When I was younger, I wasn’t overly fond of real cheese. I picked everything off my pizza so that all that was left was a bit of sauce and crust. I would eat grilled cheese made with cheese wrapped in cellophane and fake mac & cheese made from a box.
Now that I’m older I have a new found appreciation for cheese and macaroni and cheese in particular. It is hard to pass up when it is available, but since I am always trying to eat healthier, mac & cheese isn’t really on my list of acceptable foods.
If I can’t pass it up, I have to try to make it healthier, so I went to my favorite recipe sources and found a few recipes to try. None of them are especially good for me, but I am happy with some improvement over the original.
What you are about to read is why this blog is not a food blog. I would say I am fairly decent in the kitchen. I’m not afraid of experimenting and trying something new (as long as there aren’t too many ingredients or too many items I have to purchase special for the recipe), but for some reason macaroni and cheese is just complicated for me. I am macaroni and cheese challenged.
The first attempt to make my beloved mac & cheese ended miserably. It was a pile of icky goo! I didn’t even try it to see if it tasted better than it looked because it looked that bad.
My next attempt seemed to work fairly well. The cheese looked creamy and it coated the noodles nicely. I took photos and shared with my friends that I was successful in my attempts. Then, no sooner had the photo left my phone, the cheese gooped up (yes, gooped is the technical term) and looked nasty. I wish I had tried it when it still looked pretty. Still, I braved the goopy cheese and it actually didn’t taste horrible, but the creamy texture makes it great, and this clearly did not have the desired creaminess.
I gave up for a long time. Then, I came across a new macaroni and cheese recipe on Pinterest. I love Pinterest! It looked so wonderful in the picture, so I set out to try again. I really thought the third time would be the charm.
I bought what I thought I needed during my weekly grocery shopping trip. I didn’t need much (because remember if I have to buy a lot to make it, I won’t do it). Today, I decided to give it a try.
I started the water to boil. While I was waiting I pulled out my whole grain wheat elbow macaroni. The box was not as full as I thought so I did not have enough noodles to make the recipe. No matter, I substituted whole wheat spaghetti noodles broken down into small lengths (just in case you were wondering about the stringy noodles in the photo above).
The recipe called for spinach, which I like, so I pulled that out and started preparing it. Then I realized I hadn’t shredded the cheese. I gave up packaged shredded cheese a while ago, but I can never remember that I need to allow time to grate my block of cheese. My macaroni was finished and cooling before I got my cheese grated.
I’m sure this was the beginning of the end for my creamy mac & cheese. Since the cheese was still kind of clumpy, I put my pot back over the heat while I mixed everything in. I continued to stir but my cheese never un-clumped.
I was starving, so I just went ahead and ate it. Sadly, it didn’t taste good either. It was a complete disaster. I think I will try this recipe again with better timing, but I am still on the hunt for a healthy macaroni and cheese option. Why is this so hard?!
Do you have a recipe I could try?