In passing Mr C mentioned he would like to eat healthier. My response "Challenge accepted". Mr C is a competitive swimmer and eats enormous amounts of food and does have a liking for carbs. I must admit his daily diet is pretty good but like everyone, except perhaps vegans, could do with more veggies in his diet.
Sunday night supper this week was a low key affair, usually I like to cook a proper meal taking advantage of the additional time for cooking that a weekend offers. However, this week Mr ABT was at work and the final episode of season 4 "House of Cards" was ready for viewing. How I love that show...
Inspired by lots of green foodie shots streaming through my Instagram feed I decided to veggie up the traditional Mac & Cheese.
Firstly, blanch a bag of baby spinach and a handful of parsley. After squeezing out the excess water blitz the spinach with a small amount of cream (if this is not on hand Ricotta would make a nice substitute). Set aside until needed. Cook pasta according to directions, chill under cold water.
Start with your basic bechamel sauce. Melt a good dollop of butter and add plain flour (a good 2 TB), cook for a few minutes over low heat making sure your roux does not colour. Add a little crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually mix in milk, cooking until it reaches a consistency similar to thin custard - we will be thickening it up with CHEESE! Add a good amount of grated cheese, I used parmesan and a sharp cheddar. I usually take my pan off the heat for this step until the cheese is melted.
Add in the blitzed spinach and pasta to warm though. Taste for seasoning, add more S&P. Easy as that - Green Mac & Cheese (or in this case spirals..but you get the picture).
Once heated through you can always put the mixture in a bowl add more cheese over the top and place in the oven. However, I find the pasta can go a little gluggy and the mixture dry as the pasta continues to absorb moisture. If you would like a cheesy top I would suggest a scattering of cheese and breadcrumbs and a quick blast under a griller.
I would have like a more green goddess like sauce, but will keep working on it. Maybe the addition of broccoli and some blitzed spring onions?
Oh and the comment "not that bad Mum".....