This post is sponsored by Horizon Organic Mac & Cheese. All opinions are my own.
If I let him, Jack would survive on Mac & Cheese. He would happily eat it three times a day for the rest of his life, and I am serious about that.
He’s also pretty picky, and when it comes to cooking for the kids, I always play it safe. As in, boring. Standard Mac & Cheese, no frills, nothing fancy. That is all, thank you, good night. Because really? I’d rather them happily eat their boring dinner than deal with the fallout of putting something “weird” on their plates.
I’ve been requiring them to try vegetables. If they don’t finish their lunches or dinners and decide they are starving later on (always *right* after we tell them it’s time for bed, go figure…), their option is to finish the food they left on their plates. They are getting more leftovers for lunches and dinners as we try to waste less food (and this is HARD, y’all! I don’t even like most leftovers, so I’ve had to get creative about our menu planning to make sure that if we don’t eat an entire meal, it will be something all of us can eat the next day).
The changes we’re making are small and may be things everyone else already does, but for us it’s been a work in progress.
I’ve been wanting to put a Mac & Cheese dish into our meal rotation that the whole family (not just the kids!) will eat. It needed to be something easy to make that would appeal to the entire family. It needed to be a recipe that would be suitable for dinner or for lunch (we eat a lot of Mac & Cheese for lunch). And it needed to be something with leftovers that nobody would whine about so I could send it with the kids to school for their lunches the next day.
YOU GUYS. I found it. The magical Mac & Cheese recipe that the whole family will eat, even though Jack first thought it was “weird” because it had meat in it.
Macaroni & Cheeseburger might be my new favorite quick meal.
Here’s what you need to make it:
- 1 box of Horizon Organic Mac & Cheese (our Mac & Cheese of choice around here)
- 1/4 cup milk (we used Horizon Organic Whole Milk)
- 2 tablespoons butter (maybe a teensy bit more) 😉
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound of ground beef
Cook your ground beef in a large pan. Drain and set aside.
Cook your Mac & Cheese in a large pot per the directions on the box. Drain the cooked noodles, and while draining, mix the cheese powder, milk, butter, and parmesan cheese in the pot the noodles were in. Return noodles to pot and stir until your noodles are nice and cheesy. Mix cooked beef into the noodles.
We also sprinkled parmesan cheese on top before serving.
I was a little bit worried about how Jack would react…I really didn’t want to hear him crying about this when I know for a fact he loves every ingredient in this recipe. BUT. He’s a kid, and when faced with new foods, it isn’t always pretty.
BUT OMG. He loved it!
I told him I was going to pack some for his lunch tomorrow, and asked if he wanted a lot or a little.
“A LOT!” he enthusiastically proclaimed.
When I told Jack what I was making, the first thing out of his mouth was, “But I only want the cow Mac & Cheese!” meaning the Horizon Mac & Cheese with cow-shaped noodles. This is our go-to Mac & Cheese, because the kids like the noodles shaped like cows (who wouldn’t, right?!) and think it is the tastiest of the boxed varieties.
I like it because it’s organic and I can pronounce all of the ingredients (and I also appreciate that there aren’t that many ingredients to begin with).
The Horizon MAC-N-ATOR can help you come up with some easy and creative Mac & Cheese recipes using ingredients you already have around the house. You can play around with the MAC-N-ATOR and check out all the fun recipes here.
Maybe I *will* be able to let Jack eat macaroni several times a week, after all!
How do you like your Mac & Cheese? I’m definitely looking for some creative spins on this classic lunch favorite to add to my repertoire!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.