Light and Healthy Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

Yes, your childhood favorite can be made healthy! And don’t forget the mini smokies for your Light and Healthy Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese, too! 

Dish Count :: 1 Pot and 1 Baking Dish

Light and Healthy Chipotle Mac and Cheese - www.countrycleaver.com

I’m calling a mulligan on this weekend. I need a do over. No, really – I do. I’ve earned it. It started off all well and good, no, not good – it was grand.  My mom and I had a grand day of eating, painting and walking Huck planned out.  All of those things were accomplished and it was lovely. But then the weekend took an epic turn – off a cliff.

Somehow winding up in Urgent Care hooked up to an IV on a Saturday night when normal people would be out having a date with their husbands, and then having the power go out from a massive wind storm isn’t exactly the most stellar of ways to spend one’s days of work respite.

A pesky headache was not-pleasantly poking me in the right temple all day, and with a couple Excedrine I thought it would go away as usual. My mom and I had been planning this day of food and painting for weeks, working between my busy work and travel schedule, and I wasn’t going to let a measly headache get in my way!  A giant mug of tea in hand and we continued our painting, chatting about what direction we were going to go with the nightstands, and all of those other great things mothers and daughters talk about.  But alas the pesky headache didn’t diminish.

To the Nap Cave!

Light and Healthy Chipotle Mac and Cheese - www.countrycleaver.com

My typical sure fire way to stop a headache in its tracks… didn’t work. A couple more doses of pills, writhing in tears and pain, the blessed husband of mine insisted on a trip to Urgent Care. I’d gone down this IV road before, I knew it would help, but on a Saturday night when I should be sitting at home reveling in my painting accomplishments, relaxing with my feet on his lap and a glass of wine in hand it well, caused even more tears to pour from my face.  But we went in.

Bless the hearts of all of my nurse husband who held my hand the entire time, even after the drugs knocked me out cold (so cold I was snoring apparently). Upon finally waking, what did I want?  A cheeseburger and fries. #whendontI? When no McD’s was to be found we settled for Wendy’s, which let me tell you – does not salt their fries like McDonald’s, I was full but not satisfied and still a groggy mess from the drugs. So, groggy and burgery, we trudged upstairs to no power, a worried Huck, and Ben needing to go to work.  Huck and I walked around our neighborhood with flashlights to survey the damage and dodge falling limbs.

Usually a couple of hours after a power outage the lights come back on. We’re used to wind storms, flickering lights and the occasional power outage, but at 2:30 I was wide away realizing that nope, there was still no power. And at 5:30, after I fell asleep texting Ben on shift as to whether or not I should go get dry ice for our fridge and freezer, I got up, and did just that.

After spending an early birthday day with your mom where you are given a little birthday walking around money, your first guess isnt’ that you’re going to spend it on dry ice to rescue what you possibly can from your fridge, all while having flash backs of the time earlier this year you did the same thing when the chest freezer took an epic dive.

As soon as the sun came up, with still no power, Ben just getting off from work, and no internet to surf (the horror!), we went to breakfast fearing to open our fridge and let any cold air out.  Breakfast it was, then to his sleeping and me filling my non-migrainy day with more crafting on the nightstands, walks with the dog and taking a shower at the gym of my apartment complex that mysteriously had power where we, 100 yards away, did not.

And so now, this is where we stand, me going to dinner with my grandma, uncle and his new girlfriend, Ben at home, wondering how he will make himself dinner – I laid out a can of tomato soup, and bread so he can fire up the grill for a grilled grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup  and even pop some popcorn old-school style if he’s feeling ambitious – and me, typing this in the middle of a Safeway parking lot when two of the other Starbucks in town are too, without power.

Dear Universe, I really need another weekend. KThxBai.

Light and Healthy Chipotle Mac and Cheese - www.countrycleaver.com

Yield: 4

Light and Healthy Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 package (12 ounces) Whole Wheat Pasta


4 Tbsp Butter


4 Tbsp Flour


2 cloves Garlic, minced


1 cup Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth


1 cup Milk, Non-Fat or Skim


1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded


1/2 cup Fontina Cheese, shredded


1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded


1 Tbsp Tabasco Chipotle Sauce


Salt and pepper to taste


1 package (12 oz) Beef Mini Smokies, such as Fork in the Road


Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.


Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot or dutch oven. Rinse quickly in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain and set aside.


In the dutch oven over medium heat, heat butter until melted and starts to simmer over medium high heat. Add in garlic and coat in the butter until fragrant - about 30 seconds. Using a whisk, add in flour until a paste forms. Allow the roux to bubble and start to turn a light golden brown. Then very slowly - pour in the chicken stock constantly whisking the roux. Make sure the mixture is smooth. Add in the milk, whisking it in as well. Sprinkle in the various cheeses and stir in until melted. Whisk in the Chipotle sauce.


Whisk in salt and pepper to taste. Add in pasta and toss to coat. Add beef mini Smokies into mac and cheese and stir in. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish, cover and bake for 25-30 minutes so smokies can heat throughly. Remove from oven, uncover and serve immediately and serve with additional shredded parmesan on top.