Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Healthier Baked Mac

Today, I’ll be sharing with you my son’s favorite homemade baked macaroni recipe (well, actually he loves baked macaroni no matter where it comes from, so this is just a "greener" version which he loves too). He loves tomato-based pasta and I like making our own, and adding more greens in there to make it more wholesome for the family. I tried using healthier ingredients and though I don’t have this dish’s caloric measurements, I’d say this is a relatively healthier version than the ones you can find in fast food joints. Enjoy!

250 grams San Remo Veggie macaroni pasta, boiled with oil and salt
¼ K lean pork giniling (you may use beef giniling too of course—I just like to use pork because it’s less greasy)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup shredded spinach
½ cup shredded malunggay or alugbati
1 pack Del Monte spaghetti sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, ½ to 1 tspn sugar (depending on preferred taste)
1 cup grated mozzarella, cheddar or Monterey Jack, parmesan as toppings (try to opt for low-sodium varieties)

For the béchamel sauce:
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups low-fat milk
salt and nutmeg to flavor

  • Saute garlic, onions in olive oil.
  • When softened, add pork giniling. Saute until cooked. Then, add mushrooms.
  • Add all the seasonings.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and let it boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add greens. Add additional salt if necessary, and add sugar to balance flavors.
  • Turn off heat to avoid overcooking the veggies.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and mix well.
  • Spread onto oven-safe dish.


  •      Pour Bechamel sauce evenly onto the macaroni.
  •      Sprinkle the cheeses on top.
  •      Bake for 20 minutes.

Procedure for Bechamel sauce:

    1.     Put butter onto heated pan.
    2.     Slowly add flour and mix well until it turns into a sandy yellow color.
    3.     Add milk, while whisking continuously until it boils.
    4.     Add salt and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat.
    5.     Pour evenly onto macaroni.