“Too bad your comfort food takes an hour to cook.” -my cousin, referring to sweet potatoes
Let’s not kid ourselves; most comfort food really isn’t that healthy for you, physically. But sometimes it is helpful in a mental health sort of way. (To be clear, I’m not telling you to eat chips and M&Ms all day every day; but every now and then…it’s okay to eat something that doesn’t have a vegetable in it.)
Also, I’ve learned from experience, if you’re going to make comfort food, just make it the way you want it. Don’t try to make it healthier by using whole wheat pasta if what you’re really craving is refined flour, and for the love of God if you ever use soy butter, please don’t tell me about it. I’m happier not knowing.
That said, here’s the real recipe for macaroni and cheese casserole, the way it’s meant to be (i.e. my mom’s recipe).
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
1 lb (box) macaroni, cooked
16 oz. cottage cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 cups shredded mozzarella
milk – 1/2″ in a 9×13″ pan
parmesan and wheat germ (optional) for top
Preheat the oven to 350 F and cook the pasta. Mix cooked pasta with all other ingredients and pour into pan with milk. Top with parmesan and wheat germ. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until top is bubbly and brown.
Simple and delicious! DO try this at home.
Unfortunately, I found myself missing many of the necessary ingredients when the desire for this dish overtook me, and was forced to make a shifty sort of substitute.
Instead of elbow noodles –> whole wheat spiral pasta
No cottage cheese
2 eggs –> 1 egg
Instead of milk –> almond milk
Instead of parmesan and wheat germ –> bread crumbs, dried oregano and basil
Also, as you can see, I made a smaller casserole, in a 9×5 bread pan instead of a 9×13 casserole dish. It was all right; edible, but not great. Next time I will make that extra trip to the corner store for cottage cheese (which I never have on hand, because I don’t use it for anything else) and real macaroni noodles.
What I’m reading: Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman
What I’m listening to: Horses, Patti Smith; Staring at the Sea, The Cure; Slanted & Enchanted, Pavement