What’s For Dinner? (And Lunch!): Mac and Cheese With Hidden Veggies and Mac and Cheese Muffins

Muffins
The finished product: macaroni and cheese muffins with hidden veggies.

Whether you’re a stay at home, working mom, or somewhere in between, we all share a common dilemma: what do we feed our kids? Add nutritious, quick, and easy to the recipe parameters, and we’re even more stumped. D Moms intern Hannah Cheves is up for the challenge. Each week she’ll be creating, testing, and cooking a healthy dinner recipe. But, it gets better. Each meal can also be turned around for a quick lunch option, too. Moms rejoice.

By Hannah Cheves.

Most moms have at least one child who will not eat their veggies. But come close, because what I am about to share with you is going to rock your non-veggie-eater’s world. There is an unwritten rule to which we can all probably agree: all children like macaroni and cheese. Whether it’s served with hot dogs, ketchup, ground beef, peas, you name it and we’ve tried mixing it into the cheese and noodle concoction. Thankfully over time we have seen healthier options for our mac and cheese eating children (like whole wheat and organic options). But, we cannot miss the fact that even in whole grain, all-natural macaroni, it isn’t exactly a balanced meal. Today, I have a recipe for you that gives your kids what they love (cheese!) with hidden veggies mixed in. And–even better–this pot of noodles can be baked for an extra ten minutes into “muffins” for your child’s lunch the next day. No more wasting (or attempting to serve) leftover dry and limp macaroni and cheese. Jump for the recipe:

Too Good To Be True Mac and Cheese

-Box of macaroni (completely up to you which brand you choose)

-Half a head of cauliflower

-1 sweet potato

Bring a pot of water to boil. Put in cauliflower and cook 8-10 minutes or until extremely soft. When it falls apart, mash it like you would mashed potatoes. In the mean time, bring another pot to boil and cook your macaroni and cheese according to box. (Annie’s brand is a great organic choice.) Sidenote: As a newly-practicing gluten intolerant, I purchased Ancient Harvest Quinoa gluten free macaroni and cheese, which passed the taste test. Grab your sweet potato and throw in the microwave for 8 minutes. When it’s finished it should be easily peeled out of the skin. Add this to the mashed cauliflower and mix together. Once the macaroni is cooked, add the mix of mashed veggies to the macaroni and cheese. You’ll be surprised at how “hidden” the veggies will look. For healthier options, I used coconut oil and almond milk instead of butter and milk.

Mac and Cheese Muffins

Okay, now for the best part: Turning the leftovers into a packable lunch. Preheat your oven to 350, add an egg and 1 tbsp. of flour into your leftover macaroni and cheese and mix. Disperse into muffin tins with liner and spray. That is it. (If you want to, add shredded cheese to the top of each for some extra cheesy topping.) Bake for ten minutes. Pull out to cool. Throw into a ziplock baggy for lunch. So easy. So quick. Happy (healthy) cooking, mommas!

 

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