Happy New Year… it’s diet season again!  But no one really wants to give up the foods that they love.  Mac and cheese is just so delicious and comforting and irresistable, as can be seen by the fact that most of it was gone by the time I got to take a picture… but you get the idea of what it looked like before the madness.  The problem is, this wonderful carb-dairy combo can absolutely kill the buttons on your pants.  Literally.  It will pop them right off.  Luckily, Weight Watchers has a recipe that is a really good, adult-tasting, mac and cheese without all of the guilt afterwards.  I’m no spokesperson for WW, but I should note that I like a lot of their recipes!  For this one I switched it over to wheat pasta, which made me feel better about the fact that I added more cheese…

Here is the info (adapted from Weight Watchers): 

1 box (13.25 oz) whole wheat pasta, I used medium shells
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 can (12 oz) fat-free evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (or use a mix of cheeses if you like!)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp dried bread crumbs
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cook pasta until it is al dente (a little undercooked), drain and transfer to a large bowl. While it is still hot, stir in the FF sour cream.  It smells very sour creamy, but don’t let that scare you!  It will be good in the end, I promise! 

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it looks like it is about to boil, but isn’t boiling yet (little bubbles around the edge of the pan). Lower the heat, add the 1.5 cups of shredded cheese, and stir them together until cheese melts.  It will only take a couple of minutes. 

Remove it from the heat and stir in the mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Add the cheese mixture to the pasta mixture and stir them together.

Transfer the whole thing to a casserole dish.  I tend to go for a wider, shallower dish so that there is more surface area exposed for the crunchy toping, but you can really put it in any casserole that you please.  Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle the mixture over the pasta.   Bake it for about 30 minutes, or until the top is looking crispy crunchy delicious.  Enjoy!

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