- Calories: 470
- Fat: 22 grams
- Carbs: 60 grams
- Fiber: 12 grams
- Protein: 20 grams
- WW Points (new system): 13
This is also very high in iron (37% DV), high in calcium, and a good source of many other vitamins and minerals. (Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium!)
Nutrition info is based on 5 servings, but it could easily serve 6 (or even 7 as a side-dish)… unless you are me, who only gets 3 servings, but I really love macaroni and cheese. Did I make that clear enough in my post? 😉
I debated whether or not to post nutrition information at all, because it doesn’t show the whole picture. Yes, this recipe is high in fat; but unlike traditional mac and cheese, the fat (and calories) in this recipe are mostly healthy fats from the nuts. According to the Mayo Clinic (and many other studies), evidence suggests that eating nuts, which contain Omega 3s, Vitamin E, fiber, etc., can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. A diet that includes “good” fats is also conducive to achieving healthy, shiny hair and softer skin. Know your own body, and don’t eat nuts with abandon if you’re trying to lose weight… but don’t fear the fats either! Some fat is essential for a healthy diet.
As this is not my recipe, you’ll have to ask Dreena about any substitutions. Go ahead; she won’t bite!
1) You can use another ½ cup of dry pasta, but I wouldn’t use any more than that – you’ll lose out on the sauce and instead will have a dry casserole.
2) If you have leftovers, place in a heatproof dish. Drizzle in a touch of milk of choice to remoisten the mixture while baking. Cover and bake until heated through, then remove cover for a couple of minutes to crisp up the topping again.
3) You can make your own breadcrumbs (and use up any heels of bread!) by processing slices in a food processor until fine. Use bread of choice – whole-grain, and wheat-free or gluten-free for those options. If you want a really crunchy topping, use store-bought dry breadcrumbs. If you like lots of that bready kind of topping, use the full 1 1/4 cups, but if you like more of the saucy stuff, use just 3/4 cup. Or, divvy the breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole to please family members – less on one side, more on the other!
Nut-Free version: When our baby was just a year, I wanted to do a nut-free version of this casserole that I could serve to the entire family. I decided to use tahini in place of the nuts, along with a few other changes. For that version, omit the nuts entirely and substitute ½ cup tahini sauce. Keep the lemon juice, garlic, increase arrowroot to 1 tbsp, keep onion powder, mustard, water and milk, and use 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Also add 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast, ½ tsp agave nectar and ½ tsp (roughly chopped) fresh rosemary leaves.