I don’t know about you guys but where I live it’s starting to get pretty chilly outside. I’m talking highs around 50. I love it. I love the warmer, cozy clothes and how I don’t mind working up a sweat in the gym because I know when I’m done I can step out into the fall weather that is chilled just enough for a perfect post workout walk. Another thing to love about this weather is, of course, the warm comfort food that pairs perfectly with the chilly weather. Sometimes, though, it can be a challenge to take those comfort food favorites and make them healthier and veggie packed. We recently came across a recipe for macaroni and cheese that will knock your socks off! Not only is it delicious but it is packed full of veggies (my favorite part) – who could ask for more? Make sure you give this one a try, you can find the recipe HERE at Kitchen Thymes.
image from http://www.kitchenthymes.com
I’m also including a side dish for creamed kale. I’ve had a ton of Kale begging to be used and this seemed like a great way to use it up.
3 pounds Kale, center piece removed then roughly chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (or chicken or vegetable stock)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional; adds a cheesy flavor)
Pinch of Nutmeg
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the almond milk, cottage cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic and nutmeg. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (if you don’t have an immersion blender I would suggest blending first in a blender or food processor, then transfer to a saucepan to heat up). Set aside until ready to use.
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions in pan until tender. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes, making sure the mixture doesn’t brown. Whisk in the warm milk mixture and cook until thickened.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and carrots and cook until tender (not mushy), about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and then return to pot. Add cream sauce and cook until flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.