Creamy Mac’n’Cheese with Spinach and Parsley

The ultimate comfort food just got healthier!

There’s nothing better than tucking into a bowl of steaming hot, cheesy goodness in the form of Mac’n’cheese. The American snack was one of my favourite after-school treats and as a child I’d help Mum to stir the pasta in the pot before adding milk, cheese and more. I’ve added some of my favourite greens to the mix for the ultimate comfort food dish with a healthier twist. Check out the recipe below for a quick and tasty dinner in no time!

Creamy Mac’nCheese with Spinach and Parsley
Prep Time 2 mins | Cooking Time 15 mins | Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli, about 250g
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup low-fat tasty cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1tbsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
  • 500g Large Spiral Pasta
  • 250g frozen spinach portions
  • Handful chopped parsley
Method
  1. Wash the broccoli then roughly chop into 1cm pieces. Don’t waste the stem. Simply chop off any bruised or woody pieces then finely chop into 1cm pieces.
  2. For the sauce, heat the butter and flour in a medium saucepan over a medium heat until the flour has blended with the butter. Slowly add the stock and milk while whisking to form a smooth liquid. Bring to a simmer. When hot, turn off the heat and add the cheese. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Season with salt, pepper and the mustard and sir to form a smooth, creamy sauce.
  3. Cook the Pasta according to the packet directions. In the last 2 minutes of the cooking time, add the broccoli and spinach and steam until wilted. Drain the pasta and veggies and return to the pan. Add the sauce and stir through. Season with plenty of black pepper and garnish with parsley to serve.
Brendon’s Tips:
  • Broccoli stems are packed with iron, calcium and other vitamins and this dish makes use of them in a fun way.
  • Feel free to experiment with your favourite veggies or even some fried bacon strips.
  • Any leftovers can be turned into a delicious Mac’n’cheese slice for lunch the next day. Simply layer the mixture in an oiled baking dish, top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs and bake until the cheese has melted. When cool, slice into squares and pack them into lunch boxes.

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Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon

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