Have I ever mentioned how much I love food posts? I could write about ingredients and texture and methods all day. However, my usual problem with food posts is this: I make something, think it was good, and then wish I would have snapped a picture and wrote down what I did. Or at least left myself a few leftovers.
So, while this is still fresh in my brain and littles are napping, here’s what we had for lunch. You’ll notice I called it double duty, because I try to get everyone (twins, toddler, and mama) eating together most lunches. It’s honestly easier that way, and it reinforces that we all eat what’s put in front of us. This is tricky though – the twins only have two teeth, Ellis is in a semi-picky toddler stage, and me? I’m just hungry. all. the. time.
Thus, today we put together homemade mac and cheese. It’s a little bit of a riff off this great recipe from Skinnytaste that my friend Jessica made for us a while back at her house, minus the baking and bread crumbs. Lunch has to be ready quick for my crew.
Here’s what I love- the alphabet noodles are small and soft enough that my 8 month old twins can eat them with a spoon, or with their fingers. My toddler was stoked that there were letters in her lunch bowl. And I liked how I secretly packed it full of carrots and cauliflower and kale. And cheese. Real cheese.
Alphabet Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese
2 cups alphabet noodles
1 cup cauliflower florets
3 averaged sized leaves of kale, ribs removed
Handful of carrot sticks
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tbsp butter
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
Celery salt, Garlic to taste
1. Bring salted water to a boil. When boiling, add alphabet noodles and cook according to directions.
2. Meanwhile, throw carrots, cauliflower, and kale in a food processor. Process till the mix resembles crumbs.
3. Heat a small frying pan with 2 tbsp of butter. Add processed veggies. Stir in a few shakes of celery salt and garlic powder, or real garlic if you have time. Stir occasionally for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, and simmer on low.
4. Drain noodles, and return them to the pot. Still in the other two tbsp of butter, the milk, and the cheese. When cheese and milk are incorporated, add veggies and any remaining broth. Mix well. If you want it creamier, add more milk. Or cream. Cheesier? You know the drill. Need more protein? I’m sure chicken would be a great addition. Make it your own, and put the box to shame.