I know, I know, macaroni and cheese is old fashion and not too original, but let’s face it, comfort food that many of us secretly crave once in a while. In the old days, I used to make mac and cheese with Kraft cheese slices (pretty good) and now I’ve graduated to real cheese. I also add cooked spinach which doesn’t really change the taste much ( helpful with kids?), but adds good nutritional value.
There are tons of Mac and Cheese recipes out there. This is a good one I think – creamy and smooth and fairly simple. I save several steps and time by adding the spinach to the noodles while boiling (instead of cooking separately), using pre-shredded cheese and lining the pan with parchment paper (zero clean up! a gift to my husband). I serve it with baked beans, another gift to my husband. You can also lighten the recipe by using 2% milk and low-fat cheese.
- change the cheeses for a different taste e.g. monterey, blue cheese
- use any other short pasta such as fusilli or rigatoni
- add 2 tablespoons of pesto
- add a chopped onion sauteed in butter until golden
- add 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
- add 1 cup chopped ham
- add broccoli florets instead of spinach
- lighten with 2% milk and lowfat cheeses
Jazz it up
- mix a 1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs with a tablespoon of butter and 2 chopped green onions. sprinkle over the top before baking.
- The entire casserole can be completed up until the point of baking. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to two days. Bake uncovered at 375F for 25 minutes.