Macaroni and broccoli bake
This comforting meal is made using healthy broccoli and tomatoes and delicious, creamy pasta and sauce.
Cooking from scratch means that you can make a healthy version of this dish using low-fat ingredients and not adding salt. If you need to put on weight, and do not need to cut out saturated fat, you could use full-fat dairy products.
Macaroni is a slow-release carbohydrate, so as well as being cheap and filling, it also keeps blood-sugar levels stable. Cheese and milk contain calcium for healthy bones. With mature cheddar cheese, a small amount still gives a good flavour. Broccoli is a super-food, full of vitamins and minerals, and one of your 5 a day. Bacon, which is an optional addition, is fatty and salty, so for a healthier alternative, substitute chicken breast.
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 30-35 minutes | Serves: 2-3
- 225g/9oz dried macaroni
- 25g/1oz butter or low fat margarine
- 25g/1oz plain flour 300ml/½ pint semi-skimmed milk
- 35g/1½oz grated, mature cheddar cheese
- 175g/7oz broccoli 2 tomatoes
- Optional: 2 slices of lean back bacon or a chicken breast fillet cut into strips
- Boil the macaroni in water for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a sauce by melting the butter/margarine in a saucepan, stirring in the flour. When it is smooth, gradually add the milk, stirring continuously until you have a sauce that is smooth and thick.
- Take off the heat and mix in half the grated cheese.
- Stir the sauce into the cooked macaroni.
- Steam or boil the broccoli for about 10 minutes until the stalks are soft.
- At the same time, grill the halved tomatoes (with the bacon or chicken strips if required) for 8–10 minutes until cooked through. Cut the bacon into pieces when cooked.
- Put the macaroni cheese into an ovenproof dish. Add the bacon/chicken, tomatoes and broccoli and top with the rest of the cheese.
- Grill for a few moments until the cheese is bubbling.
- Serve with a green salad.