Veggie Bin Mac-and-Cheese
- Prep Time 0:15
- Cook Time 0:25
- Estimated Cost $15.00
- 6 Comments
Macaroni-and-cheese is unhealthy. You will get no argument from me there. I mean, pasta, cheese, butter, bread crumbs? These are not the makings of a healthy dinner. Problem is, it’s really tasty. So tonight, upon developing a craving for some creamy-carb-y goodness, I set about creating a mac-and-cheese that would taste delicious but not leave me feeling sorry/guilty afterward (note: this is a good rule for many things in life). I was successful.
By the way, these are the veggies I had around. No need to only use the listed vegetables—just use what you have on hand.
- 1/2 lb whole wheat penne $2
- 2 tbsp plus one tsp. olive oil Pantry
- 3 tbsp flour Pantry
- 3/4 cup milk $1.50 for a pint
- 2/3 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar $3
- 1 large tomato, diced $1
- 2 carrots, diced $1
- 2 cups spinach, cleaned and dried $1
- 1 head broccoli, including stems, chopped $1
- 1/2 white onion, chopped $0.50
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped Pantry
- 1 small bunch basil, chopped $1
- 1 tsp chili powder $1.50 for 1 oz.
- salt and pepper to taste Pantry
- 1/8 cup breadcrumbs $1.50
Recipe Serves 3-4
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8" square casserole pan or pie pan.
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside.
- Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk it together with the oil to form a sticky dough. Slowly whisk in the milk until a roux forms. Add a little water to thin out if necessary. Sprinkle in the cheese and whisk until smooth. Add the chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli, carrots and spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes or until carrots become slightly soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir well to coat. Stir in the cooked vegetables, tomato and the basil. Pour the entire mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until breadcrumbs become crisp and the top is slightly browned.