If there is a staple item that I loved as a picky little kid but have never grown out of even as my tastes have matured, it is mac and cheese. But with the high fat/low nutritional content ratio, it is usually not a good thing to make. I found this recipe on Rachael Rays cooking show- Meals in 30mins or less then added some tweeks of my own
Ingredients:
-One package of fresh or frozen spinach
-Cup or so of parmesan cheese
-Milk (I used regular but suppose you could subsititute)
-Bit of butter
-Pasta for the mac and cheese (I used veggie shells)
-Ground chicken or turkey can be subsituted
-Herbs for meatballs- rosemary, tarragon, thyme
-Onion or leek, chopped
-Bread crumbs- I used italian style but you can use regular and add your own herbs
-Two eggs
First, make the sauce. Saute a small pad of butter then add milk, you can use a dash of half and half or cream but of course that adds to fat content. Slowly pour in the parmesan cheese stirring on medium heat until it melts making a creamy sauce. The key to any good alfredo/cheese sauce is adding the cheese slowly. Once you have a good amount of sauce, add in the spinach. While fresh is best, I love frozen spinach because they pack sooo much into a little package so you are eating tons of greens. Stir the spinach into the sauce. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. I used multicolored shells that are veggie based.

The meatballs:
I use ground chicken because it is leaner and healthier than ground beef. With the right combo of herbs it tastes just like sausage, you won’t know the difference but is lower in fat and cholesterol. Also, by adding in bread crumbs etc you are making the meat (and your money) stretch.
Mix together herbs (onion, rosemary, thyme and fennel see are key to making it taste like sausage), a little parmesan cheese if you have some left, bread crumbs, two eggs and ground meat. Make into decent size balls then place in 350 degree preheated oven for ab out 15mins or until meat is brown, not pink.
Serve over mac and cheese and voila!- a grown up healthier veggie and protein packed version of your childhood fav!
chops bobblehead etc 011 300x225   Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs

April 29, 2011