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Kale Mac and Cheese

When it comes to comfort food, mac and cheese shows up on most lists. It’s rich, creamy, indulgent and something most of us enjoyed as kids. The only problem is how heavy and fattening most version are! So the other day when the craving kicked in I decided to looks around and see if I could find a lightened up version that still sounded tasty. This, ever so surprisingly, is a compilation of a few of the recipes I found, with the addition of kale.

The hubs (who likes to gripe about any and everything I use yogurt in) has nothing but good things to say about this dish. Even after I admitted to the yogurt… I loved it. Although I think next time I make it I may go heavier on the kale and lighter on the pasta. Also think a bit more Greek yogurt would give the dish a more pronounced creaminess.

All in all this was a delicious and somewhat lighter version of mac and cheese. I think the recipe still needs a bit of tweaking to perfect it, but it’s a great start. And don’t worry if you have leftovers… if your house is anything like mine they’ll disappear quickly!

Kale Mac and Cheese

3 c chopped kale
8 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
½ small sweet onion, minced
Dash black pepper
1 c fat-free half and half
1.5 c white cheddar
1 c chipotle gouda
2 containers (5.3 oz) plain greek yogurt
3 Tbs garlic bread crumbs
Dash paprika

Pre-heat oven to 350⁰.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot of water, add kale and pasta and cook until pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk tighter until smooth. Add onion and black pepper,  and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the half and half. Stir mixture regularly as it comes to a simmer and thickens, about 10 minutes.

Combine the pasta, kale, butter mixture, cheeses (reserving a handful of cheese to top the casserole), and yogurt, stirring well to combine. Pour mixture into a large oven safe casserole dish. Top with reserved cheese and bread crumbs. Lightly sprinkle paprika over the top.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes and enjoy!

8 Servings: 1 Serving – (estimated) 360 Calories, 15.8 g Fat, 36.7 Carbs, 4.5 g Fiber, 19.2 g Protein