Our mac and cheese recipe has gone through many changes over the years. I’ve kept the original recipe in this post, at the end, but I wanted to share the updated recipe with you as well (as of 9/3/2016). Mind you, I don’t eat mac and cheese, but it is a favorite comfort food for my daughters.
Here are a few notes on the changes I made and why:
- The original recipe called for a lot of cheese. We’ve experimented and decided it was too much, but this is going to be a taste and consistency preference for each person. Use less and less cheese each time you make the recipe, to decide how much you need.
- I no longer use wheat pasta. Barilla pasta is good, and it is okay to use gluten-free. I don’t actually eat grains all that often any more, as they are not healthy for me. You’re experience may be different from mine, though, as what is healthy for one person may not be for another.
- We also cut down drastically on the amount of milk used, realizing that less is better. Then, switched to using water, as I have issues with milk. The recipe still tastes fine. Also, we don’t strain the pasta all the way, just quickly, so there is still some liquid from that.
- A very important note: Don’t use corn as a vegetable. It is a grain and, if used in this recipe, you’d have two grain servings. For those of us who shouldn’t have grains, this is not good.
- Adding a little meat to is fine, but there is no need to go overboard.
- Using one or more vegetables is a good idea. These add-ins boost the nutritional value of a meal, so you should be getting at least two per meal.
2 cups pasta
a little water – maybe less than 1/4 cup
4 ounces of cheese, give or take. Experiment to see what works for you.
1/2 cup precooked, diced chicken
3/4 cup diced tomato
1/8 cup chopped fresh, raw spinach or kale
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until almost done.
- Strain the pasta quickly, and pour back into the pot.
- Over low heat, add water and cheese to the pot.
- Mix until cheese starts to melt, then add the diced tomato.
- Keep mixing until cheese is melted, and the spinach or kale and mix it in, then remove from heat.
- Mix it up, see what you come up with. Try different cheeses, meats, and vegetables. You might find a new comfort food that is a little healthier.
- Use coupons, combined with sales where possible, to save money on ingredients.
- Try growing your own vegetables to save even more money.
- Save money by utilizing leftover cheeses, meats, and vegetables.
- Pack into an insulated thermos to bring to work or school.
- This dish would be great served with a Harvest Salad and some Mint-Lemon Sun Tea. The more fruits and vegetables you can get into a meal the better.
The Original Recipe
2 cups whole wheat pasta (You can use any pasta you have on hand, even spaghetti or lasagna noodles.)
about 1 cup of skim/reconstituted powdered milk. May need more or less. I mostly judge this by sight.
1/5 of a 32 oz. package of store brand of Velveeta block cheese (Other cheeses can be used as well. Experiment.)
- Just cook the pasta until almost done.
- Strain, put back into pan with milk and cubed cheese until cheese is melted.