How To Screw Up Mac & Cheese

9 Jul

mac
I eat a lot of Annie’s Mac & Cheese.  It comes in lots of flavors…  yellow, white, tuna, Mexican…  Most days, I like the white one.  It has the strongest cheezy flavor, and it’s All Natural.  I’m completely obsessed with nutrition lately – much to the teethgrinding of my husband, who prefers pizza to all things – so I must make my mac & cheese NUTRITIOUS.  By adding THINGS!
foods
This is no longer a thing.  Disregard it.  It was found to be insufficient in cheez powder.

The first thing I do is not something I can take credit for; I owe it all to one of my most clever friends, who is so clever she will appreciate that I used a semicolon in her shoutout sentence.  This little tidbit will change. your. life.

Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?
yogurt
GREEK YOGURT CHEEZ.  [photo: seriouseats.com]

That’s right, while your little shells are bubbling on the stove, take your cheez packet (I know Annie’s says it’s real cheese, and I’m sure it is, but it’s powder.  Cheez powder.) and mix it with some plain Greek yogurt.  Make yourself a nice cheezy paste.  Mmmm.

Next up: something green!  Peas.  Spinach.  Kale, if you like danger.
vegetable medley
…or a medley.

Optional: protein.  Leftover roasted chicken.  A can of tuna.  Bacon.  Extra cheese doesn’t count as a protein, as it is in its own category and not optional.

Finally: extra cheese.  Real, non-powdered cheese.  Parmesan.  Mozzarella.  Smoked gouda, oooohhh.

Here’s the thing, though – you CAN screw this up!  If you, say, are too lazy to dirty another dish and decide not to mix your cheez paste in advance, and just dump your yogurt into the noodles and spinach and sprinkle cheez willy nilly over the top, you will end up with a weird, goopy clumpy mess.  It will… sort of taste fine… but something will be wrong.  So here’s what you do:

1. If you’re eating boxed mac & cheez, your vegetables are frozen.  Don’t pretend you have fresh veggies when your main course comes from a box.  Take them out of the freezer ahead of time if you can, and either way, throw them in the pot a couple minutes before your pasta is done cooking.  That will heat them up (so they don’t prevent your extra cheese from melting), and you can drain the water off both at once.

2. Stir in your yogurt cheez paste and extra cheese.

3. Add your optional protein last, after your extra cheese is melted.

4. Do not, I REPEAT DO NOT, dish yourself a bowl of this masterpiece.  Grab a fork and eat it directly from the pot.  Finish it.  All of it.  It is not as good the next day and you know it.

Next week: we put it on a burger.  WHAT.
whaaaat

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