Heya peeps! I continue my endeavors of trying various dishes of the US-ian cuisine and make them in a clean eating and healthier version where possible. For one because I do love and miss the US and secondly because I like to broaden my horizon and choice of menus for the family. So - what could be more American than oven baked Mac & Cheese? Querying Pinterest yielded a couple of recipes and I went with one that promised a "healthy low-cal version that doesn't taste like cardboard". Sadly the nutritional values and calories didn't add up (meaning they cheated or left out some crucial ingredients in their calculations) AND it didn't come out right as the proportions didn't work out the way they should. Too late I consulted "The Joy Of Cooking", which I bought during my summer vacation - including a set of proper measuring cups - and didn't trust my experience and gut feeling. While the dish didn't come out bad per se it was kind of bland and not worth the effort. Next time I'll try a different recipe/approach as this is a dish I really Want To Get Right :-)
As to a successful result - when searching for American family dish recipes, Pinterest came up with a suggestion for quick teriyaki chicken which sounded too good to be true. I'd given a few sweet & sour chicken recipes a try over the years but it never came out quite right so I thought "well, why not". Know what? This thing is perfect. And quick. And easy. And "clean eating". And low cal. Color me impressed and my belly full - I sadly didn't take any pictures as it was made and eaten way too fast. Sorry! :-)
Several American friends of mine suggested various dishes upon my inquiry for recipes and one that has popped up often is meat loaf. I did check with JOC and io behold, it's very similar to the Austrian/German "Faschierter Braten" which I have made a couple of times and my family loves. Guess what's for dinner tomorrow evening? Side dishes will be an US/Austrian mix I guess, thinking of something along the lines of mashed sweet potato and peas... Lunch will have me try vegetarian pizza quesadillas filled with lots of delicious veggies - I used whole wheat tortillas for my lunch wraps in summer and my kids have been begging me to try them as well. Whole grains + veggies + fun for the kids filling the things for themselves = WIN! (or so I hope, wish me luck)
Seriously - healthy food is so much fun and so much better than pre-processed crap. And if you stock your pantry right, it doesn't take much extra time. Give it a try, it's worth it. Your body will thank you for it, too...