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CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat (May use a low-carb pasta, if desired) elbow macaroni
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast strips, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 pkg (6.5-oz) light semisoft cheese with garlic and herbs
1 2/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup chopped tomatoes

Cook the macaroni as directed on the package, omitting the salt; drain.

While the macaroni cooks, coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  When the skillet gets hot add the chicken and onion; cook approximately 5 minutes until the chicken in no longer pink and the onion is tender, stirring often.  Reduce heat down to medium if the onion starts to get too brown.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add the semisoft cheese, stirring until melted.

In a medium bowl, using a whisk, blend the milk and flour until smooth; stir into the chicken mixture.  Return skillet to the stove and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Turn the heat to low and stir in the cheddar cheese until completely melted.  Add the drained macaroni and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until heated thoroughly.  Stir in the baby spinach and tomatoes and serve while hot.

Recipe and photo from a 2010 Diabetic Living magazine.

Yield: 5 (1 1/3-cups) servings
Per serving: 360 calories, 33 g carbs, 33 g protein,12 g fat, 393 mg sodium, and 4 g fiber
Diabetic exchanges: .5 veg, 2 starch, 3.5 lean meat, 1 fat
Carb Choices: 2
Notice carb and protein grams are equal. Good balance for diabetics.

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