Athlete's Mac and Cheese

May 5, 2011, 9:33 am May 2011 issue Runner's World

Runner's World contributing food writer, Mark Bittman, slashes the fat and kilojoules in classic macaroni and cheese with unusual ingredients.

Athlete s Mac and Cheese

Instead of using high-fat butter and cream, Bittman makes his healthier macaroni and cheese with pureed cauliflower, chicken stock, and a moderate amount of cheese.

2½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
230 grams elbow macaroni
½ cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere or a combination)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup whole-grain bread crumbs


Heat oven to 200°C. Boil a pot of salted water. In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat. Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes. Put cauliflower in a food processor. Cook pasta in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse to cool; put pasta in a greased, 20cm square baking dish. Process cauliflower with stock (discard bay leaves), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, working in batches. Pour sauce over pasta, toss, and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes. Serves four.

Kilojoules Per Serving: 1760
Carbs: 57g
Protein: 20g

Fat: 15g

To train for a marathon last October, Mark Bittman, author of The Food Matters Cookbook, ran five days a week and regularly did intense speedwork. “It beat me up,” says Bittman. His hard work paid off, though. He finished in 4:26, shaving 20 minutes off his previous marathon time.

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Find more articles like this in the May 2011 issue of Runner's World - the world's leading running magazine for the runner who wants to achieve their personal health, fitness and performance goals. Go to the Runner's World website for all the latest news and to subscribe online.