Recipe: Sweet Potato and Greens Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe reinvents a traditional comfort food to be higher in fiber, stress-reducing nutrients, and flavor. Serves 4-6.

  • 2-1/2 cups dry whole wheat pasta noodles (macaroni, rigatoni, elbow, or spiral)
  • 2 cups sweet potato (about 1 medium), peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2-3 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped dark leafy greens, such as spinach or chard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Cook pasta in boiling water for 5-7 minutes (pasta should be slightly firm, or al dente). Drain and set aside.

Steam sweet potato until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes and then blend in food processor with 1/4 cup milk until smooth.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cheeses together in small bowl and set aside.

In a large oven-proof pot, sauté garlic with butter over medium-high heat until garlic has softened, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour, turn heat down to medium, cook for another 1-2 minutes (stirring constantly), and then slowly incorporate remaining 3/4 cup milk. Cook for a few minutes until mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat, and add sweet potato. Mix until well incorporated. Then stir in pasta, chopped greens, spices, and 1 cup of cheese mixture.

Top with remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese on top has browned.