|Whole-wheat/whole cheese macaroni, crispy oven-baked kale chips, nectarine slices, pea pods|
Fast-forward to a new era, in which I am still unequivocally in love with macaroni and cheese. There is nothing like an over-large heap of gooey yellow noodles paired with a big stack of crudites around noontime of, oh, any day.
Still, I gave up macaroni and cheese for a long time. That powdered cheese isn't actually, you know, cheese. And those soft white noodles are stripped of the germ and the bran that make pasta not just nutritious, but hearty and flavorful.
I dreamed up this technique when I was pregnant, and have never since bought boxed mac. It's delicious, creamy, fast, real macaroni and cheese, perfect for whole-food kids and parents. It even makes that little squelchy kissy sound when you stir it in the pot.
As soon as Darwin outgrows his toddleresque drive to dump food onto the floor (can that be today? Please?), he'll be the one in charge of adding the cheese to the pot.
Whole-Food Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
1 cup dry 100% whole wheat pasta (macaroni, fusilli, or other short, chunky shape)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded from the block*
splash of milk or cream
salt and pepper to taste
Boil pasta until tender, drain, and return to pot. Add milk and cheese and stir well until cheese has completely melted and combined. Salt to taste and serve immediately.
*I've used many kinds of cheeses, and almost all work well, even spicy pepper jack. If you don't mind fussing a little, mixing a sharper cheese (like sharp cheddar) with a meltier cheese (like mild cheddar or jack) is a good choice for balancing tangy/creamy notes.