Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Kale Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin-everything continues! Most pumpkin recipes I see are for sweet treats like cookies, quick bread, and pie. Oh, and lattes (duh). However, those aren't the only ways to use pumpkin!

How about something savory? A classic comfort food reinvented? Sure, we can do that. Macaroni and cheese! But isn't that unhealthy? Nope.

This recipe is actually pretty darn nutrient-rich! Not only is pumpkin delicious, its also very nutritious. Pumpkin is chockfull of nutrients like manganese, copper, vitamin C, and vitamin A (hence the orange color). I'm sure you've also heard about kale being a "superfood." Kale is a very good source of vitamin K, A, and C. Plus over 45 different flavonoids (aka antioxidants).

But don't get me wrong, this recipe is certainly cheesy! The garlic and spices give it a slight Italian flavor but it really just tastes like fall!

Try it out, you'll love it!

Pumpkin Kale Mac & Cheese
Makes about 8 1-cup servings

  • 10 oz whole-wheat elbow pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp whole-wheat flour
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp panko bread crumbs (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté kale until wilted. I did not add oil to saute the kale, I just added a few drops of water to avoid it burning. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-heat heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden. Add flour and nutmeg. Whisk until combined and browned.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Add pumpkin, pepper, thyme, and cheese. Whisk until combined and cheese is melted.
  5. Add pasta and kale to the sauce and combine. Serve as is, or continue with the remaining steps to make it have a crunchy top.
  6. Pour mac & cheese into a greased 9x9 pan. Top with breadcrumbs. Broil on low for 4-5 minutes or until topping is golden. Enjoy!

Nutrition information (per 1 cup serving):
Calories: 210.0 kcal,   Total carbohydrates: 30.6 gm,   Fiber: 4.7 gm,   Total fat: 6.4 gm,   Protein: 9.4 gm

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