Creamy Mac & Cheese & Peas

17 Sep

We went grocery shopping! And that’s cause enough to create a tasty, healthy meal. Not everyone gets excited about the grocery store, but it’s one of my favorite places. The fresh produce, chilled meats and cheeses, colorful packaging, exotic sauces, and cooking inspiration that goes on for aisles and aisles.

It’s also exciting because we hadn’t gone shopping in nearly 2 weeks. We needed foooooood!

Anyway, here’s a yummy dinner to cook up for your family or friends. Throw together a Greek-inspired salad (mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, fresh cracked pepper, and a balsamic & olive oil dressing) and call it a night! It’s comfort food made healthy. Can’t go wrong with that!

Creamy Mac & Cheese & Peas

Healthy comfort food!

Creamy Mac & Cheese & Peas, adapted from Cooking Ala Mel

Serves 6

  • 8 oz rotini or elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 C frozen peas
  • 1/2 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 C sharp cheddar cheese (or use 2% like I did)
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot with enough water for the pasta, bring water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a small saute pan. Add onion and garlic and saute on medium heat until the pasta is done.

Pour peas into a large pasta strainer. Once pasta is done, pour over the peas and allow pasta to drain. But reserve 1/2 C pasta water! You’ll need it for the sauce.

Transfer peas and pasta back into the pot (or use a large bowl if you’d rather). Stir in onion and garlic, yogurt, cheeses and 1/4 C pasta water. Mix well, add in salt and pepper to taste. Use the rest of the pasta water as needed, to thin out the sauce to your liking.

Serve next to a salad and you’ve got dinner! We found that a squirt of Sriracha on top was a nice addition – perfect if you like spice and comfort food!

If you’re looking for another sneaky way to get peas – a vegetable rich in PROTEIN – into your diet, try this pea walnut pesto! So tasty and healthy.

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4 Responses to “Creamy Mac & Cheese & Peas”

  1. Melinda @ cooking ala mel September 17, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I’m the same way about the grocery store; I always set aside pretty much the entire day when it’s time to go shopping so I can look as much as I want! πŸ™‚

    I always love a good improvisation of a recipe – that’s how our dinner ends up most nights! Love that you used fresh onion and garlic – my two favorite ingredients in just about everything savory. I’m just too lazy to chop ’em up for quick dinners like this, haha! Thanks for sharing your take on the mac and cheese!

    • xtinaluvspink September 17, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      My danger lies in the baking aisle. Just this weekend, my boyfriend left me alone in that aisle for less than a minute, and I already got sucked into the cans of almond paste! Ahahaha he didn’t believe my obsession πŸ˜€

      I love onions and garlic too! Which is why I added them. I had the time and energy for chopping, so I figured why not. I also didn’t have spinach, hence peas! And I was low on shredded cheese, so I added parmesan. Improv is fun in the kitchen, terrifying if you’re up on a comedy stage, lol.

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