Yes, I use the boxed kind of Mac N Cheese, yes I am lazy and yes this is my go to meal for kids (and us) when I am too lazy to do anything. However with trial and error, I have learned to 'Improve' the boxed kind to suit our palates (Some say, make it palatable) and enhance with vegetables etc.
So here is our Twist to Mac N Cheese
1. 1 box Aunty Annie’s Organic Mac N Cheese
2. Finely Chopped Vegetables 1/2 cup Carrots, 1/4 cup Green Beans, 1/4 cup Broccoli
3. Butter: 2 tsp
4. 1 cup: Organic Milk (Full Fat/ 2% any works)
5. Philadelphia Cream Cheese: 3 tsp
6. Spices: Crushed Oregano leaves, Salt, Pepper, Chili Flakes
7. Finely chopped fresh basil....Delish!
8. Grated Cheese (We use the Cheddar/ Mozzarella blend): 1/2 cup
1. Boil the pasta per package instructions and let it cool
2. Option 1: Feel free to boil the vegetables along with the pasta
2. Option 2: Sautee the vegetables along with the spices in a separate pan
3. In a heavy skillet, melt butter and add the 'packaged cheese sachet' and stir with milk
4. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes, when the cheese lumps are gone, add the cream cheese
5. Remember, Cream cheese needs to be stirred vehemently, else you will have a 'lumpy' sauce
6. In 5 minutes, when the sauce looks slightly thickened, add the sauté vegetables and boiled pasta
7. Blend in the fresh cheese
8. Garnish with Freshly chopped Basil and enjoy
Another variation for this is, add the fresh cheese: 1 cup, cover with bread crumbs and put in the oven for 15 minutes for a more 'restaurant feel' -I never get around to this step, case in point ' Quick meal fix'
But yes, this modified version is loved by all of us, the kids like that it’s Mc N Cheese, I like that vegetables are mixed in and Sumit likes it because it was fast and delicious!