Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Instant Macaroni and Cheese Makeover

Like most kids, instant Macaroni & Cheese is a staple. Mine are no different. I would love to think that I would make them homemade Macaroni & Cheese from scratch all the time, but right now, it's just not practical in my life. However, I try to make this quick meal be an opportunity to sneak in some more nutrients than the instant box gives them.

One of my sister-in-laws has dubbed me an 'Evil Genius' because I am constantly putting things on my kids plate without them realizing it or telling them that Chex cereal is a chip. They have come to know food this way so it almost doesn't seem sneaky anymore, just part of their food.

5 tips to Makeover your Instant Macaroni and Cheese

1. Chop up a handful of spinach and mix it in right after you drain the water. The spinach will wilt quickly.

2. Eliminate the butter and milk and add half of a soft avocado. It provides the creaminess that the cheese needs to melt. If you need to add a touch of milk still, have at it! If you plan on having leftovers, this is not the best option, the avocado makes the mac & cheese turn brown the next day and the kids will stay away from it.

3. Nutritional Yeast ... It's cheesy, it blends right in. Throw in two or three tablespoons to the mix.

4. Hemp Seeds. They are so tiny, most kids won't even see them. Mix in a couple tablespoons and enjoy!

5. Add in 1/2 c mashed sweet potatoes or squash. Instead of the butter. Again, you may need a little milk still.

6. Add 1/2 c smashed white beans. They are light in flavor and the cheesy goodness will let them blend right it without the kids even knowing!

Once your kids get used to their 'new' mac & cheese, mix and match any of these ideas together. I've even made it with all five tips!

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