Ever since my trip to Tahoe, I’ve been craving macaroni and cheese. On Friday my friends and I stopped in Auburn for dinner, and when I tried to order a steaming plate of mac and cheese, you’ll never guess what happened. They ran out! I was very sad about that. Perhaps them running out was a blessing in disguise, because yesterday I was inspired to satisfy that craving by whipping up the healthiest macaroni and cheese I could think of. For the macaroni I used black bean rotini!
For those of you who don’t know, macaroni and cheese is my absolute favorite food, but I don’t usually have it very often. This one is the baked version of my broccoli and kale mac and cheese. It contains broccoli, kale, and like I mentioned above, organic black bean rotini (told you I was on a black bean craze).
This was my first time trying to bake the macaroni and cheese and using black bean rotini. It was a tasty healthier alternative! The black bean rotini is a bit chewier and stickier than your average elbow pasta.
- 2 1/4 cups black bean rotini (boiled in water and olive oil for about 8 minutes)
- 4 cups spinach (chopped)
- 3 cups broccoli florets (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 3/4 1% milk, divided
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Boil water with olive oil and then cook the black bean rotini for about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Sautee the minced garlic with olive oil in a medium pot. Add a pinch of salt and the chopped broccoli. Cook until it is tender and a vibrant green. Add the chopped spinach and cook until it is wilted.
- In a separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup milk, flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until fully combined. In a small pot, heat the rest of the milk (1 1/2 cups) and stir until it is simmering. Add the flour mixture to the pot and continue stirring for about 3 minutes (no more clumps).
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the Parmesan and Cheddar cheese. Stir until they are melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pot of veggies. Add the black bean rotini and mix until they’re all coated with cheese.
- Scoop the macaroni and cheese into a large baking dish or individual ones. Sprinkle Panko bread crumbs over the tops and bake for about 20 minutes (until the tops are a golden brown). Then remove from the oven and enjoy!
It tasted great when I had it hot out of the oven for dinner yesterday and as leftovers for lunch this afternoon. It’s a very fibrous, protein, and vitamin filled macaroni and cheese. It’ll satisfy your cravings while also filling your body with healthy nutrients. It was totally worth the burn/battle scar I received taking them out of the oven.
Anyways, since I was M.I.A this weekend, below is a photo of Squaw Valley from the top of one of the runs from this weekend. Evidence that I really was out embracing the great outdoors. Breathtaking, right?