Posts Tagged ‘ mac ‘n’ cheese ’

Tuesday Timesaver: 8 Easy Mac ‘n’ Cheese Mix-Ins

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Garden-Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Best for Babies 10+ Months

Mason loves mac ‘n’ cheese. Loves it. He’d eat it every night if he could, especially since he’s on a cheese kick right now. I make a simple homemade mac ‘n’ cheese recipe often, but I mix in healthy veggies and fruits to add nutritional value. I love how quick and easy it is to turn mac ‘n’ cheese into a filling, well-rounded meal. In fact, the Garden Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese (above) saved us last night when our 30-minute commute took an hour and a half due to train trouble. After being trapped in his stroller for all that time, Bug was understandably starving and grouchy — and I had to come up with a dinner that would dazzle him fast.

My first Tuesday Timesaver post on mac ‘n’ cheese drew lots of comments, and I discovered that many of you have babes who enjoy mac ‘n’ cheese, too. I also learned that many of you try to mix in extras to spice it up and make it healthier, so I wanted to share some of the combos that Mason  enjoys. To save time, I often use frozen organic veggies that are quick to steam and don’t require prep. I also make a big batch of mac ‘n’ cheese ahead and freeze leftovers to help out in a pinch. I use a variety of noodles, including whole-wheat and brown rice. Try out our ideas — and share your babe’s fave mac ‘n’ cheese mix-ins.

1. Garden Veggie: Steamed broccoli, asparagus, and bell pepper

2. Chicken ‘n’ Noodles: Cooked chicken with tomato and steamed carrot and peas

3. Harvest Mac: Fresh, finely chopped sage and lightly steamed Gala apple

4. Meaty Mac: Cooked ground beef with tomato and steamed peas, carrot, and onion

5. Tuna Delight: Tuna with steamed celery, onion, and sweet red pepper

6. Mediterranean Mac: Tomato and kalamata olives with cooked onion

7. Italian Mac:  Cooked mushrooms, roasted red pepper, tomato, and organic pepperoni

8. Mac ‘n’ Greens: Cooked chicken sausage with steamed spinach and tomato

Photograph courtesy of BHG.com

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Tuesday Timesaver: Homemade Mac ‘n’ Cheese in 1 Minute

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Eating_Macaroni2Best for Babies 10+ Months

OK, you do have to do a bit of work in advance but I’m not kidding: You can have multiple servings of homemade mac ‘n’ cheese in less time than it takes to make it from a box. The key is to make a batch ahead and freeze it in single-serving portions.  When you’re ready to serve it pop a serving in the microwave, heat for 45 seconds to one minute (depending on how big the serving size is), and boom! Rich and creamy mac is ready for your babe’s dinner. Sure, you’ll spend a bit of time upfront but you save way more time night to night by making it ahead. This trick is one of my fave timesavers for busy nights and mac ‘n’ cheese freezes really well, so it’s a no-brainer. I serve the cheesy pasta with cooked and dice veggies and fruits and some yogurt and Mason has a well-rounded dinner in minutes. Sometimes I even chop up veggies into tiny pieces and hide them in the pasta. If your babe isn’t quite in the finger food stage, you can also mash up the pasta and cheese sauce or even puree it. Here’s our mac ‘n’ cheese recipe (that’s Mason flashing a mouthful of it, above). Try it out and let us know what you think, or share your fave mac ‘n’ cheese recipe with us.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Elbow macaroni noodles
1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk*

 

Directions

1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool slightly. Set aside.

2. Prepare cheese sauce; we like the basic one from Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees: Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk, bring to a boil, and cook for a few minutes over low heat until thickened and smooth. Stir in the grated cheese until melted. (Recipe makes 8 ounces of sauce.)

3. Toss pasta with cheese sauce. Freeze extras in single-serving portions for up to three months.


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