boosting the nutritional content of traditional macaroni and cheese
I made a traditional old-fashioned casserole-style macaroni and cheese for dinner last night and had some mixed Southern cooking greens (kale, turnip, mustard and collard greens) to use up. I had the option of steaming the greens and serving them on the side or incorporating them into the macaroni and serving a green salad on the side. I had read that cooking greens in milk gives them a tastier flavor but had never tried it, and I had also seen a recipe in a magazine awhile back for a non-casserole style mac & cheese that incorporated kale. So I decided to improvise: Added chopped greens (several handfuls, I didn't really measure, just used what I had on hand) to the bechamel-ish sauce that you make for casserole mac & cheese. I added it just after I added the milk and let the greens cook down while the milk sauce thickened, then added cheese as usual.
It was delicious! Maybe not totally healthy (it was mac & cheese, after all), but healthier than it would have been otherwise. And I had two sources of green leaves for dinner: One in the salad and one in the mac & cheese.
ETA: I used a recipe similar to the one foodfare posted to this community awhile back, though I lightened it up a lot -- used all skim milk and whole wheat pasta, plus a combo of cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. I thought that having all the greens in the milk sauce would make it hard to get the bay leaf out before cooking, but once the greens cooked down I found the bay leaf with no trouble!