January 20th is National Cheese Lovers’ Day! Cheese lovers’ rejoice because cheese is a great source of protein and calcium! Protein found in cheese can aid in satiety, and help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to prevent spikes in blood sugar. Calcium aids in building strong bones and teeth, and preventing osteoporosis.
Total Time: 30 min
12 oz whole wheat elbow pasta
1 1/2 tbsp buttery spread such as Land-O-Lakes light butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups shredded cheddar
12 oz fresh broccoli florets
2 tbsp parmesan-type grated topping
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot of water, cook the pasta and broccoli together, according to package directions for al dente. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large heavy skillet, melt the buttery spread, then add the onion and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook 1 minute or until flour is golden and well-combined. Whisk in milk and broth, raise heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil, and cook an additional 5 minutes or until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in the cooked pasta and broccoli, and pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Spray a little more cooking spray on top. Bake 15-20 minutes, then broil a few minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden.
Nutrition Information per 216g serving:
Calories: 244cal, Fat: 4.5g, Protein: 10g, Carbohydrates: 43g, Fiber 4.4g, Sugar: 2.2g, Sodium: 250mg