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THE RECIPE BOX: Gluten-free mac-n-cheese doesn't sacrifice taste

This gluten-free macaroni and cheese is rich and creamy.

This gluten-free macaroni and cheese is rich and creamy.

You have probably noticed the term "gluten-free" listed on all sorts of products in the grocery store lately. I've even started noticing some restaurants serving gluten-free dishes. Most people assume that if someone is on a gluten-free diet, he has a wheat allergy.

I know several folks who have started eating a gluten-free diet. It seemed at first they had a hard time finding dishes to make and food items to purchase in the grocery store. That isn't the case anymore.

My old roommate started eating gluten-free foods and she even brought home a box of gluten-free brownie mix one day. Those brownies were actually quite tasty.

A couple of weeks ago my sweet friend, Ali Richardson, brought a gluten-free macaroni and cheese dish to a gathering we were both at. Honestly, if she hadn't told me it was gluten-free, I would have never known the difference. There is something to be said about a made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese dish, especially one that is as rich, creamy and cheesy as this one.

Ali is a great cook; she knows her way around a kitchen. She comes from a great family of cooks, which includes both her mother, Tracy Hodnett, and her grandmother, Carolyn Davis. The family has even put together a cookbook, which I happen to own and love.

Gluten-free macaroni and cheese

7 tablespoons of unsalted butter

4 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour

2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon of seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon of cayenne

1/4 cup of sour cream

8 ounces of cheddar cheese

4 ounces of Swiss cheese

4 ounces of cream Havarti cheese

4 ounces of Parmesan cheese

4 ounces of cream cheese

2 teaspoons of Frank's Red Hoot Sauce

16 ounces of gluten-free brown rice noodles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a 3-quart baking dish, coating sides the sides, and set the dish aside.

Prepare the noodles as instructed on the package.

Shred cheeses while noodles are cooking.

Drain noodles and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter over low heat.

Whisk in the gluten-free flour, and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

Increase heat to medium and slowly whisk in milk, stirring until the sauce becomes thick and creamy.

Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, saving roughly cup of shredded cheese for the topping.

Pour half the cooked pasta and half of cheese mixture over pasta.

Repeat with remaining pasta and cheese sauce.

Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 45 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

This dish serves six to eight people.