Everyone has a go-to food. Mine is macaroni & cheese. Whether I’m sick, sad, happy, or just wanting a gooey, cheesy meal of goodness, my first choice is mac & cheese. I typically don’t discriminate with my mac, but there are certainly better options than others. Just last night, Max and I turned to a simple meal of Amy’s Organic Creamy Deluxe Shells & Cheese, since we got home late after the gym. For a quick, store-bought option, you can’t go wrong with Amy’s Kitchen brand. It’s organic, but has the same rich, cheesy taste as if you made the cheese yourself!
Another quick option that I can’t help but love, (though it has a few more calories), is Panera’s mac & cheese. Now, I have a slight Panera obsession, and although I know that it is branded as healthy and typically is less than, I try to limit this obsession to times of need. Well, my times of need were last weekend, when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. What better soft-food item than Panera mac!? (I had it twice in two days, don’t judge…) If you’re a Martha Stewart type and don’t want to ruin your foodie reputation by purchasing mac & cheese from Panera, but are secretly wondering ‘is it any good?’, you’re in luck! I stumbled across a recipe on my trusty sidekick, Pinterest, that claims to be the official Panera recipe for it’s cheesy goodness! If you’ve tried it, or plan to try it, please let me know what you think! I’d love to know if it compares 🙂
- Bacon: Add bacon to anything and it amplifies the delicious factor by at least 10%.
- Mushrooms: J’adore tous les champignons! If you can find morel mushrooms, all the better. They taste like a delicious, juicy steak! Don’t even get me started…
- White Truffle Oil: The secret ingredient! It’s expensive, and a little goes a LONG way, but it adds a slightly mushroom-y flavor that I can’t get enough of. I buy mine from Allspice in the East Village, but you can usually buy it at any local spice/olive oil shop. (Try it on popcorn for a little added flavor! YUM!)
- (HONORABLE MENTION!) BBQ Sauce: This is an honorable mention for me, as it’s completely based on what sort of mac I’m dealing with. The Blue Tractorin Traverse City, Michigan, first introduced me to this addition, adding pulled pork to their macaroni and cheese. It was AMAZING. If I’m feeling a southwestern flair, BBQ does the trick.
So my dilemma: I need an awesome base recipe to add my three pieces of flair to! I’ve stumbled upon a few recipes that look promising…let me know what you think!
Gnocchi Mac & Cheese: I came across this recipe on Pinterest, and HAVE to try it! It’s originally from the blog, The Cutting Edge of Ordinary, so check here for the tried-and-true recipe, and for other delicious bites! Combining two of my favorite things into one dish? You really can’t go wrong…
Spinach & Macaroni Muffin Cups: Coming in at only 146 calories per serving, this little recipe is perfect to satisfy your cheese craving, while not overdoing it. Originally from Emily Bites, this blog shares lightened up recipes for your dining pleasure!