Swiss Chard Sweet Potato Mac ‘n Cheese

Source: Karen Biton-Cohen , momtastic.com

During the winter months, we tend to crave warm, filing dishes, and satisfying dinners. Thisrecipe merges fiber-rich pasta with seasonal, hearty veggies that will satisfy your cravings, without letting you deviate from your wholesome diet. Sweet potato is a great addition to the traditional cheese sauce, because provides a velvety texture and sweet flavor. Try thisvegetarian recipe on Meatless Monday!

servings: 4 large portions
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 1 hour

Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato (2 heaping cups, peeled & chopped)
  • 1 pound fiber-rich pasta (whole-wheat, spelt, brown rice, quinoa, or buckwheat)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large shallot, minced (or ¼ of an onion)
  • 5 sage leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk, divided
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, or spinach (about 2 cups, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • ½ cup panko (or whole wheat bread crumbs)
  • olive oil spray
Step by Step instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, peel and chop sweet potato into 2-inch cubes.
  3. When the water boils cook the sweet potato pieces until soft (approximately 10 minutes).
  4. Transfer cooked sweet potato to a bowl and add ¼ cup of milk. Mash with potato masher, or fork, until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook for 3 minutes less than package directions so that the pasta is slightly under-cooked. Drain and set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Prepare swiss chard: rinse, remove thick white stems, and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  8. In a sauce pan, melt butter. Add crushed garlic, minced shallot, minced sage leaves, and salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, and shallot is transparent (about 5 minutes). Whisk in flour. Add 1 ¼ cups milk, continue whisking until milk thickens, and is clump-free. Add pureed sweet potato. Remove from heat, and add shredded mozzarella cheese and mix until well incorporated.
  9. In a large bowl, add pasta, sweet potato-cheese sauce and swiss chard. With a rubber heat-resistant spatula mix together all of the ingredients until pasta is evenly coated with cheese sauce .Pour mixture into a casserole dish, or oven-safe bowls. (I used two large oven safe bowls, each bowl contains 2 servings.)
  10. Over the pasta, sprinkle parmesan and panko bread crumbs. Spray a light coat of olive oil spray.
  11. Place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until tops are golden and crispy.
  12. swisschardmacncheese
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