stovetop sausage mac and cheese


spoonful of mac

I have now officially entered the world of children’s sports, and have seen how it can suck out every last bit of sanity that one person might have.  I thought I was an organized person.  I thought wrong.  I thought I was able to balance work, laundry, homework, dinner, and of course, their practice and game schedule in addition to all the things I wanted to accomplish during the course of the day.  I thought wrong again.  Did I mention seeing my husband?  It’s May and I haven’t started my garden.  I vowed to walk the dog more, but that isn’t happening.  My daughter has a storage box on the floor in her room, with all her summer clothes in it, because I haven’t been able to go through her drawers and remove all her winter gear.  My son keeps losing his baseball socks, so trips to Dicks Sporting Goods is like an everyday occurrence it seems.  How often do you wash his protective cup anyway?  My hair is down to my mid back because I haven’t made myself a haircut appointment, so it is piled on top of my head, and I am beginning to look like Marge Simpson.  I guess I could go on, but it happens to everyone so I’ll get over it.   The craziness of spring sports won, and I lost.  I really had faith that my color-coded Sharpie calendar and Excel spreadsheet would carry me through the season, but no amount of appointment reminders or carpooling matters when you realize that your son’s equipment is in your husband’s car and all you have in the fridge is butter and margarita mix.
So last week, after an afternoon of soccer and baseball, I kaboshed the request for fast food for dinner, as I normally do, because I realized I had the makings for this stovetop macaroni and cheese.  Ok so it isn’t that far from fast food, but in my mind it was a home-cooked meal and that is all that mattered.  I was very pleased with myself for about a half hour, until I realized that they all had games the next day and I had to go and wash more uniforms.  Little victories…little victories…

stovetop sausage mac and cheese  (adapted from Cooking Light)

8  oz. turkey sausage, or a mix of italian mild and hot sausage (about 4 links)
6  roasted bell peppers from a jar, chopped
2 1/2  cups low-fat milk
4  TB flour
8  oz shredded reduced-fat mexican style shredded cheese (or cheddar)
1/2  cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1  tsp onion powder
1/2  tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and pepper
1  lb. elbow macaroni, cooked

roasted peppers

get started on the mac and cheese:

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Add kosher salt, and cook macaroni until almost done.  Remove macaroni and drain.

pastasausage and peppers

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat and add sausage.  Remove casings from the sausage and break up in the pan into bite sized pieces and sauté for 5 minutes or until browned.  Add roasted peppers to the pan and cook for a minute longer.  Combine milk and flour in a bowl, and stir with a whisk.  Add milk mixture to the pan and bring to a boil while stirring.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in cheeses, onion powder and garlic powder until cheeses melt, stirring constantly.  Stir in pasta.

stirring the mac

note – this makes a lot.  I served it as a side dish a few days later by adding some to muffin cups and baking it at 375 for about 15 minutes.  Use cooking spray!

muffin macbaked mac

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