New mac & cheese recipe isn?t Greek to me

I imagine that years ago there was a person standing in a kitchen, trying to figure out what to feed the family for dinner. This person noticed that the pantry contained a lot of pasta and a lot of cheese but not much else.

It was on this fateful day that macaroni and cheese was born.

It sounds like such a simple, unimaginative food combination: just pasta and some cheese. But we love that simplistic concoction. Try doing an Internet search for macaroni and cheese recipes?it will overwhelm you how many variations exist.

Unfortunately, one thing that most of these recipes have in common is a pretty high fat content, which makes it off limits for those trying to watch their waistlines.

That?s why I was interested to try this recipe, which supplements the cheese with Greek yogurt. I expected it to taste like mac and cheese with yogurt in it, but the tangy flavor of the yogurt complemented the tanginess of the sharp cheddar I used, and I couldn?t tell the difference.

This recipe comes from a blog called ?Cooking a la Mel.? You can see her post at http://cookingalamel.com/2013/08/creamy-greek-yogurt-mac-cheese.html?crlt.pid=camp.wQI0ejUBdpOm. I tried doubling the onion and garlic powder when I made mine, and I?ll tell you from experience that it?s a bit of an overwhelming flavor and kind of takes over the cheese, so I?d recommend sticking to the amounts listed.

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Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

2 cups tube pasta (I used multigrain penne)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

When the pasta is done, reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Place the spinach leaves into a colander, and drain the rest of the pasta on top of it (to wilt the leaves).

Add the pasta and spinach back into the pot. Add the shredded cheese and about a quarter cup of pasta water and stir until the cheese is melted.

Add in the yogurt, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir until it is well-combined.

Use the remaining reserved pasta water to thin the cheese to your desired consistency.

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I?m not claiming that this is a health food, but making mac and cheese like this does decrease the fat and calorie content quite a bit. Plus, you?re adding a serving of vegetables, too, so if you?re craving the old favorite but not wanting to sacrifice, this might be right up your alley.

It?s a nice way of paying homage to that person who invented this simple dish long ago with a little twist from the present.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.

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