Monday, February 15, 2016

Green Mac + Cheese

Delicious and a little healthier, this Green Mac + Cheese is perfect for both adults and kiddos.

This mac + cheese is one of my favorite recipes. I took a traditional every day cheesy mac that everyone knows and made it full of healthy greens. The spinach flavor is very faint and is only noticed if you really try to find it. The extra sharp white cheddar cheese is a must for this recipe. Try to find a good quality extra sharp white cheddar with good flavor. It helps keep the spinach flavor mild but keeps all of the gorgeous green color. 

Of course, some children and adults do not enjoy it if their food is a different color from normal. Although if you and your kiddos, for instance, love green or red colored pancakes on holidays you'll love this mac + cheese. Not only is this macaroni naturally colored, it is full of vitamins and nutrition.

Green Mac + Cheese
  • 1 lb macaroni noodles (I used multigrain)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed
  • 2 cups unsweetened, original almond or cashew milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 (8 oz) block extra sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
Heat a large dutch oven or pot, full of salted water, over high heat until boiling. Add noodles and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain thoroughly. 

Meanwhile, in a blender, blend spinach and milk until smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a dutch oven or pot. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned, whisking continuously. Turn heat to medium and whisk in milk mixture, salt, and pepper. Cook until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off heat and slowly stir in cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Finally stir cooked macaroni in to cheese sauce. Serve hot.

Alternately, after mixing macaroni with cheese sauce, pour mixture in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with about 3/4 cup or so whole wheat, seasoned bread crumbs. Dot with 2 tablespoons small diced butter and bake 400 for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned.

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