Is there anything more wonderful after a long run than a cool, crisp beer?
Possibly this roasted vegetable beer mac and cheese.
For years now I’ve been living off of recipes from How Sweet It Is. This recipe from there I make again and again until the recipe has become ingrained in memory. I’ll remember how to make this before I can remember what half the books I read in graduate school were about. Priorities, right? Right. I adapted the recipe to include lots of roasted vegetables and a yummy garlic flavor.
This roasted vegetable beer mac and cheese includes all the major culinary and nutritional priorities for runners. Healthy, complex carbohydrates? Check. Lots of vegetables for vitamins and fiber? Check. Cheese for bone-building dairy? Check. Beer? Check. I even threw in some superfoods for runners like garlic and cauliflower.
See, I just want you to be healthy and happy. There’s no fun in healthy food if your can’t smother your vegetables in a beer cheese sauce from time to time.
Plus, cooking with beer decreases how much butter and cream is used, so this is a lower fat but full of flavor mac and cheese. It’s all about balance… I say as a pour a beer to go with this.
This recipe is scaled for two people, because we are currently cooking for two (sorry, Charlie, you just get kibble). This is a no-fuss recipes to scale though – just double or even triple all the ingredients, but the cooking time stays the same.
- 2 cups of chopped vegetables - I used zucchini, cauliflower, and green pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pasta, such as elbows or penne
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 4 oz milk (I used 1%)
- 4 oz beer
- 4 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 2 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
- One clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- Toss chopped vegetables in olive oil and spread on a cooking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes. While they are roasting, you can prepare the pasta and sauce.
- Bring water to a boil and cook pasta, reducing cooking time by 1-2 minutes (pasta will cook more in the oven).
- Heat butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add in flour and whisk for two minutes to create a roux. Add milk and beer into saucepan and stir continuously. Add cheeses and garlic, whisk until melted, and then cook on medium for about five minutes. This sauce does not get super thick, but it will thicken some as it cooks. Season with paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and any other desired spices.
- In a casserole dish, combine the drained pasta and the noodles. Evenly mix in the cheese sauce. Top with breadcrumbs and ground thyme. You can also top with additional cheese if desired.
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- I find lager beers work quite well for this recipe.