Archive | September, 2015

MAC N CHEESE with PUMPKIN BECHAMEL AND BACON

 pumpkin mac n cheese (1)

Fall is here and this recipe uses one of autumn’s best vegetables in an unexpected way.  By using skim milk, pumpkin puree and a flavorful duo of cheeses you end up with comfort food at its finest.  If you don’t care for the smoked flavor of the Gouda, feel free to substitute another full flavored cheese.

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 INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 T                               unsalted butter

3 T                                         flour

2 C                                         skim milk

1 C                                        canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

¼ t                                        cinnamon

¼ t                                        ground nutmeg

½ t                                        cayenne

1 T                                         thyme, minced

2 t                                         salt

3 oz ea                               smoked Gouda and white cheddar, grated

3/4 #                                   whole wheat fusilli pasta

1 slice                                 bacon

½ C                                       whole wheat panko bread crumbs

METHOD:

Cook Pasta:  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and set aside

Prepare béchamel:  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add flour and whisk until the mixture is well combined.  Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until raw flour taste is gone.  While whisking vigorously, slowly add skim milk.  Continue whisking while mixture cooks for 5 minutes or until thick.  Stir in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cayenne, thyme, salt and nutmeg.  Remove from heat and add grated cheese.

Combine cooked pasta and pumpkin béchamel.  Pour into 9×12 oven proof baking dish.  Set aside while you prepare crumb topping.

Prepare crumb topping:  Cut bacon into small dice. Cook bacon in a medium skillet until cooked through.  Drain on paper toweling.  In the same skillet, add panko crumbs and toss lightly to coat with reserved bacon drippings.  When lightly browned, remove from heat and add cooked bacon.  Sprinkle crumb topping on top of pasta.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until topping is crisp and golden brown.

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COCONUT-LIME CHEESECAKE POPSICLES

kutv2 recipes (1)

This recipe is a delightful twist on two of my favorite things, cheesecake and popsicles!  The recipe uses non-fat Greek yogurt cream cheese in place of regular high fat cream cheese.  Yogurt cream cheese has 4X the protein and ½ the fat of regular cream cheese and all the flavor and silkiness.  The light coconut milk adds sweetness and the tropical flavor of coconut.  When they’re frozen, roll them in the coconut graham cracker crumbs and they’re a tropical paradise dessert

 INGREDIENTS:

8 oz                                       non-fat Greek yogurt cream cheese  (4X the protein and ½ the fat of regular cream cheese)

2 T                                         granulated sugar

2 T                                         fresh lime juice + zest of 1 lime

14 oz                                   light coconut milk

1  C                                       non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt

Pinch                                   salt

6 ea                                      graham crackers, processed in food processor until finely ground

½ C                                       coconut, processed in food processor until finely ground

Special equipment:  24 mini paper drinking cups and 12 paper drinking straws or thick wooden skewers

METHOD:

Prepare crumb coating for popsicles:  Combine graham crackers and toasted coconut in the work bowl of a food processor.   Pulse until finely ground and evenly combined.  Set aside

Prepare cheesecake popsicle filing:  Cream yogurt cream cheese and 2 T granulated sugar in a mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Add lime zest, lime juice and coconut milk.  Beat until well combined.  Gently fold in vanilla yogurt and a pinch of salt.

Fill molds:  Carefully pour cheesecake mixture into paper cups, filling to the top.  Cut drinking straws in half and carefully place a straw in the center of each pop.  Place on a sheet pan and freeze 4 hours or overnight until completely firm.  When frozen, remove from freezer.  Remove paper cup and quickly roll popsicle in graham cracker-coconut mixture.

Serves 24                          

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