Summer is around the corner and that means I'm on the hunt for yummy snacks…
Is there any food more comforting and indulgent than macaroni and cheese? It warms up the dreariest weather, and soothes a weary soul after a long day. It’s just that good (or is that just me?).
The sad fact about most comfort food is that most of it is just not very good for you. Our family has been making an effort to make small but long-term changes to our diet to make our choices more healthy. It started with switching all our rice and pasta from white to brown, and choosing multigrain bread over regular whole wheat. We recently took one more small step when we started exploring pasta made from different ingredients than your traditional wheat.
Chickapea is a pasta made up only of organic chickpeas and organic lentils. Not only is it organic and gluten-free, it’s also vegan, non-GMO, has no added sugar and is made in a nut-free facility! This is the pasta to pack in school lunches!
It has many other health benefits, aside from not setting off allergic reactions. Chickapea has 23 grams of protein and 11 grams of fibre per serving, plus a whopping 40% of daily iron intake! Best of all it’s chock full of essential nutrients: complex carbs, thiamine, folate, niacin, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, zinc and antioxidants. They really mean it when they say that they turn pasta info a superfood!
It was with my favourite comfort food in mind that I decided to test out a gluten-free version of my beloved Mac & Cheese. I already had the Chickpea pasta and gluten-free flour on hand, plus Ian’s Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs that I had picked up at CHFA West so I was ready to go!
Baked Gluten Free Mac & Cheese
1 package Chickapea Pasta
1 cup milk
1 cup old cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp gluten-free flour
1 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
Step 1: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter
Step 2: Stir in 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour until smooth
Step 3: Pour in 1 cup of milk, mixing until lumps are gone. Turn up heat to medium-high and stir often until it comes to a gentle boil.
Step 4: As milk is coming to a boil, put on pot of water on to boil for the pasta
Step 5: Continue to stir to avoid scalding the milk, until the mixture thickens (approximately 8-10 minutes). This can also be done in a microwave, heating in 4 minute increments, stirring in between, until thickened.
Step 6: Once water has come to a boil, add Chickapea Pasta and cook according to directions.
Step 7: Reduce heat to medium-low and add cheese to the thickened mixture, stirring until combined. If using a microwave, heat for 1 more minute after adding cheese.
Step 8: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
Step 9: Drain pasta and pour into a greased oven-safe dish. Pour cheese sauce over top and mix well.
Step 10: Melt 1/2 cup of butter and mix gluten-free breadcrumbs in until mixture resembles sand.
Step 11: Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over the top of the pasta and bake for 10-15 minutes. Switch oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to nicely crisp the topping
Step 12: Enjoy!
I mean, how cheesy is this?!
All on the table disclaimer: While I was compensated for this post, all opinions are completely honest and totally my own. See full disclosure here.