Macaroni & Cheese with Spinach

1 3/4 c. low-fat (1%) milk
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 c. grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen spinach
2 c. (8 oz.) whole-wheat macaroni
1/4 c. toasted wheat germ

Whisk 1/4 cup of the milk with flour in small bowl until smooth; set aside. Heat remaining milk in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Add flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce boils and thickens, two – three minutes. Remove from heat; add Cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain, refresh under cold water and press out excess moisture. Cook macaroni in kettle of lightly salted boiling water, stirring often, until not quite tender, four – five minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again. Mix macaroni with cheese sauce in large bowl. Spread half of macaroni mixture in 8-inch-square baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Spoon spinach on top. Spread remaining macaroni mixture over spinach layer; sprinkle with wheat germ. Bake in preheated 400° oven until bubbly and golden, 35-45 minutes. Serves six. (This is a good diabetic version of macaroni and cheese.)

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