Sunday, September 8, 2013

Healthier Mac and Cheese

Well, I knew this blog thing was gonna be hard to keep up once school got started and I guess I was right.

I have now been teaching for a few weeks and I absolutely love it.  It is difficult work and I am always tired, but I love going to school and being in the classroom.  In the next few weeks, I have a lot of my observations starting and I am nervous, but also excited about getting feedback and having people in the classroom.  The beginning of the year is such a crucial time for everything and it has been a blast getting to know the students. Now, I am working really hard to establish a solid classroom routine and classroom culture.  Both of these are important to me as I feel it helps students be better students because they know the expectations and are not surprised by what they have to do.  My latest idea is a small reward for students who do all their homework well for a week.  If the whole class does their homework well for a week I have promised baked goods, but a lot of kids don't do homework so we will see if this happens.  I think kids should do their homework no matter what, but since it seems to be such a struggle I am going to try this system for a little.  I also had my first quizzes and tests on Friday and this assessment allowed me to see what we need to go over and work on moving forward.  Both assessments had a lot of review from last year on them and it was helpful to see what students know and what they forgot.

In other news, I am also LOVING living in the city.  I love my apartment and, although I haven't been blogging as much, I have been cooking a lot!  Bri typically picks out a vegetarian recipe that sounds good, we go grocery shopping on Saturday and then cook on Sunday.  While I do most the cooking, he gets to work cleaning the apartment and it is a wonderful system.  I love Sundays because I get to cook a bunch for the week and then I just lie around and work on school stuff or enter grades while catching up on TV.  There is nothing like a solid lazy Sunday.  One of the things I made on such a Sunday was this Healthier Mac and Cheese recipe.  It was a huge hit (Bri didn't even know it was "healthy") and I will definitely be making it again!

Healthier Mac and Cheese

12 oz whole wheat noodles
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
3/4 cup non-fat greek yogurt (I used Chobani), divided
1 cup skim milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp mustard powder
couple dashes of Frank's Hot Sauce
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Cook the pasta according to directions to al dente, drain and set aside.
2. In a small pan, saute the onions in a tbsp of olive oil until soft and translucent.  Set aside.
3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for two minutes.  While whisking, pour in the milk and 1/2 cup yogurt.  Continue to stir until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, 1/4 cup of yogurt and seasonings.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour the pasta into your cheese sauce and stir to coat.  Place into an oven safe dish and top with the onions.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350.

Enjoy :)


  1. I am glad you have gotten settled and are enjoying the teaching. The first year goes by so fast...especially when are new to a place and a school system. Thanks for the recipe! I have never been much of a homemade mac and cheese, but I think this is one that I would really like. I hope your observations go well!

  2. Great Blog!!! Thanks for sharing this delicious tip. I must try this tonight, my kids would definitely love it. Again thanks.

  3. I'm glad to hear you're settling in so well -- Chicago is a fabulous city! :-)

  4. We can enjoy more of our favorite mac and cheese with this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.