homemade macaroni and cheese

my love for macaroni and cheese could be considered a real problem depending how you look at it. i think it was the only meal i ate for dinner when i was single, but i still never got sick of it. unfortunately it is not real food in the slightest, so i no longer eat it. but recently i discovered i can make my own not-out-of-the-box healthier (and wayyy tastier) mac 'n cheese. this was the best discovery because i'm a sucker for fall food. warm, creamy, hearty food. this dish is to die for and you couldn't pay me to eat the old stuff again. i didn't even realize there was such a thing as healthy comfort food, but i'm glad there is! it takes the same prep time as the box kind, so we have it at least twice a week. i took the original recipe and basically made it the same with a few tweaks here and there.

this is what i use:

two tablespoons pure canola oil butter
two tablespoons unbleached whole wheat flour
one cup organic milk
one cup tillamook smoked black pepper white cheddar cheese (trust me on this)
whole wheat shell noodles
top with parmesan cheese or bread crumbs if desired


melt the butter over medium heat
whisk in the flour for 1-2 minutes until the roux (flour and butter) darkens but does not burn
turn the heat down to low and whisk in the milk. turn the heat back up to meadium and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
add the cheese and once it has melted, stir in the cooked noodles.