Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Broccoli & Bacon Bits

With the change of seasons, my husband is traveling more for work.  That means it is just me and my boys, so I am trying to make some kid friendly foods that are a bit healthier for my son and more enjoyable for me.

I started of with the classic kid-favorite, Mac & Cheese.  As I make more and more of my family’s meals, I find myself relying less and less on processed foods.  The really surprising part of this recipe is that is takes no longer than its boxed, sodium laden counterpart.  The pasta cooks up just as quickly as boxed mac & cheese (with the broccoli mixed right in).  And then it is simply a matter of stirring in the remaining ingredients and warming through.  Easy peasy!

Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Broccoli & Bacon Bits
An Amy Original

3 cups dry whole wheat pasta
2 ½ cups broccoli
½ cup lowfat milk
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
¼ cup real bacon bits, plus more to garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water according to package instructions, about 7 minutes.  Add the broccoli in at the same time.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and return to the stove at low heat.  Mix in the milk, carrot puree, cheddar, and bacon bits.  Stir until well combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4