First post of 2010! Happy New Year everyone. This is the year Michael and I get married. Just over 5 months. I can't believe it's coming so soon! We've been super slack about taking photos of our food lately as well posting over the holidays, so sorry about that. Trying to get back into the routine.
This is a great, healthy mac & cheese recipe. Perfect for all this ridiculously cold weather we've been having lately. I went to Dominican Republic for the holidays with my family and really hated coming back to this sub-freezing weather in NC. Anyways, the spinach is a great addition to a traditional mac & cheese - especially to add some extra vitamins. We modified the recipe from Eating Well. One tip I'd say is make sure you cook the noodles long enough b/c we got inpatient and they were a tad chewy - still good though. We served it with some peas and a spicy chicken sausage for that extra protein :) Serves 4.
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
- Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.