Mac and Cheese Florentine

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Add spinach and fresh breadcrumbs to macaroni and cheese for a meal that provides half of your daily calcium needs. You can vary this by using a different short pasta, such as mini penne or radiatore, and changing the cheese to gouda, Monterey Jack, or provolone.
2 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)


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1/2 (1-ounce) slice white bread
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup frozen chopped leaf spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 1 cup uncooked)


Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/4 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and butter, stirring to coat.

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, juice, nutmeg, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to spinach mixture, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Add cheese, salt, and pepper; cook 30 seconds or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in pasta. Spoon the mixture into a 1-quart soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Top evenly with breadcrumb mixture.

Broil for 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Created date

May 2004

Nutritional Information

Calories 482
Caloriesfromfat 27 %
Fat 14.5 g
Satfat 7.8 g
Monofat 3.9 g
Polyfat 1.1 g
Protein 22.6 g
Carbohydrate 66.9 g
Fiber 5.7 g
Cholesterol 42 mg
Iron 4.4 mg
Sodium 975 mg
Calcium 502 mg