Freckles in April: Whole Foods Recipe: Green Mac and Cheese

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whole Foods Recipe: Green Mac and Cheese

Last week, on the worst day of my cold, I broke down and reached for a blue box from our food storage to feed my kids for lunch.

"I'm going to blow your little baby minds!" I told them. I was actually kind of excited for them to experience the mac and cheese of my childhood. It was practically a food group for me growing up and one of the few members of the elite Foods Kayla Will Eat club for many years.

I don't know if they've changed the recipe or if I've just grown up but it was awful. Baby 2 reached over the side of his tray and unceremoniously dumped a handful on the floor. Stinky just sort of pushed it around and then declared he was ready for quiet time and went off to find his blanket.

A few days later I decided to try again with real foods. I was just throwing things together but tried to pay attention to amounts in case I wanted to make it again.

And I DO. We all hoovered it. Baby 2 ate his weight and Stinky came back for thirds. Aaron made appreciative noises from the depths of his bowl. I thought we would have enough for another meal but all we got was a tiny tupperware that I suspect ended up as Aaron's late night snack.

Green Mac and Cheese

1 batch spinach pasta (I think the equivalent might be 1ish pound dried pasta if you choose to go that way)
2-3 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat but all purpose works)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced (or put through a garlic press)
Salt and pepper to taste*

*This is one you may want to salt at the table. Cheese can be pretty salty, depending on the type and brand, so sometimes my homemade mac and cheese needs no salt at all and sometimes it needs a small sprinkle at the table.

Get a large pot of water boiling. Add the pasta. Three minutes before the end of cooking time**, add in the broccoli and boil for 3 minutes more. Drain and return to pot.

**Note: store bought dried pasta and homemade spinach pasta boil for 8-10 minutes but regular homemade pasta only boils for 3 or so. If you make regular homemade pasta, put the broccoli in at the beginning with the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir for a couple minutes. It should bubble but not burn. Pour in the milk and stir.

Let the flour and milk mixture cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. It should thicken a bit but try not to let it bubble. When thickened, stir in the cheeses and garlic. Let cook for a couple minutes until the cheese is all melted. Pour sauce over pasta and broccoli. Stir and serve!


  1. Not gonna lie...I still love the blue box sometimes. Like, once every month or two. Or three.

    This, on the other hand. I could probably eat this every week. It looks delicious!

  2. ah! My mouth is actually (grossly) watering.

    Definitely making this for lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner and second dinner!

    This baby is going to weigh 10 pounds. easily.

  3. I'm not much of a healthy food lover but this actually looks delicious. I will definitely be trying this!

  4. OMG this sounds amazing!!! And not just because I am overdue for dinner.

  5. Yummy! Can't wait to try this. ;)

  6. Even as a kid, I didn't like the original Kraft, although I did go for some Kraft Deluxe. Now I'd turn my nose up at either one. However, I keep a box or two of Trader Joes organic, or Aunt Annies (they're pretty much the same) on hand for when I can't handle making dinner. Of course, I always doctor it. I add a can of beans and veggies or salsa.

    But homemade mac and cheese is the best! Yours looks yummy.

  7. I loved kraft mac and cheese as a kid but now.... no way. I think it might have been making it when i was pregnant and had morning(afternoon and evening) sickness. It used to be my stand by when i was pregnant, my kids still like it though.

    My 8 year old has recently decided that broccoli is good so i am going to give your recipe a try!

  8. Sounds HEAVENLY!! I <3 Mac and Cheese... but something about powdered cheese makes me want to gag! Can't wait to try this version out!


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