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Nadiya’s Mustard Kale Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Nadiya Hussain

Featuring:
Kale
Kale
Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:
In season now

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

500 pasta

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp unsalted butter

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp English mustard powder

3 tbsp plain flour

250ml whole milk

250ml single cream

250g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

300g kale leaves, chopped

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

freshly ground black pepper

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Recipe donated by Nadiya Hussain for Veg Power. Portrait photography by Rebecca Fennell | rebeccafennellphotography.co.uk. Food photography by Holly Pickering | hollypickering.com. Recipe from Nadiya's Kitchen by Nadiya Hussain.

I am not averse to a massive bowl of mac and cheese for dinner, but it took a while to convince my family that sometimes this is OK: it doesn’t always have to be rice and curry, or curry and rice. I don’t mean the kind that comes out of a can and isn’t sure if it is mac and cheese or baby custard mixed with overcooked pasta – it doesn’t have to be like a school dinner nightmare. Proper home-cooked mac and cheese is warm, hearty and delicious. This recipe, with mustard and kale to add interest, makes for a delicious one-pot meal.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta for 3 minutes less than the recommended time on the packet. Drain and add the oil, stirring it through. This will stop the pasta sticking together.

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic and mustard powder and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the flour, and cook for another minute, mixing all the time. Add the milk and the cream, and whisk until the sauce is smooth and lump-free. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens. Take the pan off the heat, add the grated Cheddar cheese and leave it to melt, stirring occasionally.

Now tip the pasta and kale into an ovenproof dish, and pour over the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and a good grind of black pepper to serve.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Weighing pasta can keep tiny ones amused for ages – in fact, this recipe is a good one for practicing all types of weighing and measuring, grating cheese, peeling garlic and grinding pepper. They may also like to help with the stirring and whisking, under your supervision, at the hob.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Jamir Hussain is a British baker, columnist, author and television presenter. She rose to fame after winning the sixth series of BBC's The Great British Bake Off in 2015.

www.nadiyahussain.com/

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