Healthier Poblano Mac and Cheese: Boyfriend Cooks Series

16 Jul

This is the inaugural post for a new series on the blog! The Boyfriend Cooks series will feature recipes that my loving boyfriend, Chris, cooked for us, on his own, from start to finish. He often helps me in the kitchen with veggie prep, stirring, and taste testing, but he knows his way around it well enough to cook by himself too! It all started when he had the day off when I didn’t, so I asked him to whip us up something for dinner. And wow did he impress! I came home to find him pulling this poblano mac and cheese out of the oven, which he took the liberty of making healthier than the original recipe would have been.

Healthier Poblano Mac and Cheese |

I’m a proud, food-loving, health-conscious girlfriend indeed 🙂 This mac and cheese features roasted poblano peppers, fresh cilantro, and a white cheese sauce. Instead of Mexican sour cream, Chris swapped in plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Instead of a few green onions, he toss in a whole yellow onion – hello added potassium! He used 2% evaporated milk instead of whole. He skipped the 2 instances of adding salt, and used only half the recommended amount of cheese, cutting down on fat and sodium intake.

This was delicious. It was warm and comforting, yet bright enough in flavor to be a perfect summer evening meal. And the leftovers were just as tasty! I look forward to the next dinner he makes for us 🙂

Healthier Poblano Mac and Cheese |

Healthier Poblano Mac & Cheese, adapted from Spoonful

Serves 8

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 can 2% evaporated milk
  • 2 C shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 C Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked to al dente (you could use whole wheat or GF varieties)

Turn on the broiler in your oven. Place poblano peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil, and broil, turning the peppers a few times until the skin is blackened all over.

Remove from oven and preheat to 375.

Place peppers in plastic wrap right away and let stand for 15 minutes. Cook your pasta on the stove in the meantime.

Peel the skins off the peppers and remove ribs and seeds from the insides. Then, put them in your blender along with chopped onion, cilantro, garlic, yogurt and evaporated milk. Puree until smooth. This will be the sauce base for your dish.

Put hot, cooked pasta, pepper jack cheese, and sauce mixture in a large bowl and mix until pasta is well-coated.

Spray a 9×13 glass dish with PAM and pour mac and cheese into it. Mix the bread crumbs and softened butter together and sprinkle on top of pasta.

Bake for 30 minutes, until crumbs are browned and cheese is bubbly. Remove and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro if you like!

Thanks for making this, Chris and letting me post it on the blog. Love you!


4 Responses to “Healthier Poblano Mac and Cheese: Boyfriend Cooks Series”

  1. Lindsay L, RD (@LeanGrnBeanBlog) July 16, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    i need to start using poblanos more often! this sounds delicious. homemade mac and cheese is the best.

    • xtinaluvspink July 16, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Agreed! This was so tasty, and easy to up the spice factor by just leaving more seeds.

  2. Jessica Levinson (@jlevinsonrd) July 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I’m so impressed your boyfriend will cook a healthy version of something! My husband loves to cook, but when he gets the chance he’ll take the opp to make something with as much butter or cheese as possible!

    • xtinaluvspink July 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      It’s a little funny, because Chris and I LOVE good cheese. But, he knows how much I care about our health, so I’m glad he translated that into his cooking! I’m a lucky girl 🙂

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