Since I'm a fan of whole wheat pastas (what a great way to get whole grains into your family's diet!), I was excited when I was chosen to do a review for Barilla® Whole Grain pastas. I've been buying Barilla® brand pastas for quite some time and looked forward to trying their newest product.
Sometimes it's hard to get my family to eat new, healthier foods because they look or taste different. They are used to the darker color of a whole wheat pasta, but sometimes the whole wheat version tastes different too, and they simply don't like it.
That wasn't the case with Barilla® Whole Grain Medium Shells Pasta at all. I made a healthier version of shells and cheese macaroni and they loved it! The noodle texture and taste was just perfect, and no one said a thing about them tasting different than the shells and cheese they are used to. In fact, it got the approval nod from Rich and that nod does NOT come easily!
The part I like is that this new pasta is so good for them. It has 3 times the amount of fiber of regular pastas and is made of 51% whole wheat.
I love that Barilla® is also offering a Try Barilla® Whole Grain Taste Challenge; if you don't like the taste of their whole grain version, they'll give you a free box of your favorite version of Barilla® pasta. They have a dinner kit with recipe ideas and other tools that make it easy to put a healthy meal on your dinner table.
This version of mac and cheese has healthy Barilla® Whole Grain pasta, and a cheese sauce much lower in calories than the usual but still big on taste. I hope your family loves it as much as mine did!
Healthier Shells and Cheese
1- 14.5 oz. box Barilla® Whole Grain Medium Shells
2-1/2c. low sodium, low fat chicken broth
5 c. water
1-1/2 c. skim milk
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
1.5 c reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
***NOTE: It is best to make an extra half-batch of the cheese sauce to add to the noodles the next day as they tend to soak up the cheese when refrigerated.
1. Heat 2 c. of chicken broth + 5 c. water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and boil for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small sauce pan, fry the onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the cooked onion to the cooked pasta. In the same pan melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk quickly to form a soft ball in the pan. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 c. of chicken broth and 1-1/2 c. skim milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add in the shredded cheese and stir to melt. The sauce will be like a thick soup. You don't want it too thick because the pasta will later absorb more of it. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour the sauce onto the noodles and mix well. Pour into a sprayed casserole dish. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
The results should be a thick, cheesy pasta dish no one will realize is so good for them!
Stuff like this gets me pumped up because I LOVE it when good companies focus on nutrition and work to get families to incorporate it into their dinners.
And now a question for you: What do you love about Barilla® Whole Grain? Answer this question in the comments section to be entered to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card, courtesy of Barilla® and BlogHer! There are other ways to enter as well:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
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b) Tweet about this promotion @BarillaUS with the following unique term in your message, #BarillaWG, and link to your Tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to your post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.