The tastiest mac & cheese I have made yet…
This recipe was inspired by The Scarlet Pepper’s Green Mac & Cheese recipe. She said it is a recipe her kids totally love…so I guess I am a kid at heart still because I drooled over simply reading the ingredients! I always like finding a way to sneak veggies into foods that seem ‘unhealthy.’ I have made a sweet potato mac and a butternut squash mac as well so I was super excited to make this zucchini and spinach mac next! I encourage you to get creative with your recipes as well to amp up the nutritional value! Enjoy!
Information on nutritional yeast from nutritionstripped.com :
Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast used as a food, it’s light/golden yellow in color and most popularly found in flakes. Basically, yeast is cultured and grown typically on a glucose medium like molasses or sugar cane. When the yeast has grown, it’s killed with heat, processed, and dried- this process leaves an inactive nutrient rich yeast. I consider nutritional yeast a “superfood” because it contains heaps of B vitamins, protein, and fiber in a very small volume. Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor and the taste is similar to a rich sharp cheddar cheese, hence why it’s so popular in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles- it makes the perfect cheesy substitute sans dairy.
Ways to use it: Sprinkled on salads, mixed with quinoa, rice, potatoes, popcorn, roasted veggies, or in this recipe! 🙂
Nutrient breakdown of NUTRITIONAL YEAST | *per 2 tablespoons
Protein | 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains 8-10g protein (depending on brand), a “complete” protein
Fiber | 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains 4-5g fiber (depending on brand)
Carbohydrates | 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains only 5-9g carbohydrates (depending on brand)
Hope you enjoy and find a way to include nutritional yeast in your diet!
The best green mac you'll ever have!
- 1 zucchini, fresh
- 2 cup elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 large avocado
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. All-Purpose flour
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup Velveeta shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
- 2 tsp. red pepper chili flakes
- salt and pepper TT
Chop zucchini into small pieces. Boil for 15 minutes. Once boiled, drain water and puree in a food processor. Add in avocado and basil and blend again.
Cook the macaroni according to package directions.
In a skillet over medium heat, mix 1 Tbsp. butter and flour to make a roux. Then add in the milk, zucchini/avocado mixture, spinach, and another Tbsp. butter. Stir until mixed well.
Add in the cooked macaroni, halved cherry tomatoes, Velveeta, nutritional yeast, and seasonings. Mix well. Serve warm and top with mozzarella cheese.
If you are totally against Velveeta, you can make a basic white sauce instead:
Makes 1 cup:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup 2 % milk
pinch of turmeric for "cheese" color
Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour, salt, and turmeric until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk, adding it slowly, until the mixture just comes to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened