Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Back to Basics 14 - Spinach Mac & Cheese

Hey guys! Wow, it's been a while huh?? It's been a little hectic. I got a new job in the field I went to school for (YAY!) and I started working more hours in the other job I had so by the time I got home, I didn't really feel like pulling out my camera and taking pictures for every single step while making dinner. But now my routine is a little less crazy so I have more time to devote to the blog.

I came back with a really really great recipe for you guys. I mean, who doesn't love mac & cheese? And one you can feel good about eating? Well, that's even better!! I got this from, where else, EATINGWELL! Let's just get right into it.

-3 tblsp of plain dry breadcrumbs. I make my own, it's really easy. If you want to know how, just ask me in the comments below.
-1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1 16oz or 10oz package of frozen spinach (try getting organic). Take it out of the freezer a day ahead or morning of.
-1 3/4 cups of low fat milk, divided
-3 tblsp all-purpose flour
-2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
-1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
-1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/4 tsp salt
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-8oz (about 2 cups) whole wheat elbow noodles, or whatever kind you like

-First, put a large of water to boil. Preheat oven to 450F. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Now you're ready to get started.
-Mix breadcrumbs, olive oil and paprika in a bowl and set aside.

-Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer to get all the extra liquid out. I like to help it along by pressing on it with some paper towels.

Look at all that liquid!
-Heat 1 1/2 cups of your milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it starts steaming. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and flour until smooth. Add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly until the sauce simmers and thickens, about 4 minutes.

-Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until melted. Grate your own! It takes 2 minutes and it's better for your health. Read up on it here.

-Stir in cottage cheese, grate your nutmeg in there (yes, grate it yourself PLEASE. It tastes SO SO much better), salt and pepper.

-While all that was going, cook your pasta for 4 minutes. Drain and then mix with the cheese sauce.

-Spread half the pasta mixture on the bottom of the baking dish

-Then, spread the drained spinach on top

-Then the rest of the pasta

-And top with the breadcrumb mixture. I also like to drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top.

-Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, then you're done! Look at this beauty

This is what the inside will look like:

Calories (4 servings): 576 calories per serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment