Last Friday night for dinner I thought I would have a go at making a gluten free version of Macaroni Cheese. It’s a classic family dish but in the past few years Ted has not enjoyed it too much. So I have not tried to make it but that Friday I thought I would see if he liked it now. Ted ate nearly the whole meal by himself and he really enjoyed it too. I was so happy and so proud.
Before I discovered my gluten allergy I would have used normal white or wholemeal flour for this dish. However, I decided to try with brown rice flour and it worked really well. I made a roux from organic butter and brown rice flour and then I added organic milk. It thickened brilliantly and I was very pleased.
We are now using organic dairy products over conventional dairy because it means we are working with nature. It means higher levels of animal welfare and lower levels of pesticides. There are no manufactered herbicides or artifical fertilisers and more environmentally substainable management of land and the natural environment.
Organic also means having higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and CLA, more antioxidants and more vitamins than normal milk. Milk is a very important part of our diet as its consumption ensures healthy growth and development. Modern dairies use different types of chemicals in the milk production. These include pesticides and fertilisers for growing fodder as well as hormones and antibiotics that are fed to cows.
Now I realise not everyone can afford organic but if you are thinking of making the change I think it’s a brilliant decision. It’s not only better for your body but it’s also better for the environment too. To me, my body is the one home I have to live in so I prefer to treat it kindly. Especially with this yummy Macaroni Cheese!
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Baking tray
- Frying pan
- Saucepans x 3
- Pie dish
- Cheese grater
- Milk x 600ml (preferably organic)
- Butter x 50g (preferably organic)
- Brown rice flour x 50g (or wholemeal flour if not gluten intolerant)
- Mustard seeds x 2 tsp
- Mature cheedar x 200g
- Bacon x 4 thick rashers
- Onion x 1 meduim
- Brown rice pasta x 300g (or wholemeal pasta)
- Cherry tomatoes x 200g
- Green beans x 4 large handfuls
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Start by slicing the onion, cutting the bacon into thin strips and grating the cheese.
- Weigh and measure the other ingredients.
- Put the tomatoes into the baking tray and add a good drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss them together.
- Place under a hot grill for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the skins start to split.
- Boil the pasta as per the packet instructions.
- Heat the frying pan on a high heat.
- Drizzle more olive oil in the pan and add the onion and bacon.
- Fry until the onion is translucent and the bacon fat has started to crisp.
- Next melt the butter in the pan on a low heat.
- Once it has melted add the flour and whisk together.
- It should form a thick paste.
- Remove from the heat and add a little bit of milk whilst whisking.
- Keep adding the milk and whisking until all the milk has gone.
- Return the pan to the hob on a medium heat.
- Whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken.
- When it starts to thicken, remove from the heat and add about two thirds of the grated cheese leaving a good amount for the topping.
- Stir this until the cheese disappears and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Finally add the fried onion and bacon.
- Set the cheese sauce aside.
- Boil the green beans for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile drain the pasta.
- If the skins have started to split on the tomatoes remove from the grill and set aside.
- Put the drained pasta into the pie dish and add the cheese sauce.
- Mix them together.
- Now drain the cooked green beans and add them to the pasta and cheese sauce.
- Top with the extra cheese and place under a hot grill.
- When the cheese has melted, remove from the grill, plate up and add the grilled tomatoes to the plate.
Macaroni Cheese was a massive success in this house. We thoroughly enjoyed this dinner and I think we will be having it again soon. If you don’t like green beans, you could always have it with peas and/or sweetcorn. I love peas but my husband and my son are not fans. So green beans it was for us. However you decide to have your mac and cheese, as always, please enjoy.