Ontario Apple Mac and Cheese Bake

Improve your focus and sense of calm while indulging in a healthy rendition of a classic comfort food. This Ontario apple mac and cheese bake incorporates turkey, ricotta cheese and whole grain pasta to create a healthy medley of brain boosting foods.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Chef Tip: Garnish with fresh parsley. To reheat in oven add 1/2 tbsp (7 mL) of skim milk per serving to moisten.

Variety Tip: For best results, use Ontario Empire, Gala, or Cortland apples.

Ingredients

Filling
3/4 lb lean ground turkey (approximately one small package) 350 g
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 90 mL
1/4 cup sweet red onion, minced 50 mL
2 tsp ground cumin 10 mL
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) 5 mL
pinch of salt & black pepper
2 cups whole wheat or spelt macaroni noodles 500 mL
2 large, sweet Ontario red apples, cored and cubed 2
Sauce
1 tsp powdered mustard 5 mL
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) 5 mL
1/2 cup skim milk 125 mL
3/4 cup light ricotta cheese 175 mL
1 cup shredded aged white cheddar 250 mL
pinch of salt
Crust
1 cup ground cornmeal 250 mL

Directions

Before you begin: Preheat oven on Broil at 400°F (200°C).

In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of olive oil, onion, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium to high heat and add turkey mixture. Cook until turkey is completely browned, cover and remove from heat.

Bring 4 cups (1 L) of salted water to boil, add macaroni. Cook as per directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine mustard, cayenne, milk, ricotta, cheddar cheese and salt.

Strain cooked macaroni and pour into a 9 x 13 inch (22.5 x 32.5 cm) baking dish. Mix in cooked turkey and apples. Pour sauce over the entire pasta mixture, followed by a drizzling of 4 tbsp (60 mL) of olive oil. Sprinkle evenly and generously with cornmeal. Broil for 15 minutes or until top is crisp and golden brown.

Per Serving:
(1/6 recipe): 559 calories, 27 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 266 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 26 g protein. % RDI: 22% calcium, 15% iron, 2% vitamin A, 8% vitamin C.

 

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