Beer Mac & Cheese

Hi friends! This has been quite the month. Steve and I leave for Belgium SO soon and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve also closed on our first home and I can’t wait to add in some posts here about design/home updates, etc! However, I wanted to get you one more recipe before I take a week and a half off for our vacation. Since we’re going to be tasting all kinds of Belgium beer, I thought a Beer Mac & Cheese would be appropriate!

This is an ooey gooey cheesy noodle dish and while it was good as leftovers, I felt like it tasted best fresh. Kind of like how kraft mac n’ cheese is just not the same when you heat it up the next day. I encourage you to use a light beer and nothing too astringent in this recipe. While the alcohol cooks off as you make the sauce, the taste from the hops and malt remain. Enjoy!

Beer Mac & Cheese

A thick white cheese sauce over your favorite pasta or veggie based noodles! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, pasta, plant pasta
Author Jessi Holden

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta (I used Banza pasta for added protein and fiber since I didn’t add veggies or meat IN this dish)
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (You can use all purpose too)
  • 2/3 cup beer, at room temp (I used an IPA)
  • 1 and 1/3 cup milk (we keep powdered milk on hand and make it as needed)
  • 2 cups mozzarella (1 block or pre shredded)
  • dash salt, for pasta

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles according to packaging. I’ve been experimenting with Banza pasta right now and you definitely want to add in a dash of salt to the water and spray the noodles with some cooking spray after you drain/rinse them. This way they don’t stick together.

  2. Put your noodles aside.

  3. Use the same pot and add your butter and 1/2 of your chopped green onions. Saute until butter is melted.

  4. Add your flour for 1 minute and use a whisk to mix it with the butter, it will be thick and chunky.

  5. Start pouring the beer into the pot. Don’t dump it it from above, pour it gradually in and whisk it with the flour/butter.

  6. Slowly pour your milk in and whisk. Turn up your heat to get it bubbling/simmering lightly.

  7. Start adding your shredded cheese and continuing whisking. Whisk and let it sit for a bit until bubbles rise. Whisk again and wait, repeat this until it starts to become a thick gooey cheesy sauce. This can take about 5-8 minutes. Do not let it sit and boil without whisking it, it will burn.

  8. As soon as it’s thick cut your heat. Add your noodles back to the pan and mix to coat. Add some green onions for garnish or red pepper flakes for spice.

Recipe Notes

Chef Notes: 

  • I added jam and bacon bits as a fun topping. The sweetness from the jam cut into the thick cheese nicely.
  • You could also add veggies to this dish easily such as roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

Did you make this recipe? Tag me @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram!

Roasted Ranch Chickpeas

Hi friends! I hope your week is off to a great start – this weekend went by too quickly. I went to see How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World with my mom this Friday. We enjoyed the movie but I felt like it was missing something. Have you seen these movies? They’re truly great and get you laughing and crying each time you watch. I even used the score from their first movie as the song I walked down the aisle to!

Saturday was all about helping my mom around the house. My parents have a lot of dogs to care for, other dogs that were staying in the kennel, wood that needed to be brought in and a house that needed to be put back in order after new flooring was put in. Honestly, it felt great to have some big chores to do and to move my body. I definitely move far less in the winter so this was a good opportunity.

We also went to a Namaste Fit class at Train Grand Haven! This is a new Crossfit gym in Grand Haven (about 5 minutes from home right now) and while I missed Crossfit – this class showed me my hip was not quite where I thought it was. Read about my hip surgery here if you like. If you’re intimidated at all by the word Crossfit, try one of their community classes so you can meet the coaches and see if it’s a good fit. That said, my mom and I still got great workouts in and a good long stretch session via yoga. Steve and I had the afternoon to do whatever we chose and eventually we landed with some beer and video games.

During meal prep though, which is why you’re here, I wanted to make a crunchy snack that wasn’t almonds or granola. Enter in my $0.59 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans! This is an incredibly simple snack and a half cup serving has a good source of protein and fiber packed in. I hope you try them out! You can vary the spices to whatever you like.

Roasted Ranch Chickpeas

5 minute max assembly time and 30 minute roasting time. An easy snack to make while you’re busy food prepping other things.

Course Snack
Keyword chickpeas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 1/2 cup servings
Calories 150 kcal
Author Jessi Holden

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 tbsp Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400

  2. Drain and rinse your chickpeas which removes 40% of the sodium

  3. Add your seasonings and oil in with the chickpeas and mix to coat them and bake for 30 minutes on a sprayed pan. Give them a shake at 15 minutes to turn them.

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram.

Low-Sugar Oreo Peanut Butter Energy Bites

It’s almost Valentine’s and Galentine’s day which if you’re not sure what to do for either day, check out my Galentine’s post here and my 35 things to do without food post. But let’s face it, we may want to celebrate with a little chocolate! If you’re looking for a simple energy bite that takes minutes to make but reminds you of Oreos dipped in peanut butter (I can’t be the only one who did that right!?) then look no further.

Energy bites are fun because you can make a huge variety of them, freeze them, and eat them on-the-go. If I made this recipe again (which I will) I would add a couple more things like flax meal and chia seeds to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

So if you’re like me and plan to celebrate Valentine’s / Galentine’s all month long – try these little nuggets of deliciousness and get that warm fuzzy feeling with each bite!

Low-Sugar Oreo Peanut Butter Energy Bites

The main ingredients are oats and chick peas, they have carbohydrates but not a lot of added sugar per energy bite. Great for an on-the-go snack for busy moms with one arm to eat or driving to work and ran out of time for breakfast.

Course Snack
Keyword chickpeas, energy bite, oreos, peanut butter
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Calories 90 kcal
Author Jessi Holden

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cups oats (quick, rolled, or steel cut)
  • 1 15 oz can low-sodium or no salt chick peas drain and rinsed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1.5 servings Oreo pudding mix (I weighed this at 45g)
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor.

  2. Pulse/puree for about 1 minute

  3. Remove blade and begin forming into small energy balls. Smaller bites will yield about 20 servings and medium bites will yield about 15.

  4. Place spread out on a cookie sheet and refridgerate for about 10-20 minutes (or enjoy as is) and then place them in a container to keep in the fridge or freezer.

Did you make the recipe? Show me on Instagram and tag me @The_Beer_Dietitian!