I adapted a recipe I saw in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens (January 2012) on page 92. A lower-fat and not so heavy on cheese mach n’ cheese? I pondered it and decided to try it. Walker loved all the veggies, although the Kale wasn’t as popular. Ah well. Lesson learned, I’d probably use broccoli instead next time. But that is what made the recipe easy to do – you can swap the type of pasta, veggies, etc and make it your way!
Veggie Mac n’ Cheese
- 12 ounces whole grain or multi grain pasta (package size depends on type, it can be smaller or bigger)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup thinly sliced peeled carrots (2-3)
- ½ cup celery, chopped (about 2 stalks)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp jarred)
- 11-12 ounces kale (1 bunch), stems removed and chopped
- ½ cup frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup frozen green peas
Cheese Sauce –
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp each salt and ground black pepper
- 1½ cups low-fat milk
- 4 ounces 2% sharp cheddar cheese (or more depending on how cheesy you like)
- 1-2 Tbsp Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350° and spray an 8×8″ glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook pasta for time on package, drain.
Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add in the onion, carrots and celery, sauté until tender. Add the garlic and Kale, let the Kale wilt, tossing periodically. Add the corn and peas, turn off the burner.
In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, add in the flour and seasonings, cook the flour for a couple of minutes. Whisk in the milk, let thicken, whisking often. Stir in the cheese till melted.
Stir the cheese sauce into the vegetables, add the hot pasta and toss to coat. Pack into the prepared dish, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
Take out, remove the foil and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and cheese, bake uncovered for 5 minutes more.
Serves 4 to 6.