Light Macaroni and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese recipe is a lighter take on the usual.  The secret is using tofu instead of lots of cheese. It might not taste as decadent but I don't feel sick or guilty after having a serving of this.  This is also really, really easy to make and makes enough for leftovers.

Light Macaroni and Cheese (Recipe adapted from thekitchn) 1 pound of pasta shells 1 lb box of silken tofu, drained 2 cups milk (I used whole) 2 tbsp mustard (I used honey mustard) 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste 2 tsp cornstarch 6 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup bread crumbs parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9" square baking dish with butter or oil (I used butter).

Bring pot of water to boil to cook pasta.  Make sure you salt your water generously, it comes out tasting much better.  Cook until al dente. Drain in a colander then set it aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium/low heat, add tofu, milk, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Use an immersion blender break up the tofu until smooth.  When it starts to simmer, whisk in cornstarch and shredded cheddar cheese. Keep stirring for a few minutes until it thickens.

Place the pasta into your baking dish and carefully add the sauce, then sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until its slightly browned and crispy. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Notes: If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a fork to mash up the tofu instead.  You can also experiment with additions such as mushrooms, artichoke hearts (like the original recipe calls for) zucchini, or pretty much whatever you feel like eating. I'd also try different seasoning such as cumin and thyme, or even rosemary and pair the dish with roasted chicken. This could be made even healthier with whole grain pasta and maybe some wheat germ sprinkled on top for more texture (although I haven't tried it).