Yes, your prayers have been answered! Straight from the FBG kitchen a recipe for protein-packed comfort food without all the starchy carbs: Tuna Zoodle Mac and Cheese! Lose one-third of the calories by substituting zucchini squash for the traditional macaroni product.
Due to their high moisture content, cooked zucchini noodles (zoodles!) often come out mushy. The trick is to salt the zucchini noodles or zoodles before cooking to draw out some of the water and then flash fry with minimal stirring over dry heat to caramelize the flesh.
- 2 - 8 oz. zucchini
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 oz. can of tuna in water, drained and flaked
- 1 cup milk
- 1 small bay leaf
- ½ small onion
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour (gluten free may be used)
- ⅔ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- dash cayenne pepper
- Cut zucchini into desired shape. (Matchsticks work well if you do not own a spiralizer.)
- Toss zoodles with 1 teaspoon sea salt and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Rinse zoodles with cold water, allow to drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Heat 1 cup milk, bay leaf and the uncut onion in saucepan over extremely low heat. DO NOT BOIL. Heat only until little bubbles appear on the edge of the pan.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the flour to create a thick paste. (This is your roux.)
- Continue stirring until the roux thickens and bubbles, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and onion from milk.
- Slowly add the hot milk to the roux and continue to cook until the mixture boils, stirring constantly.
- Lower the heat, add cheese and seasoning; continue to cook for 2 –3 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside and keep warm.
- Heat a large pan over high heat.
- Cook zucchini for 1 minute turning once.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the zoodles; add tuna and toss.
- Optional: Pour into individual casserole dish, sprinkle additional grated cheese or breadcrumbs on top and place under the broiler until brown.
When cooking zoodles try to use a large pan so that the zoodles are in a single layer. Or cook them in two batches. Only flip once, the less stirring of the zoodles the better.
Where does mac and cheese rank on your comfort-food list? —Karen