Kale Mac and Cheese
This yummy mac and cheese recipe from our friend Chef Hollie of JoyFoodly is a great way to introduce kids to kale. Feel free to add any other veggies you love, too!
Cooking Tip of the Week: From Chef Hollie: The pasta boxes always recommend you put way more water than is needed to cook these noodles. Just make sure you’ve put enough water to cover them completely! You don’t need a special pot.
Food for Thought: National Kale Day is Wednesday, October 2nd. Why do we need a day to celebrate kale? Because it’s one of the most nutritious and delicious foods around! Kale is high in vitamins C, K and A, iron and fiber. It’s also a great food because it can be used in so many ways: sautéed like in this recipe, raw in a salad, even kale chips! How do you like to celebrate/eat kale?
Family Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could invent a brand new holiday, what would you celebrate?
Note: Chef Hollie includes all of the preparation steps in her recipes, so while this recipe may look long, it will actually save you time in the end!
- 1 lb (1 box) elbow macaroni
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 bunch kale
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 cups milk (2% or whole)
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 emmental cheese (type of Swiss cheese)
- 1/2 lb white cheddar cheese (not sharp)
- 1 cup bread crumbs
Kid: Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.
Adult: Preheat oven to 350F.
Together: Grate cheeses.
Together: Thinly slice the greens.
Adult: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Adult: Add macaroni to boiling water and cook until al dente (a little chewy to the tooth). The pasta will keep cooking when we bake the mac n cheese in the oven!
Adult: Remove 1/4 cup of the water they cooked in before you drain the noodles. Place the cooking water into a bowl.
Adult: Drain the noodles and then add them to the bowl where you put the ¼ cup cooking liquid. This should keep them from sticking together until you are ready to add them to the final mac and cheese.
Together: Sauté greens + add cooked noodles
Together: Use the same pot you cooked your noodles to sauté the greens in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt for 2-3 minutes.
Kid: Add ¼ cup vegetable broth and cook another 2-3 minutes. Cook until slightly crisp.
Together: Add your cooked noodles and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta liquid to the pot with the cooked greens.
Make white sauce, called béchamel
Adult: In a separate medium pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter on med/high heat and add ¼ cup flour, whisking until the mixture is like sand and a golden color.
Together: Add 3 cups of milk and 1 cup of vegetable broth.
Together: Stay on medium-high heat, continuously stirring with a whisk until thickened—approximately 10 minutes.
Kid: Add nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
Kid: Turn off the heat; add your grated cheeses and stir until melted.
Kid: Add your cooked vegetables and noodles to this pot and combine.
Adult: Place in an ovenproof dish, top with breadcrumbs with a drizzle of olive oil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.