Thick & Creamy Gouda Macaroni

I know I say this farm family loves their meat & potatoes (which we do), but we also have a special place in our hearts for some good ol’ fashioned macaroni and cheese. A comfort food, perfect for any occasion. I took on the challenge to build mac & cheese into a bit more of a balanced plate by creating a Farm-Style Buddha Bowl– this deliciously cheesy pasta topped with protein and veggie. Yum! What would you top your bowl with?

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups dry pasta

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups milk

5 slices of gouda cheese, 1/8″ thick and chopped into small pieces

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente and set aside.
  2. In the same stockpot (after pasta is removed), melt butter on medium heat. When melted, add flour and whisk together. This is a roux!
  3. Cook the roux on medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add milk to the roux and continue to stir. Let cook for 5 minutes. The sauce will slowly begin to thicken during this time.
  5.  Remove sauce from heat and add cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. When cheese is melted, fold pasta into the sauce.

Notes

Depending on the type of pasta you decide to use, you may need more or less milk. Also depends on how thick and creamy you prefer your mac & cheese 🙂

Gouda cheese can be substituted for just about any other cheese. Go ahead and get creative! I will usually purchase cheese sliced from the deli and chop this into small pieces at home before adding to the sauce.


Corned Beef Hash

When indulging at a local breakfast diner, you can pretty much guarantee either Scott or I will order the corned beef hash topped with fried eggs. Glorious! After our last breakfast date, I decided I needed to attempt a quick-and-easy corned beef hash skillet at home. Using corned beef sliced fresh from the deli saves LOTS of time, so the most effort for this treat is waiting for the skillet to cook, golden brown and crispy.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

3 cups potatoes, cubed

1 cup sweet onion, sliced

1 cup red bell pepper, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Beef Seasoning

1/2 pound corned beef, chopped thin

4 eggs, prepared any style

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the potatoes, onion, peppers and oil in a large cast iron skillet.
  3. Sprinkle with beef seasoning.
  4.  Fold in corned beef.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture once or twice before finished.
  6. Top skillet with eggs.

Notes

Eggs with a little ooze are just perfect plopped on top of this skillet. Bursting with flavor and a fantastic pair with the seasoned potatoes and beef. Still, I’m a dietitian and must recommend cooking to 160 degrees for food safety 🙂

Speaking of beef seasoning, check out this recipe from Kids, Cows and Grass. THE BEST, keep it stocked in your pantry. At. All. Times.

CornedBeefHash

Black Bean Dip

I spent 4 glorious years on the Kansas State University campus. Studying, yes. Chowing down on delicious grub, yes. One of the ultimate stops in Manhattan, KS is So Long Saloon. I’m beginning to drool just imaging those burgers. A stop at So Longs was never complete without their ever-famous Chipotle Raspberry & Black Bean Dip. Being that we are a couple hours from Manhattan, KS,  I had to find a way to kick this bean dip craving. Here’s what I’ve got, see what you think!

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

15 oz can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 jalapeño, diced

1 cup mozzarella cheese

4 oz cream cheese, block

tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the beans, jam, jalapeño and mozzarella in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Place the cream cheese in the center of the mixture.
  4.  Bake dip for 30 minutes or to desired warmness.

Notes

It’s a dip, so of course, you can enjoy with tortilla strips or other desirable dippers. BUT, you could also mix things up, enjoy this bean dip layered on a burger or sandwich, or even smothered over chicken or pork. You won’t regret it. I promise.