Vegetables, Tofu, Pasta and Cheese (Healthy Mac’n Cheese)

Vegetable Tofu Pasta and Cheese

Amy’s Country Cheddar Bowl frozen dinner is awesome. This is my take on it. As another blogger called it, this is Mac ‘n Cheese for Grown-Ups (wish I could take photos as beautiful as them). Rarely does a frozen lunch inspire me to emulate it, but this one does. It is very light and health with the vegetables, tofu and whole wheat pasta yet hearty with the cheesy and potatoes. By adding peppers and carrots at the last minute and barely cooking them, the staying super crunchy, as did the broccoli. The crispy potatoes still had tooth to them. Seriously, this dish is so filling, you don’t miss the meat. I served this with charred garlic bread but it is a meal all by itself. I’ll be making this over and over.

For leftovers I added some Fontina cheese on the top and reheated in the oven. I also nuked in the microwave at work for lunch once.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 10-12 oz tofu, drained and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 8 oz whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, sliced thin (I have a fancy peeler tool, just cut then thin as you can)
  • 8-10 red new potatoes, quartered
  • 1 green garlic, mince head, slice the stem (you can use regular garlic, I just had this from our CSA)
  • Dale’s steak seasoning
  • 1 cup milk (or cream)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 10 oz aged English cheddar cheese, grated
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Heat an oven safe pan over medium high heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan then add the quartered potatoes. Toss and continue cooking until starting to brown. Transfer pan to the oven, tossing occasionally until crispy. Remove and set aside also reduce the oven heat to 350 F.
  3. Reduce the heat on the pan to medium. Make sure the tofu is dry and season with a little salt. Add more oil to the pan if needed. Cook the tofu until slightly browned on both sides. Let the tofu cool on a cutting board, then cut into cubes.
  4. In a large pot (with a steamer attachment) over high heat, bring water to boil. Add the broccoli to the steamer and steam for just a few minutes. When just tender, rinse with cold water and let drain and dry, set aside.
  5. Season the water with salt and add the pasta to still boiling water and cook to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  6. In a bowl combine Dale’s, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, Dijon and flour. Whisk out any lumps.
  7. In the same pasta pot over medium heat add the milk mixture and simmer for a few minutes. Next add everything else. Seriously, add every single thing including the cheese. Season to taste. Toss to combine the mixture and add to a baking dish. Top with panko bread crumbs (I just used a cup or so) and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  8. Place in the oven until all the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened. Switch the oven to the broiler and cook the top of the mixture until golden brown (carefully not to burn).
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Vegetables, Tofu, Pasta and Cheese (Healthy Mac’n Cheese)

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