pen rainbow

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday's Cupboard—Mac & Cheese With Kale

Traditional Mac & Cheese, plus healthy kale

Delicious & healthy mac & cheese with fresh kale

This is one of my favorite comfort food casseroles!  I use a whole 1 lb. box of elbox mac, and that makes enough for a 10" Corningware dish plus an 8" x 8" square casserole to freeze.  From freezer to the table, plan on about 1.5 hours to reheat the frozen casserole.  

This recipe can be made on the stovetop without the kale or baked in the oven with the kale.  I've used other WW mac & cheese recipes with veggie add-ins, and I like the baked kale version.  But, you can make it with or without the kale add-in.  

Mac & Cheese with Kale

Adapted from an original recipe by Weight Watchers In No Time, © 2006 — Page 157

Prep:  25 mins
Serves:  6

Special Equipment:  1—10" Corningware baking dish + 1 square Pyrex glass casserole with a sealable plastic lid (for freezing); a large 12" nonstick saucepan; a large 4-cup liquid measuring cup


•  1 lb. box of Barilla elbow macaroni

•  2 c. fat-free milk

•  1 T. + 1 tsp. cornstarch

•  2 tsp. butter

•  1 large sweet onion

•  2 tsp. dry mustard

•  1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper + kosher salt

•  1—8 oz. package of shredded cheddar cheese blends (try the shredded mac & cheese blends

•  1—8 oz. package of shredded cheese for topping = total of 2 pkgs. of shredded cheddar cheese   

•  1 — 14 oz. can of chopped Italian-style or fire-roasted tomatoes (these are not spicy hot), undrained

For the baked version with kale:

•  2 - 3 handfuls of pre-chopped organic kale (I use the salad mixture with slivered carrots from Safeway)

•  Panko bread crumbs

•  paprika

Use Italian-Style or Fire-Roasted chopped tomatoes

Available at Safeway_I use about a half a bag

Make It!

1.  Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions; drain & keep warm

2.  Meanwhile, whisk together the milk & cornstarch in a large Pyrex measuring cup; set aside

3.  Melt the butter in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion & cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the dry mustard & ground pepper; cook 30 seconds more.

4.  Give the milk/cornstarch mixture a quick stir, then add it to the saucepan, stirring constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes.

5.  Add 1 package of mac & cheese blend shredded cheese & cook, stirring just until melted.  Stir in the cooked macaroni & add the canned tomatoes.  Heat through for about 2 minutes & remove from heat.  Season to taste with kosher salt.

Serve immediately!  YUM

Creamy cheese sauce, tomatoes & fresh kale_bake for 40 minutes on 350°F

Baked With Kale

6.  Toss in 2 - 3 handfuls of fresh chopped kale; stir to combine.  This bulks up the recipe, so you'll have enough for a large casserole plus a square dish.  

7.  Spray the 2 casserole dishes with butter-flavor or olive oil PAM.  Distribute mac & cheese between the two dishes.  Top with extra shredded cheese & sprinkle Panko crumbs on the top.  Spray the bread crumbs lightly with PAM, then dust the tops with paprika for color & presentation.  

Seal the square dish with non-stick aluminum foil & cover with a freezer-proof plastic sealable lid; label & freeze for later.

To bake the frozen dish:  Reheat covered with foil for 1 hour on 350°F.  Remove the foil & bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes until the bread crumbs are toasted & the cheese is hot & bubbly.     

8.  Bake the freshly made casserole uncovered in the oven for 35-40 minutes until heated through.  The kale should be wilted, not crisp.  

This mac & cheese is great with a little hot sauce sauce on top!  I use Cholula chipotle hot sauce.