Macaroni and cheese with spinach (recipe in the comments)
This was our first homemade mac and cheese recipe, made for the first time in 2003, and we LOVE it. It's very simple, but the addition of scallions, garlic, and mustard give the cheese sauce a zip most classic versions don't. Of course, I haven't even mentioned the spinach, which gives it color and adds veggies. I also think the spinach adds a wonderfully soft texture. This is yet another recipe in one of our most common January recipe category: comfort foods that manage to be on the lighter side. We always love baked tomatoes - a way of making winter tomatoes edible and it's easy to make right alongside the mac. Just stick them in about 10 minutes earlier than the casserole.
Chopping: Scallions, garlic, Emmentahler, Asiago, spinach, tomatoes
Time: 50 minutes, including 15 minutes baking time
Make ahead: This is very good the next day.
J: "This is the perfect mid-winter meal."
M: M is still thinking.