Oh hey there cold weather, I was wondering when you were going to make your appearance. Thankfully the good thing about cold weather is that it’s enticing to turn the oven on and cook some comfort meals like this Bacon Brussels Sprout Mac & Cheese. While I’m not jazzed about the cold, I am jazzed about this recipe, balance, am I right?!
I found Banza at last year’s Expo East and have been hooked ever since. I went gluten-free about 8 years ago after I realized it was causing digestive issues for me. I was sad at first that I had to give up pasta as I legit thought it was a food group (I’m Italian if you hadn’t guessed yet). So when I tried out some gluten-free alternatives a few years ago I was put off by the taste, texture, and overall experience. I gave up.
Then, I tried Banza and my faith in pasta was restored. I could eat a pasta that was gluten-free that wouldn’t cause any digestive distress BUT would actually hold up to sauce, heat, and cooking. This pasta is robust, tasty, and filled with fiber & protein, win-win-win. Then they decided to come out with mac and cheese and now I’m just a smitten kitten.
Ps. I’m excited to see this brand at FNCE, follow along my Instagram to see what they are offering and for a fun event!
Mac and Cheese
Growing up I was a real pain in the butt in more ways than one, just ask my mom. I literally hated real food, lived off of chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and ravioli. I would wish for the day I had a dog to eat my broccoli. I then got a dog and she hated broccoli too. The irony, haha. Anyway, my mom did her best to make this not-so-healthy food healthier so that she knew at least I was getting some good nutrients as opposed to boxed crap.
I LOVED her mac and cheese, it was always my favorite when I knew she was making it for us. I then moved away from home and eventually went gluten-free and really haven’t thought about it all that much. In that time, my taste buds also changed. I now crave vegetables, love broccoli, (i know, eye roll) and honestly am not comfortable going a day without them. So, mac & cheese wasn’t really on the priority list, not to mention JJ is lactose intolerant so it’s not like he’s begging for it.
I told my friend NV (who just got knee surgery) I wanted to make it and that she needed to come over for dinner because I needed to make sure someone else could taste test & enjoy it with me. She happily obliged. I now think I have a new weeknight Mac & Cheese recipe that is delicious & nutritious because after all, I am The Sassy Dietitian.
Bacon Brussels Sprout Mac and Cheese
If you know me you know I’m extra with my food. You also know that I love the word extra, sorry not sorry. I never can leave well enough alone because I just LOVE food and I love experimenting in the kitchen. I have a knack for knowing what flavors will go together and in what proportions. I thank my McCormick days for that and probably some genetics.
I received Brussels sprouts in my recent Field Goods bag around the same time Banza sent their package so it was like it was meant to be. I then thought, what if I added bacon in there, what could go wrong? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. This flavor combo is incredibly rich without being overwhelming. It also takes minimal prep/cook time to make and people will think you are a fancy chef (and extra AF), you’re welcome.
Pro Tip: Don’t have Banza? Try this out with your favorite pasta + a little extra cheese & milk!Print
- 2 boxes Banza Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 cup milk (of choice- I used whole milk)
- 6 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, quartered (stems & outside brown leaves removed)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, diced (seeded if prefer less spicy!)
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- In a large skillet (oven-safe) over medium heat, add bacon and cook until brown, remove with a slotted spoon, return skillet to stove (with bacon grease-~1-2Tbsp)
- Add onion, garlic, and pepper to skillet, saute for 3-4 minutes
- Add Brussels sprouts continue to saute for 5 minutes, stirring often
- Meanwhile in a medium pot, cook Banza per instructions on the box, once complete (and cheese packets added to the pasta) add prepared mac and cheese to the skillet, stir to combine & turn off heat
- Top with cheese and bread crumbs
- Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until browned and cheese is melted/bubbling
Are you a mac & cheese fan?! What’s your favorite thing to add to your mac & cheese?!
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