I love pasta and I love cheese, but the classical American Mac and Cheese is just too unhealthy for me. I want my dinner to have vegetables as well. Luckily Jamie Oliver has created a healthier Mac and Cheese recipe and I gave my own twist to it to make it even more healthy. On this page I’m sharing my version of Jamie Oliver’s healthy Mac and Cheese recipe.
The classic Mac and Cheese that I saw when I lived in New York was just white macaroni and cheddar cheese. A load of carbs and fats and no fibers or vitamins. And even though I love both pasta and cheese, I would never eat a dish with just that. Luckily Jamie Oliver created a healthier version. He added enough vegetables to this dish. And because most of them are blended for the sauce, your kids or partner won’t even realize that they’re eating so many veggies. I’ve swapped the white macaroni by whole grain pasta. It’s always a better choice to go for whole grain products instead of white products. Whole grain pasta has much more fibers than regular white pasta. I’ve also changed the amounts a bit as I made the recipe for 4 people, instead of the original 6.
This healthy Mac and Cheese is a great vegetarian, weekday dinner recipe and I’m sure kids will love it too as the veggies are mostly hidden and the color is amazing. You can call it Popeye Pasta or The Hulk’s Dinner. Below is the recipe of Jamie Oliver’s healthy Mac and Cheese dish with some small adjustments made by me.
Jamie Oliver’s Healthy Mac and Cheese Recipe
Ingredients (for 4 people):
350 grams mini whole grain penne
300 grams broccoli
30 grams margarine
200 grams spinach
5 grams fresh thyme
2 tablespoons flour
800 ml skimmed milk
150 grams grated cheese
Bring water to a boil and prepare the penne as stated on the package.
Slice the leek and the stem of the broccoli. Warm the margarine in a pan. Add the pieces of leek and broccoli stem and the thyme leaves. Stir occasionally and fry for 10 minutes or until soft.
Add the flour and slowly pour in the milk. Keep stirring regularly for 10 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Add half of the cheese to the sauce. Put the sauce and the spinach in a blender and blend until you’ve got a green sauce. You might need to do this in two turns, depending on the size of your blender.
Combine the sauce with the pasta. Cut the remaining broccoli in small florets and add to the pasta. Put the healthy mac and cheese in an oven dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.