Lola's Victory Garden

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cheap eats - Spiffed Up Boxed Mac & Cheese

I have a boatload of boxed macaroni and cheese. Various brands, but all pretty much the same. I got them from our local food pantry and I've been trying to figure out what to do with them, other than the typical Tuna Mac casserole that uses canned tuna, a can of cream of mushroom soup and a box of mac & cheese. Of course I could just make it according to the package directions, or make it seem closer to homemade by adding some shredded cheese.

Broccoli Chicken Mac & Cheese Bake
Boxed Mac & Cheese
Frozen Broccoli Cuts (or fresh steamed broccoli if you have it.)
Canned White Meat Chicken
Shredded Cheese (I use a colby/jack blend)

I took an aluminum foil roasting pan, sprayed it with cooking spray and set it aside while I made the mac & cheese according to the package direction. I used 3 boxes for the size roasting pan I had. (It seems like a lot, but this is enough for 2 meals, and a few hungry teenager snacks.) I then defrosted a bag of broccoli and opened a couple of cans of white meat chicken. Stirred in the broccoli and chicken, and added a bit of shredded cheese. I then covered it with foil and put it in the freezer. When it's time to serve, put it in the oven at 325 degrees for about an hour. (It helps if you put it in the fridge the night before so it begins defrosting.

The broccoli and canned white meat chicken make it a meal when served with a salad. And it's healthier than just eating it plain, cuz you're getting some veggies and protein.

You could also kick it up a bit by adding a sprinkle of pepper or cayenne pepper, or maybe a bit of garlic powder. I will definitely be making this again and I'm going to try it with some garlic and pepper.

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