Light Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach

Recipe by TishT
READY IN: 55mins
SERVES: 6
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat oven to 400F.
  • Spray 8" square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the milk and flour until smooth.
  • In heavy medium saucepan, heat remaining 1 1/2 cups milk over medium heat until steaming.
  • Add flour mixture; cook 2-3 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens, whisking constantly.
  • Remove from heat; stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
  • Stir in cottage cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Cook spinach according to package directions; drain.
  • Rinse under cold running water; squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Cook macaroni in large pot of boiling lightly salted water 4-5 minutes or until not quite tender, stirring often.
  • (Macaroni will continue to cook while baking.) Drain; rinse with cold water.
  • Drain again.
  • In large bowl, stir together cheese sauce and macaroni.
  • Spread half of the macaroni mixture in baking dish; spoon spinach over top.
  • Spread remaining macaroni mixture over spinach layer; sprinkle with wheat germ.
  • (Dish can be made to this point and refrigerated for 2 days or frozen for 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator before baking.) Bake 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
  • TIP*If you can't find wheat germ, substitute an equal amount of Parmesan cheese, cracker crumbs or bread crumbs.
  • VARIATION: To make Southwestern Macaroni and Cheese with Peppers, substitute 1 cup grated pepper Jack cheese for 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.
  • Omit the nutmeg.
  • Add 1 (4 1/2-oz.) can chopped mild green chiles, 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and dash cayenne pepper to cheese sauce.
  • Omit spinach.
  • Instead, cook 2 cups thawed frozen pepper stir-fry vegetables in 1 teaspoon olive oil 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.
  • Replace spinach with pepper mixture.