Wednesday, February 4, 2015

White Shells and Cheese w/ Peas, aka a Fancy Mac and Cheese

White Shells and Cheese with Peas aka Mac and Cheese with a fancy and elegant  twist.  Plus the vegetable bonus is great for kids and adults alike. Alohamora Open a Book

Yesterday was one of those days where cereal for dinner is looking really really good.  A day where your toddlers are constantly fighting and getting on each other's nerves, and your infant is super needy and constantly crying and your not sure if it's b/c she isn't feeling well, a wonder week, or just a needy day.  

Yesterday was a rough day.  

I really just wanted to have cereal for dinner, but my son has been requesting mac and cheese for over a week now.  

Since yesterday was a bad day I decided comfort food like mac and cheese was sounding pretty great.

So, I made mac and cheese but I added some healthy green color to it by tossing in the peas and fancied it up using white cheddar.  I also used quinoa pasta shells in place of elbow macaroni.  There is just something fancy and special about shells pasta in my book.  I also like the health benefits of using quinoa pasta (which you cannot tell a difference taste wise) over regular pasta.

You could say this White Shells and Cheese with Peas is the most elegant and toddler/kid friendly meal on the market.  You won't even have to bribe your kids to eat the peas, they'll probably enjoy it. 

An added bonus, this is a meal you can get on the table in less than an hour; it's perfect for a crazy weeknight dinner.  Plus, it's absolutely delicious and a dinner all ages will love. 

White Shells and Cheese w/ Peas
Recipe: Alohamora 
Active Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6


1 (8oz) pkg quinoa pasta shells
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour (use gluten free flour if you need/want)
1/4 c. diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 pepper
2 c. milk (I use fat free for health reasons, but any milk will work)
2 c. white cheddar cheese, shredded (can do a mixture of mozzarella and white cheddar)
2 c. frozen peas
1/4 c.breadcrumbs

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box until it is al dente.  When pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and pour it into a 2 quart baking dish. 
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  3. Over medium heat place the diced onion and the minced garlic in a large saucepan.  Throw in your butter and stir until melted.  Once melted stir flour into the butter mixture until smooth (take less than a minute). 
  4. Quickly stir in the dry mustard, salt, and pepper until evenly mixed in to the thick paste like mixture.  You can remove the pan from the stove while you measure out the spices. 
  5. Add the milk and stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat until it thickens.  
  6. Add cheese and continue to stir and cook it until melted.
  7. Finally, add the frozen peas to the cheese mixture and stir to combine everything. 
  8. With the pasta already in a 2 qt. baking dish pour the cheese and peas mixture over the pasta shells.  Stir to combine everything, and top it with the breadcrumbs.  
  9. Bake at 325 uncovered for 20 minutes. 
  10. Enjoy 
  11. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Happy fancy and elegant White Shells and Cheese with Peas eating!  

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of quinoa pasta before! Going to have to look into that.