The secret ingredient is always nutmeg.
Trust me on this one. It adds a lovely interesting something to savory foods and pairs amazingly with cheese and starches. It’s the secret ingredient in my mom’s quiche and her amazing corn-and-potato chowder. And it’s the secret ingredient in this spicy macaroni casserole.
Yeah, I definitely need to invest some time into my food photography. They say that’s what makes or breaks a good blog. But really, how do you make kale look sexy? Kale just isn’t sexy. It just looks like a big lump of green…kale.
Meh. A little better.
I’ve had a variation on this recipe for a while; since high school, actually. My church youth group made it once for a soup kitchen in our town. Of course, the original has lots of onion, garlic, wheat and mushrooms, so I did a little swapping, using kale in place of the spinach to give it some bulk in the absence of the mushrooms. (Does that many any sense? It doesn’t, does it? Oh, well.) But that nutmeg-and-cheese flavor combo is still there, with a little bit of zing from the red pepper flakes, and those are the things that make the recipe pop.
FODMAP hack: Garlic-infused oil is low-FODMAP because the fructans in the garlic are not absorbed into the oil. You can buy it at some grocery stores or make your own. I make my garlic-infused oil on an as-needed basis. I cut a garlic clove or two in half, place them in the oil needed for the recipe in the skillet, heat and cook until the garlic cloves are toasty brown. Then I just fish them out with a spoon and cook with the remaining oil.
- 8 oz. gluten-free macaroni
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic-infused oil
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- a bunch of kale
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, chopped into small chunks
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions.
- Remove the tough stems from the kale and tear into bite-sized chunks.
- Heat the garlic-infused oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the kale until bright green and slightly wilted. Then add your can of tomatoes, juice and all.
- When your macaroni's done, drain it and return it to the cooking pot. Stir in the kale and tomatoes, the mozzarella chunks, the red pepper flakes and the nutmeg.
- Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the macaroni mixture into the dish and sprinkle the top with a couple generous handfuls of Parmesan.
- Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top.
- You can make your own garlic-infused oil by adding a couple of garlic clove halves to the oil while it's heating. When the cloves are golden brown, fish them out with a spoon and proceed to cook the kale.