Week night dinners, le sigh. If you're anything like me you want something homemade, healthy, and tasty...pronto! After a long day at work you don't want to slave away in the kitchen. Your evening is valuable and you want to use as much of it as possible for relaxing, gosh darn it.
I'm always on the quest to find the perfect week night meal. I scour my favorite blogs and Pinterest daily to find the magical meal that checks off all my "perfect meal" requirements: healthy, delicious, easy, and fast. When you come upon a good recipe, it's like gold. Over the years, I've gathered a few keepers. So in the spirit of sharing, I'm starting a new series to my blog called Daily Dinners.
Have you ever gotten one of those emails that asks you to share a recipe, and then share it with like 10 other people. Gawd. Sure, I want a good recipe, but then it requires you to send it to a bazillon people. So, good news, no strings attached.
Oh, and I think you'll like them. I usually make enough for four servings. Josh and I eat them for dinner, and then bring the leftovers to work the next day. It's a good system, and my co-works usually drool over what I eat. I hope this series inspires you to make co-worker envy, drool-worthy meals!
Up first: Kale Mac 'n Cheese. I am not totally on the kale love train. People seem to swoon over kale. I like it, but only in certain preparations. Luckily, it works really well in pasta. And who doesn't love a mac 'n cheese. I grew up on the stuff - it's childhood on a plate...but all classed up with kale. And the amount of cheese isn't exorbitant.
Kale Mac 'n Cheese
Recipe adapted from White on Rice Couple
- 10 ounces pasta *
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed & leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk (2% works well)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup (more or less) of extra parmesan cheese for topping
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- salt and pepper, to taste
* Any type of pasta works - penne, elbow, rotini, shells. My favorite brand is Barilla Plus, and I usually use penne on this dish.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to instructions. When there is one minute left on the pasta, toss in the kale. Drain it all together.
- Heat a large pot (preferably one that can go in the oven) on medium heat and melt butter. Add the onions, and cook until soft, then add flour. Stir the flour so it coats the onions. Add the milk and chicken broth.
- Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil. After 3-5 minutes, the sauce will begin to thicken. Turn the heat down to low and add the cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese is melted.
- Add the kale and pasta to the cheese/onion sauce. Stir it all together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle the extra cheese and bread crumbs on top. Add some cooking spray on top, if desired (it helps make it more crispy).
- Put the whole pan into the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until nicely golden.
- Dig in!