Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Lunch Time Favourite: Macaroni & Cheese

For lunch, my girls love two things...tuna sandwiches and macaroni & cheese.
Most days they have tuna, but I end up making macaroni and cheese pretty much every week.

 I like making it for a few reasons - they're guaranteed to eat it, I make enough so they can have it for lunch twice and because I've made it so many times, I know my recipe well and that makes it an easy, pretty fast meal to make.

Tortiglioni & Cheese

I also like the fact that I can easily sneak healthy vegetable purees into it. 
I started adding purees to different meals when Olivia was younger because she was a very selective eater and I wanted to make sure she was getting enough vegetables in her diet. 
Even though she eats better now, sometimes, I still throw them in. Not only do the purees add a little extra flavor and nutrients, it' s also a great way to use up extra vegetables that you have lying around.

We did baby led weaning with both girls so I never did the puree thing. I find it to be such a time consuming, painful task! But on the other hand, I hate wasting food so making purees kind of makes sense.

And to anyone that made/makes purees for their babies, major props to you!

Rotini & Cheese with Carrot Puree

When I do make purees, I try to make a big batch and then freeze them in 1/4 - 1/2 cups servings.
Some of my go-to purees are carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato and my current favourite is a carrot and red pepper mix.

On Thursday I made mac & cheese for lunch and the puree I added was a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and brussels sprouts. All of which were leftovers from dinner the night before. I was a bit worried that the broccoli and brussels would be a little overpowering, but it was fine. The girls gobbled it up in no time.

Macaroni & Cheese

8oz Macaroni (or any other pasta)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
Spices - salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder etc. *(See note below)
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese - I usually use Old or Medium Cheddar  
1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable puree - Optional

*I don't usually measure my spices, I pretty much just go by taste and smell. I also like to change things up and try different spices and combinations. I try and keep a mental note of what the girls like and don't like.  

Cook pasta as directed.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour and spices.
Once mixed in, slowly whisk in the milk.
Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
Whisk in the vegetable puree.
Stir in cheese until melted.
Drain pasta; add to cheese sauce; stir to coat.

Mac & Cheese with Carrot and Red Pepper Puree

To me, macaroni & cheese is the ultimate comfort food and perfect for cold January days!
What kid, or adult for that matter, doesn't like it?

Now go make some and enjoy!

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  1. Ohhh yes I made puree for my girl once... Too much work... And this recipe looks delish! Can't wait to try it!

    1. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one that thinks that!!
      Hope you enjoy the Mac and cheese :)