Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese

I know…it’s been a million years. Get used to it. Two and a half weeks from the wedding, I’m surprised I’m posting at all! But, busy though we are, we still gotta eat…and I can only do so much wedding work before I HAVE to do something else for awhile. I actually made this recipe several nights ago and am just getting around to posting it now. It’s a different way to do mac and cheese than anything I’ve tried in the past…for starters, there’s NO butter! Weird, right? But it still turns out tasty.

veggie mac n cheese

Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese

(adapted from The Comfort of Cooking)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 10 baby carrots, diced
  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta (elbows, penne, rotini)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 to 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs (I just had regular, which was fine)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil a pot of salted water and cook pasta according to package directions.

Arrange a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking tray and coat with cooking spray. Toss your chopped vegetables with a little bit of olive oil (this isn’t the 1/4 cup, that comes in a bit) and salt and pepper. Pour onto the baking sheet in a single layer and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat the 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until softened. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute; then whisk in the milk slowly as it starts to thicken. (Start out with 3 tbsp of flour and add another tbsp if the sauce doesn’t become thick enough.) Remove skillet from heat and add shredded cheese, stirring until melted into the sauce. Add cooked pasta, the roasted vegetables, and crushed red pepper; toss it all together really well.

Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Put the dish in the oven for just a few minutes until the breadcrumbs have started to brown.

Notes

Yummy, huh? V liked this a lot, which I didn’t really expect. The sauce was perfectly cheesy, but not in a super processed-cheesy way like the blue Kraft box (which I still love, by the way, always will, don’t care).

You may or may not hear from me again until after the wedding, after India…somehow I suspect you’ll manage. Happy summer!

Pasta w/ Navy Beans, Sausage & Tomato

So. Busy. So. Overwhelmed. Wedding. Taking. Over. Life. I’ve been here there and everywhere lately, but tonight I managed to make a decent dinner (last night, I am not ashamed to say, was Papa Murphy’s). This recipe is super easy to throw together and doesn’t take long at all.

pasta with beans sausage tomato

Pasta with Navy Beans, Italian Sausage & Cherry Tomato

(adapted from Good Life Eats)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz whole wheat linguine
  • 1 lb Italian sauage, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) can navy or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 cups fresh baby spinach (to your taste)
  • parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain when finished.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, pour olive oil and add pieces of sausage. Cook until heated through. Remove sausage to a plate and set aside. Lower the heat a bit and add minced garlic to the skillet; stir, taking care not to burn. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until juices begin to come out. Pour in the well-rinsed beans and spinach and stir some more.

After 2 or 3 minutes, mix in the cooked pasta and sausage. Serve with grated parmesan cheese, if you know what’s good for you.

Notes

Seriously, start (boiling the pasta water) to finish (plating) I think the whole thing took 20 minutes. And would’ve taken less if I hadn’t initially forgotten about the spinach. I also had plenty of leftovers that I will be taking to work tomorrow. I LOVE not having to worry about what I’m going to eat for lunch at work. All in all, this one couldn’t be easier – enjoy!