11) Nuts
12) Seeds
13) Cheese
14) Olives
15) Canned beans
16) Hard-boiled eggs
17) Cooked Grains
18) Chicken or Fish.




Good Eating!!!