March 4, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese with Vegetables

Macaroni and cheese is just that – macaroni in a cheese sauce. Adding vegetables to this probably no longer qualifies this dish as a true Mac ‘n Cheese. But then what’s in a name if the dish satisfies those who would be eating it?
My daughter loves cheese and pasta so this is one way I can get her to eat some vegetables also without any complaint. It is also convenient for those days when I know I wouldn’t have much time for making lunch/ dinner because we have to go out. So I make this earlier in the day, and when we get back push it under the grill to brown just when we are ready to eat. So we have a hot, filling (this is chock full of calories, too) meal which we finish off with fresh fruit.

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 big onion, finely chopped
1 ½ cups chopped vegetable
(french beans, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, green peas, sweet corn)
1 cup milk
¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
3 cheese slices
1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
1 tbsp butter
4 tsp oil
1 tsp mixed herbs (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp mustard powder (optional)
chilli flakes (to taste and optional)

Cook the macaroni in water, adding salt, till just done. Drain, add 1 tsp oil, mix well and keep aside. This ensures the macaroni doesn’t stick and clump together after cooling.
Steam cook the chopped vegetables till just done and firm. I microwave them at 100% for about 6 minutes. Keep aside.
In a pan, melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions till soft and translucent. Turn down the heat and add the milk, the cheese slices (torn into pieces) and grated cheese. Stir till the cheese melts completely. Now add the cooked vegetable, herbs, mustard powder, chilli flakes, pepper and salt. Remember that the macaroni and cheese already contain salt. Stir well and add the cooked macaroni. Mix well gently so that the cheese sauce uniformly coats the macaroni. Keep aside.
In a bowl, put the breadcrumbs and the remaining 3 tsps oil and mix well together using your fingers.
Now take a glass dish and grease well. Spread the macaroni mixture in it. Cover with the prepared breadcrumbs to form a layer on top. (This can be made upto this point and then grilled/ baked just before serving.) Now place this under the grill till the top is brown in colour. This takes about 5 -6 minutes in my grill. You can also bake it in the oven. I have never done this because the grill is quick.Serve warm. This will serve 3 -4 people.


Asha said...

Slurp! My kids love it. Looks really yummy!:)

sunita said...

We are great fans of pasta kids would probably polish that off in no time..well, probably the bigger kids would too :-)

Happy cook said...

Oh looks so delicious. I am sure if i make this my daughter will be happy for the whole week :-))

KayKat said...

Love that crispy top, looks delicious.

Namratha said...

We are big pasta fans too, would love this! I made a similar version recently..:)

Uma said...

Lovely! Very yummy mac and cheese! I will try this for my toddler who loves mac n cheese anytime.

Mythreyee said...

A wonderful twist to the regular mac and cheese. Healthy too.

Sagari said...

mac and cheesee my all time favvv ,adding veggis is a nice idea aparna

TBC said...

What a coincidence, Aparna! I made something similar too!

jayasree said...

mac and cheese combo with veggies looks absolutely yummy. Anybody will love to take a bite from that.

Vcuisine said...

They are too good Aparna. Viji

zlamushka said...

Aparna, Lovely! Mac and cheese usually comes out very unappetizingly, yet yours looks very ellegant. Good job!

Mansi Desai said...

I loved baked mac-n-cheese they served in indian restaurants! never had anything like that!! this version looks inviting Aparna...I guess I'll use macaroni instead of my regular pasta next time:) I posted my baked rigatoni just 2 days ago:)

Nags said...

that looks so crunchy, sinful and yummy :D

Rachel said...

The family and I love it too! My little one would pick out the vegetables though!

Rosie said...

This looks delicious we adore pasta in my household too.

Rosie x

Tejal said...

Fabuloso! easy and quick..


Susan from Food Blogga said...

To me, those crispy, crunchy breadcrumbs make the whole dish!

Aparna said...

I can see that we are all pasta lovers. And I am yet to meet a kid who doesn't like it.

Anonymous said...

What sort of grill do you and how do you place the bowl "under" the grill?