Casserole Week: Kale Mac and Cheese - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Casserole Week: Kale Mac and Cheese

I never know when the wrench is going to get thrown into our day. I've got­ten used to it though. I make an awe­some plan and then wait for Scar­lett to pull the high fever out of her back pocket thus thwart­ing said awe­some plan. It's one of those things I didn't expect when I signed up to have chil­dren but I've got­ten used to the idea that the best laid plans are meant to be com­pletely ham­mered out of exis­tence. Din­ner is a lit­tle bit that way too. Some days I wake up with a menu for the day in my head. Do you do that? Ok, so we'll have oat­meal for break­fast, warm the chill from last night for lunch and then tonight I'll make the veg­gie burg­ers. Then 4:30pm hits and Scar­lett and I are still playing/chatting in the school yard only to come home with lit­tle to no time to grate 10 mil­lion veg­eta­bles, make pat­ties and cook them as well as get two sides together. Say hello to the wrench.

So what do I do? I go the casse­role route. For some rea­son, throw­ing pantry sta­ples into a sin­gle pot and bak­ing it always seems eas­ier than get­ting my entree and two sides together. I grew up on tuna casseroles but rarely make them in my house. Instead this home­made mac and cheese is on heavy rota­tion and, like my mother's tuna casse­role, I mix just about any­thing into this dish. Today's ver­sion has frozen, chopped kale but I've been known to add frozen peas, spinach, broc­coli or a com­bi­na­tion of these. This has to be Scarlett's favourite mac and cheese and com­ing from a kid that's a big dec­la­ra­tion. She asks for it all the time and her friends have even started to request it when they come over so I always know it will be received well. It may not have been on the plan but, as back-up plans go, this dish is just as great.

Mac & Cheese 22316

Kale Mac and Cheese

4 cups spelt elbow mac­a­roni
2 table­spoons unsalted but­ter
2 table­spoons spelt flour
¼ cup low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shaved ched­dar cheese
1 ½ cups shaved Mon­terey Jack cheese, divided
1 tsp dijon mus­tard
1/4 tea­spoon nut­meg
1/4 tea­spoon salt
2 slices dry bread
1 cup frozen chopped kale
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Method

Pre­heat oven to 350

Cook pasta accord­ing to pack­age directions

In a medium size saucepan, melt but­ter over medium low heat. Once but­ter is melted, slowly add flour, whisk­ing continuously.

Add chicken stock and milk and allow to sim­mer for 5 min­utes so mix­ture can slowly thicken, stir­ring occa­sion­ally. Add mus­tard, ched­dar and 1 cup Mon­terey jack cheese and lower heat. Mix until cheeses have melted and mus­tard is com­bined. Add kale, nut­meg and salt; stir until warmed and mixed together, about 2 minutes.

Place cooked pasta into medium size casse­role dish and mix in cheese sauce, being sure to coat all the pasta. Sprin­kle the top with the remain­ing Mon­terey Jack cheese and then top with bread crumbs. Bake in the oven for about 30 min­utes, or until cheese sauce is bub­bling and edges are a golden brown.

 

  

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