“Healthified” Sriracha Mac – featuring Sosu’s Barrel Aged Sriracha
I’ve lusted for months over Sosu’s Barrel Aged Sriracha. From the moment I saw their Kickstarter campaign and realized I’d missed the deadline to participate, I’ve been searching for ways to get my hands on the stuff. On a recent trip to San Francisco, I scoured the city for a jar, but came up empty handed. Everyone was sold out! Finally, it turned up on Food52’s store and about a week later, I was opening my very own bottle.
I immediately drizzled some onto my omelet for breakfast and loved the the warm rounded flavor and heat the kicked in at the end. Included in the box was a recipe for the Sriracha Mac at Homeroom. In the midst of training for a marathon, I’m trying to be extra good about what I eat. Determined to make this recipe work for me, I set out to create a lower calorie version of the recipe with a little more fiber and protein. Here’s what I did:
3 Cups FairLife Nonfat Milk
3 Tablespoons Smart Balance Margarine
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Box Barrilla Plus Elbows
2 Tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1 Tbsp Smart Balance Margarine
8 oz. Creamy Havarti
8 oz. Light Havarti
4 Tbsp Sosu Sriracha
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Now, first, a little about my modifications:
I chose to use FairLife Nonfat Milk instead of whole milk. This was my first time trying FairLife and I’m pleased with the results. The milk is ultra filtered to keep protein and calcium while cutting down on fat. What’s not to like about that?
Secondly, I used Barilla Plus for my pasta. I’ve used this pasta for many a mac and cheese dish and love how it’s higher protein and higher fiber, keeping me full and satisfied. It holds up well and never gets that starchy glutinous texture I dislike about white pasta.
I cut used a vegan margarine instead of butter (and much less of it), substituted half of my havarti with a light version and used King Arthur‘s Whole Wheat Flour, instead of white flour.
And now, a step by step guide:
PREP WORK: Start out by investing a little time in your prep and save yourself stress during those critical moments later on!
1. Grate your Havarti
2. Grate your ginger and mash it into 1 Tbsp Margarine
3. Chop the 2 scallion tops
STEP ONE: Making the bechamel sauce
Gently heat your 3 cups nonfat milk in a heavy pot. Whisk occasionally to make sure that it doesn’t stick!
Melt the 3 Tbsp margarine in a heavy metal or ceramic pot. Add in the flour and stir vigorously for about 3-5 minutes until the flour is toasty. If it looks too thick, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil, or in my case, avocado oil.
Now, you’re ready to gradually add the heated milk into the flour. Once you do, you’re going to have to stir and whisk like the life of this dish depends upon it….because it does. The last thing you want is a lumpy bechamel!
Slowly, the sauce will thicken. Keep stirring and stirring for about 5 minutes. This is a nonfat milk so there’s a good bit of water that needs to cook off. Don’t lose faith, and keep a close eye on it, because when you think it’s not gonna happen, the sauce quickly thickens and you’re in business!
Test your sauce by dipping your spoon into it and making sure it’s forming a thick coating like you see here:
STEP TWO: Mac and Cheese Magic
Now for the super fun part, adding in the cheese and everything else!
Next goes the scallions and pasta:
Now for that glorious Sriracha for color and kick:
Stir it all together and poor into a Pyrex baking dish. About 13×9″ will do it. Top with your Panko crumbs and pop it into the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I stuck mine under the broiler for about a minute at the very end to brown the bread crumbs.
When it comes out in all its bubbly, cheesy, spicy goodness, top liberally with Sriracha and eat it up. Logging the ingredients in myfitnesspal, I got 9 servings for 550 calories each with over 30g of protein per serving. Not exactly a diet food, but not too shabby, if you ask me.
I served mine with garlic Parmesan green beans and Gardein fried “fish,” but there are so many possibilities. Try it out and let me know what you think!