Who doesn't like mac and cheese? I know I do and I could eat it all the time, and my boys (especially Justin) could eat it with me (but maybe not ALL the time)! I am always trying to change things up, add new ingredients or improve the taste (like it's necessary to improve the taste of mac&cheese!!!), so this time I decided to spruce it up a little bit with bunch of veggies... and kielbasa! It doesn't really make it "diet friendly" if that's what you were expecting, but it definitely removes some guilt while eating it... you are getting a serving of veggies after all and if you have seconds (I bet you will)... it's two servings of veggies!
* 10 oz of whole wheat macaroni pasta
* 1 package (13 oz) turkey Polska kielbasa, chopped
* 2 medium zucchini, chopped
* 2 cups cauliflower florets
* 4 tbsp butter
* 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
* 4 cups milk
* 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
* 1 tsp Dijon mustard
* 1/8 tsp nutmeg
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* salt and pepper
1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (or until it has the texture your family likes). 4 minutes before the end of cooking, add cauliflower and cook together with pasta. Drain and set aside.
2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in the pan, add kielbasa and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to brown. Add chopped zucchini and cook everything for additional 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a deep skillet, melt butter, add the flour and cook whisking for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to get rid of any lumps and cook for 5 minutes. Add cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste) and cook for additional 2-3 minutes (whisking).
4. Combine macaroni, cauliflower, kielbasa and sauce, mix everything together until sauce covers everything and ... enjoy!
As you noticed I did not bake it in the oven as you normally would. It not only cuts down on time, but it also makes for much more creamy and moist mac and cheese, which I really like. If you want to make it vegetarian, you could obviously skip kielbasa, but I don't think Christopher would appreciate me doing so - kielbasa is his favorite food in the entire world!