Broccoli Ham Cheddar Mac N Cheese

Yesterday I was wide awake at 6:30 in the morning.  What?  That gave me an hour and 40 minutes before I had to leave for work – so much time for activities!

For breakfast, I made a Green Monster – this time with two overflowing cups of spinach so it was nice and green.  This one had 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 a banana, 1 cup frozen mixed fruit, a teaspoon of honey and mango Chobani yogurt.

green monster

I ended up making a batch of my granola clusters for my one boss.   Then I decided to try out making a macaroni and cheese with unsweetened almond milk.  If you haven’t tried almond milk yet, I urge you to try it.  I have been subbing it in for any recipe that calls for milk – and at 30 calories a cup you really get a lot of bang for the buck.

This was pretty quick to come together because I already had leftover pasta.

Broccoli, Ham and Cheddar Mac N Cheese

  • makes 4 servings
  • 415 calories, 27 fat, 17 carbs, 25 protein, 2 fiber, 1005 sodium


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 ounces lean ham, diced
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups loose shredded cheese
  • 4 ounces (2 cups) cooked pasta of your choice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of crushed red pepper

Melt butter in a stock pot.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add the almond milk stirring until thickened.  This is the longest process – maybe took me about 7 minutes total?  Remove from heat and stir in the ham, broccoli cheese and pasta.  I never even baked this again since I was taking it to work – but if I were to make it at home (which would never happen because Tony hates macaroni and cheese – even home made!) I would sprinkle with some panko bread crumbs and put it under the broiler.

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For my workout I found something on Pinterest I thought would switch things up.  My plan was to wear my bathing suit under my workout clothes, do the workout, then swim.

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This is the workout I did.  It took me 16 minutes to complete before the run.

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There was only a teeny tiny problem with my plan.  I couldn’t do the run with my bathing suit.  Um, let’s just say that there wasn’t enough support for the twins!  So I ended up walking for 10 minutes on a 10% incline at 3.5 mph.

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And them I swam for 15 minutes.  I liked that it switched up and I didn’t feel bored at all!

Then it was time to eat the mac n cheese!  This got thumbs up from my two bosses.

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I had an orange and grapes on the side.

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Last night we had one of Tony’s favorite dinners, which is funny because there really isn’t any “cooking” involved.  Red beans and rice with smoked sausage!  So easy.  If you haven’t bought a rice cooker, go out and get one – it cooks any kind of grain just as long as you use the correct proportion of water to the grain.

Our package of Zataran’s called for 3 1/4 cups water added to the mix.  Dump the package of red beans and rice in the bottom of the rice cooker.  Add water.

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Then throw in the sliced smoked sausage.  This is already cooked sausage, fyi.

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Mix well with a fork so there aren’t any clumps.

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This took about 35-40 minutes to cook.  Just set it and forget it!  It gets super bubbly at the end and the sausage is all plump.  (That’s what she said!)

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I of course served mine over a bed of chopped baby spinach.  And I may have doused this in hot sauce after the picture was taken. Devil

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Delish!  And of course Tony had to be a smart ass and tell me it was nice to have a decent meal for once!  Funny Tony!

Alright, here is my question of the day since most of you are much better cooks than I am.  I had a thought.  I have a pound of leftover beef roast, and I had an idea to make meatballs out of it – put the beef in a food processor with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and egg, garlic, Italian seasoning and pulse.  Then just pan fry them on top of the stove to get a crust.  Do you think that would work??

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In my head it works out, but let me know your thoughts!

Stats for the Day

  • 46 minute workout at lunch
  • 1439 calories
  • 59 fat
  • 174 carbs
  • 19 fiber
  • 63 protein
  • 49% of calories from carbs, 27% from fat and 14% from protein
  • 2900 mg sodium!

I need to start evening out my stats – while I am fine around 1500 calories, I need to increase the fiber and protein.  It would be less insulin too! Open-mouthed smile

Alright, just about to take a broccoli quiche out of the oven and I need to check on my sautéed apples.  Everyone cooks before going to work, right?! Open-mouthed smile

Make it a great day! 


37 thoughts on “Broccoli Ham Cheddar Mac N Cheese

  1. Hmm! you know what you should try making one day? is Jalapeno mac and cheese.

  2. This cracked me up: “so much time for activities!” I love step brothers. Hilarious. The mac n cheese looks fabulous. I use almond milk on the regular because I have a dairy sensitivity (i.e. my tummy hurts and my whole face breaks out if I take in too much :(). It is definitely an awesome sub. I’m not sure about the meatballs. They may come out a little dry since the meat is already cooked?

  3. The mac and cheese looks amazing! I’ve having a problem with my stats too – I’m good with fiber, but I have a problem with fat and protein. Carbs, on the other hand? I’m AWESOME at getting those in….lol

  4. Oh that mac & cheese is a must make tomorrow before my ham goes!

    • I think you’ll like it. We use the Kraft home style dinner kit and add the jalapenos and ham then bake it. Sometimes we use habaneros which gives it a spicier kick but its SO good.

  5. missmelbryant

    I think the meatballs might come out being too dry since the meat is already cooked. Why not try adding a cooked potato, or cooked rice, to the food processor along with the meat, egg and seasonings and then rolling them in breadcrumbs before frying them? I’m thinking of something along the lines of the fried ‘telephone wires’ in Italian cooking (leftover risotto with parmesan and mozzarella, rolled in bread crumbs and fried). Have fun; if it doesn’t work, just crumble it up, put it on some toasted rolls with thick slices of provolone or mozzarella, a little sauce and call it a sandwich.

  6. myjourneytofit

    Yeah, there’s no way I could run while wearing my bathing suit either! Good plan, and nice way to mix thing up with your workout, though. 🙂

  7. Does like mac and cheese???? The horror. As for the meatballs – I think it should work, but worried they might get too dry?

    And have I said, I just LOVE that you cooks for your bosses?

    • Ally, he’s Italian and doesn’t like meatballs either! Well, I take that back, he’ll eat them sliced on a pizza.

      I do enjoy cooking for my bosses 😀

  8. I think it would work fine. I have the meat grinder attachment for my kitchenaid and I use roasts all the time to make meatballs. Food processor should do the same thing! I bake mine at 350 for 20 minutes or so…

  9. I LOVE red beans and rice, haven’t made it in a while but I think that should be remedied. I don’t have a rice cooker but I make good use of my crock pot. And serving it over spinach? Great idea to add more filling fiber & veggies.

  10. I do agree with the consensus that the meatballs would be too dry by itself. I just read that you can help keep the meatballs juicy by mixing the cooked meat with some raw meat. Also cooking it in some broth (like a soup) or sauce or gravy (swedish meatballs) helps to counter any dryness. Good luck with them! Looking forward to seeing how they turn out!

  11. I really need to start making green drinks! I want to so bad. But, I need to get a blender first. 🙂 I agree about the almond milk. I’ve also tried the new almond/coconut milk mix. It’s good, too. I always try to get the unsweetened! Thanks for stopping by Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life. And thanks for the recipes. 🙂

  12. That’s a fantastic calorie burn for a lunch time workout! When I used to run at lunch (about 45 minutes or so, had to leave time to shower and stuff), I’d burn around 500!

  13. Weighting For 50

    Nice sausage. That’s what she said too! Ah, ha, ha… Running in a bathing suit wouldn’t be an option for me either. I can barely run in a support bra. Kidding. Sort of… Have a great day Vat.

  14. Perhaps you can around the house for Tony tonight. Who Haaa!

  15. I too think the balls would dry out! However if you make them and bake them in a sauce rather than ‘dry bake’ it might keep the moisture in. Can’t wait to hear about whatcha did!

  16. Go Biz Go! You’re looking so great!!

  17. My MIL taught me to make ‘popette’ with leftover cooked meat (beef, chicken, turkey). Grind the meat in the food processor with leftover mashed potatoes, garlic, egg, thyme, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Roll into balls, roll in flour and fry in olive oil. Flatten them in the pan a bit so they are like little patties. These are nice and tender and flavorful — crisp on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. So good. And add LOTS of garlic!!

  18. No Mac n Cheese for Tony?! Even Tom tried that last year and liked it 🙂 Regular milk makes me ill so I have been a fan of the almond milk for a while.

  19. You are amazing Biz. And i don’t like mac and cheese either but I do love red beans and rice! As for your roast beef issue- I would try using mashed potatoes and more thin chopped slices of the roast beef rather than ground and make hash style patties. But I am a potato person!

  20. One of my son’s favorite dishes is Zatarain’s jambalaya rice with polish sausage/chicken or shrimp or a combination say chicken and sausage. When his wife called to ask me how to make it, she couldn’t believe how simple it was…lol! Of course, I had to tease her and say, “It’s really complicated do you have a pencil ready?” hee hee!

  21. That mac & cheese would be a boyfriend approved meal. I’m still trying to figure out how to cook for 2 people, and keep in mind that the other person eats bigger portions that I would make for myself. I almost think I need to make a weekly meal plan! Ack!

  22. Marianne – Every sunday I post a weekly meal plan for my family on my blog if you are interested at all! You can search through old ones as well under “C’s picks’

    Biz, you look great! I never thought of making red beans and rice like that – how easy and delicious. My husband would love it!

  23. andreaswellnessnotes

    Your workout sounds fun! I’m working on mixing things up again….

    Happy Friday!

  24. When I have leftover roast I simmer it with a little beef broth and taco seasoning and shred it up and use it to make shredded beef tacos OR enchiladas OR quesadillas. Yummmm!!

  25. Ham and broccoli mac and cheese sounds so good! A little veggie, a little meat, a little cheese – I like it!

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