Some casseroles are high in fat and calories because of the ingredients used. We have modified a classic Macaroni and Cheese with Beef recipe to make it lower in fat and calories. Here's what we did:
We used 93 percent lean-7 percent fat ground beef instead of 80 percent lean-20 percent fat ground beef.
We used the juice from the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey and seasonings for the sauce and sprinkle the casserole with cheese made with 2 percent fat milk instead of using a cream sauce made with butter, whole milk, flour, seasonings and whole milk cheese.
We also used whole wheat pasta instead of regular to provide a serving of whole grain instead of a refined grain.
These modifications resulted in a savings of 147 calories per serving and a savings of 23 grams of fat per serving.
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Original Classic Macaroni and Cheese with Beef Casserole Recipe
2 cups regular macaroni
8 cups hot water
1 pound 80-20 ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Modified Macaroni and Cheese with Beef Casserole Recipe
2 cups (8 ounces) whole grain wheat macaroni
8 cups hot water
1 pound 93-7 fat ground beef
2 cups water
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 cups diced canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese made with 2 percent fat milk
Nutrition Information: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each serving contains approximately 254 calories and 7 grams fat.
Cook's notes: Adding a simple green salad with a light dressing and a dessert of fruit with yogurt provides something from every food group in MyPlate.
*Allow liquid to reach room temperature, cover and refrigerate. When cold, the fat will surface and can easily be removed. The remaining defatted stock can be added in soups or to season vegetables. Use within a couple of days or freeze for later use.