Healthier Matzaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Passover is a difficult week for me. Though I always look forward to the Seder, I dread the rest of the week. Bread is a staple of our diet (heck, my husband has a small bread-baking business!), and we both essentially eat as vegetarians at home. Passover meal planning is difficult, and I crave bread and pasta and oatmeal all week. I know there are people who like matzah just fine, but I am not one of them.

After a mild fever on Friday, overdoing it on Saturday, and struggling through the not-so-fun results today, I was craving some comfort food:  baked macaroni and cheese. Homemade macaroni is a feel good meal when you’re feeling poorly—or fantastic, for that matter. With Passover, though, those good feels are far away. Instead, I get the bread of affliction:  Matzah.

Still, a food craving is the worst sort of mistress to please, and she usually must be obliged. Many of the Passover recipes I found for macaroni and cheese were laden down with butter, eggs, and sour cream, making them both unhealthy and not particularly well-suited for my husband, who is allergic to many dairy products (though thankfully not cheese!). I wanted a healthier Passover macaroni and cheese with some vegetables thrown in, so I hobbled together this recipe. The recipe is based off of a Skinnytaste recipe that I love with a few small thefts from some of the buttery recipes I found for Passover macaroni and cheese.

It may not be as rich as other Passover-friendly macaroni and cheese recipes, but it’s significantly healthier. My husband declared, “it’s just really good,” as he went back for seconds. Because “good” is not a traditional descriptor for matzah, I call this invention a victory.

IMG_20160424_172559904 (1)
Matzaroni and Cheese with Broccoli. I definitely had seconds.

 

Healthier Matzaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Makes eight servings. Ish.

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2-4 minced garlic cloves (to taste)
  •  2 ½ cups milk (I used rice milk, though any kind of milk will do)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetarian broth
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar / colby jack blend)
  • 7 sheets matzah, broken into farfel-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

1). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.

2). Bring large pot of water to boil. Heat a large skillet with butter and olive oil.

3). Cook broccoli florets for ten minutes in boiling water. At the same time, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil/butter for two minutes. Add milk and broth to skillet and bring to boil. Boil for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the skillet from heat and add cheese until melted.

4). Drain the broccoli and shake off excess liquid. Combine broccoli, cheesy mixture, beaten egg, matzah, and then pour into prepared casserole dish. Top with shredded Parmesan and matzah meal.

5). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and matzah is soft. Then broil a few minutes until the top is golden.

matzaronicheese
Bubbly and golden and delicious, though not necessarily the most visually appealing dish.

 

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