Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mac & Cheese

After featuring the two cookbooks on how to sneak healthy food into your kids meals, I thought I should try one of the recipes out... I mean, I like veggies, fun food and am a kid at heart. Right? Right.

I took a closer look at each chef's website, and I decided on a recipe from Deceptively Delicious. The Sneaky Chef is actually something I wouldn't buy. Why? A) I didn't like the recipes very much. And B) In many of the online recipes (examples from her book), she uses mostly pre-made or boxed foods and then just inserts pureed veggies.

I'm not disputing her recipes or using boxed foods for kids. I just don't believe anyone, even busy moms, need a cookbook to tell then how to crack open a box of mac & cheese, and add a 1/2 cup of pureed veggie. Or to add a veggie puree to your store bought pasta sauce. For this sort of thing, use her website to gleen a few veggie puree ideas and then add them to whatever meals you are making. No cookbook required.

If you actually want recipes, where it includes sneaking veggies into the meal, I recommend Deceptively Delicious.

I choose to make the mac & cheese recipe. The first time I ever made M&C, I was amazed how easy it was, and Jessica from Deceptively Delicious gives a GREAT recipe with either a cauliflower or squash puree option to include.

Our only complaint was that it made a pretty thick cheese sauce. Next time, I will add more milk and experiment a little. But we ate it up, it was really good! And I will be making it again, soon.

Macaroni and Cheese

Created by Jessica Seinfeld

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
Nonstick cooking spray
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup nonfat (skim) milk
1/2 cup butternut or cauliflower puree (I used cauliflower, see below)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (about 8 oz.)
4 oz. (almost 1/4 cup) reduced-fat or nonfat cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper

* Cauliflower puree: Wash and cut off florets (discard core). Steam for 8-10 minutes. Zap in food processor or blender for approximately 2 minutes with a few teaspoons of water for a smooth consistency.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain in a colander.

While the macaroni is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, Cheddar, cream cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the macaroni and serve warm.

Look at this big 'kid' lovin his mac & cheese!

Get more Deceptively Delicious recipes on the Oprah website

Guten appetit!


Loidhamer Family said...

I tried the grilled cheese with squash puree with Mason one day and I have never been so amused to watch him eat. He took one bite then looked the sandwich over cautiously, he tried another lick, then opened the sandwich trying in vain to figure out what was the matter with it. Then he ate the bread all off the sandwich leaving the mysterious orange "cheese" filling. Hysterical. I haven't bothered with any purees since, but, thankfully, I'm blessed with a child who will eat his fruits and veggies.

lisat said...

I was going to try this mac and cheese but Lori's hilarious recount of Mason's actions makes me believe this is what my kid would do. He is often very suspicious of me anyway as I often try to hide medicines in juice, pop, etc..... He knows I'm deceptive.

Can you taste the veggies very much in mac and hceese or does it taste pretty typical?

laura said...

We could taste the cauliflower. It wasn't overpowering, but something you could taste. Kids or unsuspecting victims, might have to guess what the flavor is, but I think they would know something was amiss. If you do decide to try it, let me know how it goes. I plan to make it again this week but cant decide what to include- I might try a sweet potato this time. Try for a sweet and savory combo.