You really can make homemade macaroni 'n cheese for an every-day lunch! You don't have to settle for the boxed stuff. Wanting to participate in the Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday, I thought I'd share this real food recipe classic, in a way that shows you how easy it can be to put a bowl of real mac 'n cheese on the table!
The recipe ingredients below yield about 4 servings (depending on how big you make those servings ;) Recipe adapted from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld
1. Put your pot of water to boil - add macaroni when ready and cook according to package directions.
2. Prepare the Bechamel Sauce: Put 1T. olive oil in a large saucepan. Add 1T. flour and cook, stirring, until it resembles a thick paste, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add milk (1/2cup), any desired vegetable purees (I used butternut squash, 1/2cup), and your cheeses (a soft cheese, like cream cheese -4oz-, and a nice hard cheese/combo of cheeses, about 1 1/2cups worth, or to taste - I like white or yellow sharp, colby jack, parmesan...whatever I have on hand!)
4. Season (this recipe called for 1/2tsp salt, 1/8 tsp. each of paprika and pepper). I like a dash of tabasco sauce.
Voila! See, it's not hard!
In fact, it's very versatile - you can use pretty much ANY combination of cheeses. You could probably even use some sour cream or yogurt with milk; if you have a random can of evaporated milk, you could use that up...you can add bread crumbs for a special pizazz and broil it briefly in the oven to give it more of a "baked" taste.
Mac 'n Cheese is also a great base for adding vegetables and meats. My toddler will eat broccoli if it is with something like mac 'n cheese. My husband likes to take a container of this to work, sometimes along with a sandwich, sometimes on its own with some fresh veggies.
For more real-food recipes, and to join in the campaign to help America get back to wholesome, whole foods, head over to the Food Renegade.