Quick & Easy Macaroni Casserole

Hello Parents! I would like to introduce Nutritionist Melissa Jacks who will now be posting Healthy Family Recipes On A Dime. I hope you will enjoy her tips and recipes! The recipe that she is posting today is so tasty that my extremely picky 5 year old daughter ate her whole bowl!


It is not an easy task to feed a family for various reasons. The first challenge is finding meals that are enjoyed by all! Many parents know from experience that picky eaters are more common than not. Even if you have offered a wide variety of foods from the time they started eating solids, tastes develop over time and social situations (such as daycare and camp)introduce kids to many desirable snacks and meals not alwaysoffered at home.

The second challenge is to provide healthy nutritious meals. Unfortunately, many popular kid friendly foods are not as nutrient dense as parents would like them to beProviding meals that are a good balance of healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates is important, but the fast food industry has done a great job of enticing children to eat foods that are full of salt, sugar and fats.

The last challenge we all have noticed at one point or another is that food, especially healthy food, can be expensive! It is great once we find meals that the entire family will enjoy, especially if they are good for you, but once you start piling the fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, you will undoubtedly realize that your bills are higher than usual.

Fortunately, there are so many great products out there today that are nutritious and affordable. Once you find recipes that are enjoyable and healthy, keeping an eye out for your favorite ingredients on sale or at reduced prices can save you even more.

Below is an example of a family friendly recipe that not only tastes great, freezes well and costs less than $10 to feed a family of 4, it is packed with protein, calcium and fiber.

 


Quick & Easy Macaroni Casserole

This recipe is a staple in my house! Not only do kids love it because it is pasta and cheese, it is perfect to serve as a lunch or dinner. The secret ingredient is cottage cheese, a complete protein that is packed with nutrients. Your kids will never know it’s there! Make an extra recipe, cut it into individual portions and serve as a quick and easy meal for busy times.

The cost for the entire recipe is under $10 ($2.50 per meal)

Money Saving Tips:

1.       Buy cottage cheese when it is on sale. Shoppers drug mart often has it as cheap as $1.99-$2.49. Costco also sells a package of 2 for cheaper than most grocery stores.

2.       Buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese will cost no more than $2.

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Quick & Easy Macaroni Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni pasta, cooked
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups light mozzarella-cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • 2. Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Drain. Melt 2 tsp butter into noodles.
  • 3. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients, reserving a small portion of cheese to garnish.
  • 4. Grease a large, shallow casserole dish and pour in mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Return to oven for 5 minutes, until cheese melts.

Servings : 4

Nutrition Info

  • protein 27g
  • fat 10g
  • carbohydrates 23g

Tips & Tricks

·         Gluten free options: Use gluten free pasta varieties

·         Use earth balance oil spread for a non-dairy option

·         Cheeses can be bought in lactose free and low sodium

·         Freezes well

© 2015 Melissa Jacks. All Rights Reserved.

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