Homemade Whole-Wheat Macaroni and Cheese

When you’re home alone and cooking for one, what’s your favourite go-to meal? I did an informal poll and it sounds like most people (or women, at least) like carby comfort food…the kind they tell their kids and spouses not to eat for dinner. Think, for example, a big bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.

For me, it’s always been macaroni and cheese. I’ve been known to buy the boxed variety, in whole wheat, cheddar, and organic versions. I’ve eaten it with peas, with kimchi (trust me!), and with black beans and salsa. I love to cozy up on the couch with a big bowlful, then lick the last of the cheesy, powdery goodness off the serving spoon.

kraft dinner and kimchi

Now that I’m aiming for natural foods, boxed mac ‘n’ cheese is definitely off my grocery list. Do I even have to explain why it is? Ok, well:

So last Friday when I found myself alone for a quiet night with the dog I set out to make homemade, whole-wheat macaroni and cheese. From scratch. I’ve done this before, but to be honest it’s never turned out satisfactorily. For one, I hate those recipes with the bread crumbs on top. Carbs with my carbs? I’ve never understood. Two, I like a sharp cheese, which is why the tangy neon orange powder always appealed to me. And three, I’ve been slightly apprehensive about making sauces since the whole fondue fon-don’t fiasco.

But when I saw the 100 Days of Real Food Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese recipe float by on my Twitter feed, I knew it was fate. I had to make it. So I gathered my ingredients, poured a glass of wine, and told myself to go slowly and it would be ok.

Fixins for Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Presiden'ts Choice 100% Whole Wheat Penne

I used a combination of mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese with a little parmesan on top, which was perfect. I also only had penne on hand, so I used two generous cups (since the noodles are bigger than macaroni), which was too much. As a result, the sauce-to-pasta ratio was a bit low. Other than that this recipe was super easy to make. Just make sure you put the water on for pasta and grate the cheese before you start making the roux.

Roux sauce for macaroni and cheese

One small other lesson learned: don’t put it in the oven. I tried this just to brown up the parmesan but it just got dry and crusty. Embrace the one-dish stovetop meal, and use your time to catch up on your favourite Netflix show instead.


Make it now:


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