Forget eating healthy this Valentine’s Day | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Forget eating healthy this Valentine’s Day

Mac-and-cheese is great for singletons — try not to cry onto your plate

click to enlarge Forget eating healthy this Valentine’s Day
Photo courtesy of Kelly Andrews
Mac-and-cheese for one

Eating mac-and-cheese on a holiday made for lovers is like eating ice-cream cake after a funeral. At first, it’ll taste so good, you’ll forget how absolutely alone you feel. You’ll savor the flavors, audibly sighing at your ability to cook a basic, yet satisfying meal. This will counterbalance the dread you feel scrolling through the hellscape of social media, where all your friends in loving relationships are posting pics of fancy dinners and bouquets of roses (in case you forgot what it’s like to have a significant other who is willing to spend extra bucks in the dead of winter). 

After eating past the point of being full, you’ll start to feel just as bad about the amount of food consumed, as you do about the card hanging from your refrigerator signed in your own handwriting — “We love you like a bag of treats,” from your two cats. At this point, you should shove whatever gooey deliciousness is left on your plate into your mouth, and then crawl to your sofa to prepare for the impending food coma.


  • 1-pound box of macaroni
  • 1 cup of sliced cheddar cheese
  • 5 tbsp. butter, extra for pan
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2½ cups milk (warm)
  • assorted grape tomatoes (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat large baking pan with butter. Follow directions on the box for the macaroni; set aside the cooked pasta.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in warm milk, while whisking the mixture until the consistency is smooth. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat; add cheese slowly into the sauce and stir. Pour cheese mixture over cooked noodles and stir thoroughly. Smooth noodles into the baking dish and cover evenly with breadcrumbs. On a separate pan, spread out grape tomatoes. Bake both dishes for approximately 10-15 minutes; the cheese mixture should be bubbly and slightly crispy. Serve with roasted tomatoes.