This healthier version of macaroni and cheese has 5 grams of fiber per serving! Just reading the recipe will make your mouth water. It's a delicious way to get your kids—and your whole family—to eat their vegetables.
- 8 ounces dry, whole wheat elbow macaroni, fusilli, or penne
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon melted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 3/4 cups nonfat milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups shredded, reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 cup 1 percent fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Pinch grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups shredded fresh spinach, about 1 pound
- 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with liquid
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Mix the breadcrumbs, butter, and paprika in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a 4- to 5- quart saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming.
- Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk and the flour in a small bowl until smooth. Add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens and simmers, 3 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the Cheddar to the white sauce and stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in the cottage cheese, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce.
- Spread half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Spread the spinach evenly on top, then the diced tomatoes. Spread the remaining pasta over the tomatoes and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
6 (1 1/2 cup) servings; each: 330 calories, 38 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 25 g protein, 5 g fiber.
Republished with permission from The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories (Morrow Cookbooks, 2005, $29.95)
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