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Hello to all you gentle readers. Silver Blue, Jonathan Everyday, The Wannabe Gourmet…all in one wrapper, John Barker. After a far-too-long sabbatical, I have returned…hoping to share lower fat, taste enhanced recipes with you.

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Home » Main Course, Recipe

Hearty Macaroni & Cheese with Ham (and Spinach Salad)

Submitted by on October 4, 2008 – 8:07 pmNo Comment
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Hearty Macaroni & Cheese with Ham

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cups skim milk
16 ounces medium shell pasta
1/2 lb ham (any type except country), finely diced
2 1/2 cups mixed reduced fat (partially skim) cheddar and mozzarella cheeses
1/2 cup plain or Italian bread crumbs (you can also make your own!)

Cook pasta just shy of al dente (between 1 and 2 minutes shorter than the package recommends). Drain and set to the side.

In a large cooker, make a roux by melting butter and adding in flour. Whisk together until foamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add Dijon mustard, stirring together continuously. (Note: the roux will “seize” up — this is okay!) Add skim milk and whisk continuously until roux relaxes and combines together. Continue stirring until thickened. Add ham and cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat, and stir in pasta. Once pasta is completely coated, turn out into a 9×13×2 baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are lightly brown. (Serves 6 as a main course, more as an appetizer.)

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

The Raspberry Vinaigrette and dried cranberries cut through the pungency of the onion for a sweet and tangy taste.

This is just a starting point. Go crazy with the veggies!

12 ounces of spinach, cleaned and dried.
3 large carrots, cut into coins
4 ounces of radishes, sliced
1 medium white (or red) onion, cut into half and then into strips
2 ounces dried cranberries

Using four salad bowls, layer 3 ounces of spinach, 1 ounce of radishes, 1/2 ounce of dried cranberries, carrots and onions to taste. If using other veggies, pile them on as well! Top with Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette.

Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp dried tarragon, crushed
1 cup water
2 tbsp walnut oil

Combine the vinegar and salt until salt is thoroughly dissolved. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container. Shake well before using.

Yield: 2 cups. (Serving size: approximately 2 tbs

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