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From My Draft Folder: Mac n’ Cheese, Not!

March 22, 2011 by Joan Nova in 1-2-3 Quick + Easy Vegetable Meals, Pasta, Vegetables | 12 Comments

I’m always on to the next thing. Sometimes I move so fast, things get left behind…like the half-dozen or so half-started posts I just found in my draft folder. So while I’m currently busy working on some other things (including a no carb diet :(), I thought I’d post a few.

This one was dated October 30, 2010. Better late than never, right?


I know mac n’ cheese recipes are the holy grail of cooking. Right up there with the perfect roast chicken. Not many people mess with ‘perfection’. However, I could count on one hand the amount of times I’ve made the traditional version. It’s not because I don’t like it. I like it a lot, but I try to avoid high-fat, no-redeeming-nutritional-value meals. So, one day,  to give myself a pass, I decided to make mac n’ cheese  heavy on roasted vegetables and light on sauce and cheese. In fact, when I mixed everything together before placing it in the oven, I just allowed the cheeses to melt along with the juices from the vegetables instead of mixing in a traditional cheese sauce.


Without planning, this took on a decidedly Sicilian bent because mixing nuts and fruit into savory dishes is quite popular in Southern Italy. No, it wasn’t the traditional mac n’ cheese, but it was satisfying and the calorie/fat/glycemic count was considerably less.

And, now that I’m practicing a no-carb regime, I wish I had a plate of this in front of me!

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Liz says:

    Great take on mac ‘n cheese. Looks delicious.

  2. What a beautiful mac n cheese – great way to get your veggies.

  3. Katie says:

    I’m sorry, Joan, but this is way too healthy to qualify as mac ‘n’ cheese. ;) It looks downright delectable though! I love the sweet and savory combinations in the dish.

    Thank you for resurrecting this recipe from your draft folder! I will now move it to my “Try Me” folder. :)

  4. bellini says:

    I hear you on the no carbs, but I find it hard to completely eliminate them altogether!!!! Loving the lighter version of mac and cheese though!!!!

  5. it is a brilliant and healthy idea! Early this year I tried my very first mac’n’cheese, love this version!

  6. norma says:

    It only takes you to take a traditional dish and turn it into something healthy and gorgeous.

  7. It looks full of nuggets of flavour. I love the colours. Enjoy that low carb diet……

  8. Loving all the veggies here and the hazelnuts, sounds so yummy and healthy!

  9. Oh boy does this look good! I’m looking forward to meeting you at the seminar next month in Orlando.

  10. sippitysup says:

    This delish is from your draft folder? It’s deserves star placement. GREG

  11. What a brilliant mind blowing twist on mac and cheese and veggetables au gratin & pasta all rolled into one….I love it! Pweeze may I borrow your draft folder??? ;)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  12. I have so many recipes in my draft folder – AND photographed files in my documents folder of “top blog about” dishes that sometimes I get overwhelmed… either the season passes, or I am missing one pick that I decide I will catch the next time I make the dish… or, on and on. So, I love getting this from you – and the dish is timeless and seasonless. I make my mac and cheese in a similar fashion. It IS so delicious the traditional way (in our family, that means baked) – but I love the contrast of crunch and sparkle with more flavours much better than the heavy creamy comfort of the regular version.
    Great photos!

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