Monday, January 7, 2008

Rotting bananas and macaroni & cheese

Those yummy, rotting bananas were sitting around on the kitchen counter , just waiting to attract fruit flies (or do the fruit flies come out of the rotting fruit? hmmmmm..... where the heck do fruit flies come from?). Well, anyway, I decided to make some banana bread ..... and I also decided to make some homemade macaroni and cheese (instead of my usual blue box version ..... that being Kraft macaroni and cheese .... which my kids have had since day #1 and love ...) I guess I was in need of some "comfort food" .... comfortably comfortable comfort food .... cozy, stick to your ribs comfort food .... good stuff that grandma or Aunt Bea would make while wearing her apron, her housedress, and her orthopedic shoes. BUT !!... I remind myself, the holiday food fest HAS to be OVER ... REALLY, REALLY OVER before I'm the size of a BARN !!!! SO...... I tried to come up with a compromise .... a lower fat, lower calorie, lower Weight Watcher's points version of the banana bread and the macaroni and cheese. The banana bread recipe originally was in the USA Weekend insert of the newspaper last October; and the macaroni and cheese recipe was on the back of the box of San Giorgio elbow macaroni. Basically all I did with the banana bread recipe was substitute natural applesauce (I use Mott's natural) for the oil; and for the macaroni and cheese, I used fat free milk (instead of whole milk) and substituted half the cheddar cheese with fat free cheddar cheese (or I could have used all fat free cheddar cheese).

Banana Bread:

2 large bananas
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup 100% natural apple sauce
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas. Whisk in 1/2 cup water, then brown sugar, then applesauce, then eggs until smooth.

In separate bowl, whisk together remaining dry ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into the banana mixture until just combined. Spray 9-inch loaf pan with Pam. Scrape batter into loaf pan. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 70 minutes. Let bread stand for a few minutes. Turn onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Servings = 15
Wt Watcher points per serving = 3 (according to me and my best calculations !!)

OK -- that was dessert ..... now here's the main course (and remember to always eat dessert FIRST !)

Macaroni and Cheese:

1 package (16 oz) San Giorgio elbow macaroni, uncooked (or whatever brand you like)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt and ground pepper to taste
5 cups fat free milk
2 cups fat free shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (you could do all fat free cheese to make it even lower in fat and calories)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. In large saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper; Gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and mixture begins to boil. Add cheese; stir until cheese is melted. In 3 quart casserole, stir together pasta and cheese sauce. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. 8-10 servings. (sorry I didn't figure out the Wt Watcher points because I threw out all the wrappers before I could get the info eg. calories, fat grams and grams of fiber.)

So..... now that I've got the lower fat/ calorie versions of these happy comfort foods, I just have to work on not scarffing down the ENTIRE thing!!!!! (that kind of defeats the purpose !!)

OK .... one more teeny, tiny sliver of banana bread, and then I'm off to bed.


Mary Anne (aka Mare)


Red Geranium Cottage said...

OMG both look so yummy. Mac and cheese is my favorite. And nanna bread it up there too. I like your diet. Sign me up.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I love banana bread!!!The mac and cheese is right up my alley as well. Could you please send some through my monitor???Susan

Nan said...

Yum!! You're making me very hungry this morning, woman! I wish I had an Aunt Bea, don't you?
Thanks for the recipes!