Vegetable-filled Mac and Cheese

Last week was awesome in so many ways. I worked out every morning but one (LOVE getting in and out of the gym by 7 AM!), I went to work in my classroom and things are pretty much all set to go, I saw a bunch of my favorite students from last year, and I FINALLY ordered a decal for the nursery! It should be here in about 5 days (it’s coming from Canada), and I will most certainly post a picture the second it’s up.

I also made this mac and cheese, absolutely full of vegetables, and we both loved it. I think the secret to this recipe’s success is that it doesn’t try to get too healthy. There’s still lots of cheese and carbs, but the vegetables really add great flavor and texture. It feels like comfort food, but with the added bonus of spinach, kale, and broccoli.

I served it with what I’m pretty sure is the best salad I’ve made all summer. Red leaf lettuce, halved red grapes, toasted slivered almonds, and goat cheese with honey-balsamic dressing. I want to eat this dinner again right now!

(adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook)

3 cups elbow-shaped pasta (I used brown rice pasta)
1 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 cup roughly chopped fresh kale
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup yogurt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the onions and saute until soft, 4-5 minutes.

Add the garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and kale and continue cooking until they are tender. Stir in the salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

While you’re sauteeing the vegetables, boil the pasta according to package directions, then drain and put in a large bowl.

Add the vegetables, cottage cheese, yogurt, and about 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Mix well, then spread in a 13 x 9″ pan, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.


6 Responses to “Vegetable-filled Mac and Cheese”

  1. 1 Tessa August 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve been craving mac & cheese lately. This sounds great!

  2. 2 Brianna August 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Lovely variation on mac & cheese! My confession is that last week we had Annie’s Organic boxed mac & cheese for an emergency dinner. I wanted to make it “better” so I added some baby spinach, green garlic & broccoli florets. It made quite the difference! Of course not using any kind of powdered cheese would have been ideal but it was the best I could do in this situation šŸ™‚

  3. 3 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef August 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

    oooh i love it! healthy mac & cheese, but with all the goodness of regular mac & cheese. yum!

  4. 4 Kate August 23, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Love the addition of vegetables!

  5. 5 Jenny August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and oh my is it delicious (and super easy to make)! My husband and I both loved it! I wasn’t so sure about the cottage cheese and yogurt but it added a great tang. The veggies were an awesome addition. It will definitely go in our recipe box. Thanks for posting it!

  6. 6 jill April 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Has anyone figured the nutritionals? Looks yummy!

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