Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 3 cups whole-grain elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp natural olive oil buttery spread (TRY: Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread with Olive Oil) or organic unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely sliced
- 3 oz extra-lean, uncured, roasted ham, finely diced
- 2 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp brown-rice flour
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cups 1% milk, divided
- 1 cup grated low-fat Swiss cheese
- Fresh micro herbs for garnish, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain and return macaroni to pot, covering to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil and buttery spread on medium-high. Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ham and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add Dijon and 1 cup milk, stirring constantly. Gradually add remaining milk, stirring after each addition. Continue cooking until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until compeltely melted. Add macaroni and stir until well combined. If desired, garnish with herbs and serve.
Nutrients per 1 1/8-cup serving: Calories: 299, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 48 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 19 g, Sodium: 376 mg, Cholesterol: 20 mg
Nutritional Bonus: The cremini mushrooms in this dish do more than provide a pleasant, meaty texture: Their beta-glucan (a form of sugar) content provides important immune system support and has the potential to help reduce inflammation. More importantly, creminis are currently being studied as a source of vitamin B12 and as a possible aid in the fight against hormone-dependent breast cancer.