Baked Spinach Mac & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back

So – digging around in my fridge, I found a huge bag of real cheese.  I have been tapering myself into a nearly vegan diet – especially when I am eating at home – and I don’t even remember buying this cheese but there it was.  Right there – on the day after I made a valiant attempt to drink all the Prosecco & red wine on Earth.  I watched the so-hilarious 90210 Lifetime movie with a friend and – between us – went through a shocking amount of alcohol.  Shocking – I tell you.  What was less shocking was how I felt yesterday.  I definitely earned every bit of how hideous I felt but I was very grateful 1) to be alive and 2) to find a huge bag in my fridge of what I could melt all over pasta.  Oh – I also made roasted potatoes – below.

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Carbohydrates & grease.  I desperately needed both.  So – I indulged in both.  The mac & cheese is pretty straightforward & does not really require baking – unless (like me) you want that crispy crust on top.  Look at that crust!  Mmmmm!  There is nothing more I can say about mac & cheese that you don’t already know.  So – make some of this shit & shove it in the hole in your heart – like I did.  It actually kinda helped.  For a few minutes, anyway.

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Baked Spinach Mac & Cheese

Serves 4 very well

INGREDIENTS

4 TBS butter (I used vegan butter)

4 TBS flour

2 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk)

1 lb grated cheese (I used real sharp cheddar)

1 LB fresh spinach

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS (or less) cayenne

1-2 cups panko or other bread crumbs

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta for about 1 minute less than the package suggests, drain & set aside.

Melt the butter over med-high heat.  Whisk in the flour & then add the milk in small increments – allowing it to thicken each time.  Add the Dijon & spices.  Whisk to incorporate & then add the cheese – reserving 1/2 cup or more to sprinkle on top later.

Fold in the pasta & spinach.

Grease a casserole pan & put the mac & cheese in there.  Top with remaining cheese & panko.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly & he bread crumbs are browning.

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