Completely Legal Mac and Cheese

IZ’s Fabulous Mac and Cheese


I’ll confess, I’m not a huge fan of mac and cheese. As a rule, I can’t stand the stuff. It falls in the same category as lasagna for me. Great in theory, but in real life, not something I enjoy eating. Which is odd. As they both involve pasta and cheese and well, I have nothing against either of those things!

And like lasagna, I’ve met dozens of people who, through the years, have sworn by their recipes for Mac and Cheese. “Oh, you just haven’t had MY Mac and Cheese” when I confess I’m not a connoisseur. No, I haven’t. And I’m open to try yours, but please don’t be sad when I don’t like it. It’s nothing personal. 

But unlike lasagna, (no, really, your great grandmother’s recipe written in Italian won’t make me like lasagna, I promise) there have been a few exceptions to the  no mac and cheese rule. The first is my sister-in-law Cheryl’s recipe for mac and cheese. I swear, that stuff is addictive. I have no idea what she puts in it, but I suspect it’s crack. A third serving? Yes, please! Want to take some home with you? Don’t mind if I do. No, no I will not be sharing this huge portion of cheesy goodness with you. I don’t care if YOUR sister made it. I will cut you. 

That good. I’d sell out my own kin for it.


IZ has been on this quest to convince me that mac and cheese is manna from heaven since early in our marriage. “Oh, you should try my mom’s! It’s amazing.” Um. No it’s not. I’m sorry. My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook and makes many amazing things. But I don’t like mac and cheese. Hers is not the exception. (a good wife would have pretended otherwise, tho!) He was not pleased. Not loving his mother’s mac and cheese would have been the end of it for most men, but I think my hatred for the stuff just inspired him to pester me more about it. For years I’ve been subjected to every recipe fathomable. Including a few he’s concocted by “up cooking” boxed mac and cheese. 

Really? Like that’s going to work. 

So, when IZ said he was going to make a new recipe for mac and cheese and the I was going to love it, I was skeptical. *blink blink* Come on, just call your sister and ask for her recipe already. (but don’t show it to me, I really don’t want to know. And if you get busted for trying to score crack, I’ve never met you.) When he said he was going to use cottage cheese to add protein, I laughed in his face. “Never going to like it. I only like your sister’s mac and cheese. And that’s just because she spikes it with magic or crack or something.” 

I’m now eating my words. I hate it when that happens. Sure, it took him 20+ years, (and HURRAY for a man with staying power, ahem) but eating crow is painful. Painful people. 

For the record, this is still not spa food, despite the added protein. But IZ’s Mac and Cheese does have more protein than most. So, there’s that. Oh, and it tastes pretty good. Not as good as my sister-in-law’s Mac and Cheese, but then you won’t do time in the pokey for making it either. 



IZ’s Mac and Cheese: 


1 package of dry elbow macaroni (16 oz.)

a 9″ x 13″ pan. (we use Pam) 
Preheat oven to 350
Sautée and sweat:
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic  
Puree in a blender:
2 cups 1% cottage-cheese (puree until completely smooth) 
Sautéed onion /garlic
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp.salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Create Roux:

Melt 2 tbs. butter

Add 2 tbs. flour

Use to thicken 2 cups of 1% milk

Combine to create sauce:
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (stir until melts)
Fill in greased pan:
Cooked macaroni
Sauce to coat & cover noodles.
1 1/2 cup shredded “Mexican” cheese 

Place filled pan in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Nutrition Information: 
Makes six generous portions.  
Calories:  571
Fat: 18g
Carb.:  68g
Protein:  31.8g
Adapted from a recipe by Cuisine at Home. 

5 Responses to Completely Legal Mac and Cheese

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.