I have accidently created greatness. Since it’s FINALLY feeling like fall around here, the crisp, chilly weather has me craving comfort foods. Now a girl’s got to be careful with comfort foods as they tend not to be a friend of the waistline. Creams, cheeses and butter seem to be constant players in the soups, stews and casseroles that I’m yearning for. I’m always looking for a lower fat alternative that still tastes NEARLY as good as the real thing.
I found a lighter mac n cheese recipe online and while doctoring it up with some alternate ingredients, my own creativity literally got away from me. I decided that it needed a little heat so instead of simple hot sauce; I opted for some red pepper flakes and a few dashes of buffalo sauce. Well that buffalo sauce comes out faaaast, so before I knew it, I had a quite different dish on my hands. I went with it. I added in some sweet tomatoes to cut the heat. If I had had some crumbled blue cheese, I would have added that as well for a little rich kick at the end. My Buffalo Mac was great on its own, but could be even better served with some chicken for added protein…maybe marinated in the buffalo sauce and sliced on top? This comfort food will certainly be in the dinner rotation at my house this fall/winter!
Buffalo Mac n Cheese
12 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
¼ cup flour
¾ tsp table salt
¼ tsp onion powder
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup low-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup low fat blue cheese crumbles (optional)
1 tbsp buffalo sauce (I prefer Frank’s), or more to taste
Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, salt and onion powder and red pepper flakes until blended. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat whisking frequently; reduce heat to low and simmer stirring often until thickened (about 2 minutes). Remove pan from heat and whisk in cheese and buffalo sauce. Add sauce and tomatoes to pasta; toss to mix and coat.