healthy comfort food recipe

There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that we love more than stumbling across a healthy version of one of our favourite comfort foods. So you can only imagine the JOY we felt when this healthy mac and cheese recipe came across our crowded desk.

Apart from looking delicious, it’s also from one of our favourite chefs, Dan Churchill! Not only is he the chef behind fitness app Centr‘s delicious healthy recipes, but his amazing fourth cookbook Eat Like a Legend is out soon and he even runs his own restaurant in NY city.

All of that is to say that we had high hopes for this recipe, and it did not disappoint. It has it all the carbs, milk and cheese-y goodness you’d expect, as well as broccoli, spinach and even almond meal (for a bunch of plant-based protein). It’s comfort food mixed with impactful nutrients, all in one steaming dish of cheesy love. Give it ago for yourself with this super easy recipe below.

You’ll need:

150g macaroni or small elbow pasta, dried (or gluten free)
350g broccoli cut into small florets
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1⁄4 cup (35g) plain flour (or gluten-free if required)
1 tbs Dijon mustard
2 cups (500ml) milk, reduced fat (or dairy-free alternative)
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups (80g) baby spinach leaves
1⁄2 cup (60g) cheddar cheese grated
1⁄4 cup (30g) parmesan grated
1⁄4 cup (25g) almond meal
3 tsp dried oregano
100g mixed salad leaves
2 tsp lemon juice

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and cook pasta according to packet in-structions. Add broccoli in last two minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving some of the water and set aside.

2. At the same time, heat a non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil, onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes to caramelise.

3. Add flour and mustard and cook, whisking for a minute.

4. Whisking constantly, gradually add milk and continue to whisk for 5 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Adjust seasoning.

5. Add drained pasta and broccoli, spinach, two thirds of the cheese (reserving the rest for the topping) and all the parmesan and stir to combine. You may need to add a little pasta water if too thick. Adjust seasonings and transfer to a heat proof dish.

6. Preheat grill. Then, in a small bowl, combine remaining cheese, almond meal and oregano and season with salt and pepper.

8. Scatter over pasta and place under grill for 5 minutes or until golden.

9. Toss salad leaves with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta between plates and serve with salad.


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