Comforting Baked Mac n’ Cheese with Bacon

It’s been cold all weekend long.

The thermostat is cranked up to 73F, my toes have been wrapped up in my favorite woolly socks, and I’ve had more naps than I want to admit.

Enter the casserole that will keep us warm until Spring decides to kick old man Winter to the sidelines.

I made this mac n’ cheese last Monday for dinner and was praised for two days following. It doesn’t take much to please Kevin. If the recipe has bacon, chocolate, cinnamon, or honey, it’s a sure win.

As soon as it began to snow again this weekend, Kevin turned to me and said “Mac n’ cheeeeese, pleeeease??”

He’s right, it’s a perfect meal for chilly temperatures.

So, to the kitchen I went on Saturday afternoon to whip up another batch of his new favorite.

psst it’s my new favorite too… but I’d rather he think I’m making it special, just for him.

My favorite part of this casserole is the topping. The smoked paprika really made it for me.

Oh, and the bacon, the bacon made it too.

And the rice pasta didn’t hurt the cause either.

This is my favorite rice pasta in the entire world…

Thankfully it was on sale a couple of months ago, so I stocked up in a big way. Only 8 more bags to go.

Comforting Baked Mac n’ Cheese with Bacon

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free

This dairy free mac n’ cheese is a real crowd pleaser. Keep the kids happy with the deep orange color of the “cheese” sauce and surprise the adults of the group with the smoky, crunchy topping. Or, prepare on the weekend and pop in the freezer for a weeks’ worth of healthy frozen lunches!

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoon cashews
  • 2 tablespoon yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt

Add-ins

  • 3 cups uncooked pasta – I used rice pasta shells
  • 8 strips pork bacon
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 green onions, diced or 2 tablespoon freeze dried chives

Topping

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and oil a 4 cup casserole dish with coconut oil. Prepare pasta as per package instructions. Be sure to leave it al dente.
  2. To make the sauce: Peel the sweet potato, stab with fork a couple of times, and place in the microwave on ‘potato’ setting. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a blender. Add cooked sweet potato, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a frying pan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat and setting aside.
  3. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large frying pan, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan, dab with paper towel and cut into bits. Set aside
  4. To make topping: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Whip eggs with hand held mixer until frothy. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, prepared sauce, bacon bits, frothed eggs, and green onions/chives. Stir to combine.
  6. Drop mixture into prepared casserole dish and top with topping.
  7. Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4- 6 servings.

 

Okay, on to a completely different topic…

I was supposed to go swimming yesterday morning but without an instructor to tell me what to do [we're on Christmas Spring break right now], I absolutely hate being in the pool.

So, I opted to drop in on a step class :| It’s some serious stuff!

I was jumping and bopping alone in my own little world as the serious steppers were following their routine. I stopped a couple of times throughout the class to laugh with myself [not at myself, I was still having a great time!]

I’m going back again next Saturday to have another go at it. Until then, I’ll be watching these…

Safety first, kids

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V0TqgcXSVk&feature=relmfu

uh, zomg so confusing. I was a dancer… I can do this [insert positive self talk here].

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdA-PbdzBAM

Have you ever been to a step class? If so, how long did it take you to get the hang of it?

What’s the last new thing you’ve tried?

Have you entered my latest giveaway?

What’s the weather like where you are today?

It’s okay to make me jealous!

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