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Southwestern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 8.5 oz one small can corn
  • 1/2 cup probably about 3-4 oz. chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 oz. black bean noodles regular noodles will work fine as well
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour substitute for a gluten-free flour if you like
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • salt + pepper
  • chopped cilantro and hot sauce for serving

Instructions

  • In a pan quickly sauté the garlic, onion, corn (drained from the can juices), and bell pepper in the olive oil over high heat. You're looking to cook this until the onions and peppers just begin to soften. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Boil the black bean noodles in salted water for 6 minutes. The box had instructed that 6-8 minutes was a good boiling time, so for this recipe, you want to undercook them a little because they bake in a sauce and will absorb a little more moisture then. So 6 minutes will do the trick
  • While that cooks, in a medium size pot heat the butter until melted. Whisk in the flour so that it forms a paste. Season with just a little salt and pepper here. Now pour in the stock and milk and whisk so the mixture is well combined. As this cooks over the heat, it will begin to thicken. Once it can easily coat your spoon, turn down the heat and stir in the pepper jack cheese. 
  • Combine the cooked noodles, vegetables, and the cheese sauce. Pour into four single serving baking dishes (like the ones I have pictured here) or a small square baking dish. A pie pan will work as well. Top with the cheddar cheese and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350°F. Once bubbly and the top cheese has melted, remove and allow to cool a little before serving. Sprinkle with cilantro and have some of your favorite hot sauce ready!