Mac and Cheese is admittedly something we don’t eat very often. I never grew up eating it and while my kids eat a lot of pasta, mac and cheese is not in the rotation. I want it to be however, since it is the ultimate comfort food and the variations are endless. Enter the Green Lizard Mac and Cheese, fondly named after my oldest kids soccer team (Green Lizards).
I’ve heard a lot lately about icing and white sauces being coloured not by food colouring, but instead by pureed blue berries, beets, raspberries, salad greens, etc…all of kinds of yummy goodness. And I love that. A couple extra steps to puree to the right texture but it is worth it in the end.
Rummaging through my refrigerator today and finding spinach slowly evaporating and some healthy looking broccoli, I decided a green mac and cheese was in order. I started the cheese sauce easily enough and then decided before pouring the milk in that I would puree the spinach and milk together to see what would happen. I wondered would it be too chunky?! Then Nah I remembered I’ve been sneaking spinach into our smoothies for years and nobody knows any better. Immediately I knew I was on to something. In went the spinach and milk and out came smooth green milk! I tasted it and I could tell there was spinach in there but I wasn’t so sure the minions would.
Everything came together nicely but I wanted to liven it up a bit. So I found some home made taco seasoning, added it in, mixed everything together and hello oven meet green mac and cheese. This might surprise you but the taco seasoning works! Find the spice combination you like and try it.
Next time I am going to experiment more and maybe add in sauteed leeks, green onions, green peppers, sugar snap peas or even green beans. Kale might even work if boiled first.
In the end 4/5 of the mini taste testers loved it. Honestly I loved it too. I served it with some sliced pork chop.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2.5 cups milk
- 3 cups white cheese we used old white cheddar
- 1.5 cup small pasta
- 1 cup spinach packed
- 1 tsp taco seasoning
- 1 cup broccoli florets cut up small
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- In a blender add spinach and milk. Puree until smooth with no visible spinach floaters.
- Cook your pasta to al dente, drain and add a little butter to prevent sticking. Set aside.
- Start your roux by adding butter to saucepan over medium high heat. Once butter melts add flour and mix well. Allow flour to cook out for about a minute or two. With a whisk in one hand slowly pour in a little of your green milk whisking well. Once it starts to thicken add the rest of your milk and turn the heat up. Keep whisking until the mixture is bubbling and thickened to ensure the milk does not burn in the pot. Turn heat down to simmer and mix in taco seasoning. Next in handfuls add in 2.5 cups of cheese stirring after each addition until all cheese is gone. Add salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Pour sauce and noodles into lightly greased 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Add broccoli and mix well to combine. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Place in oven uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.