Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A tale of mac n' cheese

When I was growing up, I had no idea that macaroni and cheese could be made any other way than out of a box. No idea. And I was quite fond of my boxed mac n’ cheese. When I moved away from home I ate it for dinner at least twice a week. I’m not kidding. Sometimes I varied things up a bit and added some spaghetti sauce or a can of tuna fish (this in my non-vegetarian days). Sure it was economical, especially in my low-budget college days, but I actually was quite happy to continue to get my multiple times a week processed powdered macaroni fix even after I got my corporate finance job and enough money to easily afford more expensive fare.

Then I took up house with this vegan guy. Making two dinners at night was not anything I was interested in pursuing long term, so I sacrificed my boxed mac n’ cheese and started looking for an alternative we both could eat. I tried boxed vegan mac n’ “cheese”. Dreadful stuff. Not worth buying IMHO.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover the best vegan made-from-scratch macaroni and cashew "cheese” recipe ever. Serously. Best Ever. Obviously it doesn’t have any cheese in it. It is fabulously delicious, however, better than most macaroni and dairy cheeses I have eaten. Creamy, hearty, and I altered the recipe just enough so it meets my “30-minutes or less for dinner, start to finish” rule. I have been meaning to share the recipe, and I promise I’ll eventually get around to it.

Anyway, so about a week or so ago I was grocery shopping and decided, what the heck, I’ll buy a box of powdered processed macaroni and cheese. There are plenty of times I’m at home with SchmoopyBoy alone and could use a fast and convenient meal option.

This last Monday, I had my opportunity to try it out. The new semester began on Monday and the husband started his new photography class. I was admittedly feeling a bit lazy so a made the box of mac and cheese and a salad.

Wow, have my tastes changed. I am so spoiled by good, high quality whole foods. It was virtually inedible. Truly, absolutely awful. But being hungry, lazy, and hating to waste “food”, I forced myself to eat it. The only way I could stand it was to chop up a bunch of cherry tomatoes and include a piece of tomato in every bite.

SchmoopyBoy took one bite, made a face, declared it “yucky” and would not touch it again. He ate apples and sunflower seeds for dinner, and nibbled a bit on some bell peppers in the salad.

Maybe I shouldn’t share my fabulously delicious macaroni and cashew “cheese” recipe. It might spoil you too, rendering you unable to consume the convenient, cheap, and easy boxed mac n cheese of my youth. Wouldn’t that be a travesty?

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