Why is it that around one year of age kids suddenly start to get picky about their food? There are those few months before the one year mark where little ones are open to trying (and usually liking) just about anything, and then all of a sudden that all changes. You put some broccoli or scrambled eggs on the high chair tray and are thanked with a face that says, “Really, this is what you expect me to eat?” If you’re a parent, I’m pretty sure you know what face I’m talking about. William, as was Julia, is all about the bread, fruit, and dairy when it comes to eating, with a little meat thrown in for good measure.
Still, I make sure to offer him a variety of foods, and we all eat the same thing as a family. There are no special kid meals made in this house. Mac and cheese, however, is a dish that the kids and adults in our house both love. I know that it’s not necessarily the healthiest meal, but I don’t worry about that because we don’t eat it every day, and life is all about balance. Plus, I use whole wheat pasta in my mac and cheese and always serve it with a vegetable, usually broccoli.
I have a couple of different macaroni and cheese recipes that I rotate through, and this is my latest find. I like this recipe because it’s made in one pot on the stovetop, making clean-up easy. It’s also a great dinner to make during the weeknight rush because there is no pre-boiling of the pasta, making a roux and cream sauce, or baking of the assembled mac n cheese. You cook the pasta in milk on the stove, mix in the cheese, and that’s pretty much it. This One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese is fast, easy, and happily eaten by the whole family.
One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Makes 4 servings
- 8 oz. pasta shapes
- 2 ½ cups lowfat milk, plus more as needed
- 1 tbsp. butter
- ½ tsp. dry mustard
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar works well, as does as a mixture of cheddar and fontina)*
- Freshly grated black pepper, to taste
- Place the dry pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain and place in a medium saucepan.
- Add the milk, butter, dry mustard, and salt to the pan with the pasta. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and, stirring constantly, cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the milk is completely absorbed. Test the pasta for doneness and add more milk as needed if the pasta is not cooked.
- Once the pasta is cooked through and all of the milk has been absorbed, remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper; stir. Serve immediately.
*Note: Do not use the pre-shredded cheese that you can buy at the grocery store, as it contains additives that prevent it from sticking together, and it will not melt properly.
Source: Adapted from White on Rice Couple.