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Quick Macaroni and Cheese
(New menu ideas for this week are posted)
Last week my daughter Erica babysat my sister's kids. My sister left a box of macaroni and cheese for Erica to make for her kids. As Erica was making it, she said to me, "Mom! You've got to come see this! Look at how orange this macaroni is!"
Laughing about the incident, I texted my sister about Erica's discovery. My sister writes back, "Haven't you ever made REAL macaroni and cheese before?" And so we had the debate about which macaroni and cheese was the REAL macaroni and cheese!
I maintain that REAL macaroni and cheese is simply, macaroni noodles with REAL cheese- rather than macaroni with cheese in a powdered form with artificial yellow dye added to it. The thing is, I don't understand the need to purchase a box of macaroni and cheese, when our version takes exactly the same amount of time to prepare! I can imagine the discussion around the product development. "Do you really think someone is going to buy a product where all we do is measure out the noodles for them, and then include something that tastes like cheese?" Well guess what! People do. lol.
So, if we could compare boxed macaroni with 'real macaroni'.
We consider that it takes the same amount of time to make either, because all we do instead of pour in the packet of fake cheese, we shred real cheese at that step. Really, it doesn't take any more time to do the latter, and we have been making it that way for as long as my kids can remember. Although we haven't perfected the video making, I filmed Erica putting together both macaroni dishes. Then, TJ was our tester, and he preferred the real macaroni over the fake macaroni.
Then, to go a step further and make it more healthy, we add veggies!
The yellow color in cheddar cheeses is made from Annatto (a natural color extracted from plants). I do believe, even if you haven't decided to remove artificial dye's from your kids diet, a very important reason to avoid the packaged variety is in the sodium! Excess sodium is very damaging to fragile arteries, and including all the sodium you need for two days in one meal is not necessary!
So, check out our amateur video below and then try it yourself for lunch today!
Quick Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 cups macaroni noodles (whole grain if you can find it)
- 1 TBL butter
- 3 ounces shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- Optional: 1 wedge laughing cow cheese
- Optional: Splash of milk for creamier and smoother macaroni
- Salt to taste
Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles. Add butter and shredded cheese. Optional: For creamier mac and cheese, add a splash of milk.