Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

It’s winter and that means COMFORT FOOD. All day every day. I love mac and cheese and I love buffalo, so…ta da! Buffalo chicken mac and cheese it is. I found this recipe which was “lightened-up” but I tweaked it a bit based on my tastes and what I had in the kitchen. It turned out to be delicious, easy, and made about 8 servings, so I could eat plenty!

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Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Adapted from: Prevention RD

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups dry whole wheat pasta
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp ranch dressing (or ranch dip mix)
  • Garlic powder and dried dill, to taste
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ⅔ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lb cooked chicken, cooked and shredded
  • ¼ cup panko

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Once hot, add flour and stir, then add milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, stir in hot sauce, ranch, garlic and dill, and shredded cheeses. Mix until cheese melts; remove from heat and stir in the yogurt, mixing well. Mix in cooked pasta and shredded chicken.
  3. Transfer pasta to a greased baking dish and top with panko [I ended up needing an 13 x 9 AND a 9 x 9 pan because it made a lot!] Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until panko is browned.

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My Daily Salad!

I am pretty predictable when it comes to my lunches at work…4 out of 5 days I usually bring the same salad, and while I should be sick of them by now, I’m not! I love the combo of the feta with the balsamic vinegar, and I like the mixture of spring mix and spinach. I try to have a salad for one meal a day, because it’s a great way for me to get my daily servings of veggies, while the feta provides protein and the volume of veggies keeps me full. On days when I work at my bartending job, I have a Greek salad with steak tips while I’m there, because they make the BEST steak tips; I will have to post a picture of that the next time I work. I usually cut all my veggies on Sundays, that way during the week I just have to throw everything together in a Tupperware and bring it to work!

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My salad: spring mix, spinach, green pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, croutons, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar

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Salad prep!