Lexi has been asking me about macaroni and cheese rather frequently lately. I don’t know what it is about macaroni and cheese that kids gravitate towards. Isabelle ate so much macaroni and cheese when she was little that I couldn’t bare to buy another box. And mostly, I don’t. In very special circumstances I will allow the girls to have Annie’s boxed macaroni (they love the Arthur and bunny shaped pasta!). Other than that it is homemade cheese sauce, just say no to cheese powder!!
So I made her the beloved cheese sauce. The easiest and most kid approved recipe I have found for homemade cheese sauce is from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. It’s made with cauliflower puree which gives it a creaminess I haven’t found in any other recipe. In a pinch, I skip the cauliflower puree and add more milk. Cauliflower is a coveted item around our house and very tough to keep in stock. If we have it, I’m dreaming of the million way I’d love to use it and one of those is not pureed to add to something else. Unfortunately, to get the girls to really love the sauce I do have to add a little velveeta (oh, the shame!). Win some and lose some.
The cheese sauce was stirred into some cooked spaghetti squash, peas, and spinach. No actual noodles so I guess it’s not really macaroni and cheese but the sentiment of macaroni and cheese is there and the girls thought it was good just the same. I added some mushed white beans for heartiness (this has become regular for me).
For the adults I made the pumpkin cheeze sauce from here. It’s made of almond milk, nutritional yeast, and pumpkin. The girls cannot seem to get on board with this sauce but I think it’s a great substitute for cheese sauce. Brian’s bowl has a little of each so he could sample the vegan cheeze and actual cheese sauces.
The spaghetti squash I cooked was huge! So we got to have this meal for lunch as well. The beauty of the vegan cheeze sauce is that it reheats so well. Not so true for actual cheese sauce. It’s never as creamy as it was when it was first made.
We’ve had a lot of cheese recently and I’m glad that my cheese stock is running low. That will force me to use less and will be better for everyone’s tummies. No pizza, macaroni, etc on the meal plan this week!
We ate all our meals at home together and not in a rush today (well me and the girls, Brian had to work of course)! Summer break is turning out to be very eventful. I’m still waiting for the relax time, it’s coming right?
The girls had an eventful breakfast as there were cinnamon rolls leftover from the weekend so they got half of one each. I made them a fried egg and served it over wilted spinach. They happened to eat all the spinach because it was covered in yolk, score!
Nobody had lunch suggestions but I did have a little quinoa and beans leftover in the fridge so I put them together with some oil and spices for a warm salad. This kind of lunch is Isabelle’s favorite. She just loves the beans and oil combo. They also had radishes, jicama, red cabbage, and green apple. I used all of those veggies plus some carrots to make a slaw to put on top of my lettuce. It was oh so yummy!
Dinner! Dinner was exactly what I felt like eating. It was a creamy curry (from the Oh She Glows cookbook). The curry had cauliflower, bell pepper, onions, garlic, and peas with curry powder. The creaminess comes from soaked cashews and was a great addition. We put the curry over millet or sautéed collard greens (if your name is mom). Surprisingly, Brian was feeling like shrimp so we threw that on the curry and it went better than you would think.
I love dinners like these. =) A warm bowl of vegetables in sauce makes me happy.
Brian has been on a sugar kick lately (probably because he didn’t recover from the weekend with me and the girls). He’s not a huge sweets fan so I usually indulge him when it happens. I prefer to feed my family homemade sweets over store-bought goodies. At least that way we know exactly what’s in them (no weird oils or fake sugars, etc). For that reason any time I make cookies I freeze at least half the dough in cookie shape ready to be baked up whenever the desire strikes.
Currently, my freezer cookie stash is looking sad. So I made brownies for the family. These are my favorite brownies and they just happen to be relatively healthy (I mean really as much as brownies can be). We’ve made homemade brownies a number of times including the traditional sugar laden, butter filled kind and I always come back to these. Funny enough the recipe comes from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook (yes, the one where she puts vegetables into everything). Trust me, you won’t regret adding spinach to your brownies!
The brownies are made with oat flour and include more vegetable purees (half cup of carrot or pumpkin and half cup of spinach!) than flour or sugar. The real yum factor comes from using both cocoa powder and real melted chocolate.
We shared a few with our neighbor and these two little brownies were all that remained of an 8 by 8 pan. Dare you to not do the same.