The Most F Bombs About Boxed Mac + Cheese, Ever

This post is comprised almost entirely of things I said I’d never do:

1) Actively brag about using Greek yogurt as a cooking substitute

2) Share photos of my food

3) Pretend to know my way around the kitchen further than micro + coffeemaker

I was at Sprouts the other day (Wednesday, because double ad day, duh), doing my normal grocery shopping and something prompted me to stray off my worn course of Produce, Pop chips, Beer, Bread, Bulk Bins. See, Brian and I are creatures of habit and are perfectly content eating practically the same foods over and over and over again ad nauseam. It’s wonderful because I don’t have to try and “menu plan” or “make a shopping list” or be tempted by the cookies and candies I always instinctively throw in my basket if I go down those aisles. It sucks a little because there are only so many Hot Pockets and PBJs you can watch your husband eat before you start wondering if there’s a spousal equivalent of Child Protective Services.

[he swears he really likes them – the pretzel bread ones only, though – and that the nutritionals aren’t THAT bad. please don’t preach about the foreign names in the ingredient list. if Subway’s feeding us yoga mats then you’re just damned if you’re not growing and picking your own damn food out of your own damn garden. and as you’re about to see, I don’t really care about the hazards of packaged foods]

ANYWAY, a guy in a funny hat caught my eye in the pasta sauce and boxed rice aisle, which I never visit because I just don’t really love pasta and bulk grains in the rice cooker is just as easy and cheaper than boxed. But from his neon sailor/trucker hybrid hat my eyes wandered to the Annie’s Shells + White Cheddar, and my curiosity and post-run cravings reeled me in.

Except I get unreasonably irritated at unhealthy products hiding under a healthy name and buzz words, and said, “Fuck it, if I’m getting boxed mac+cheese it’s gonna be the real stuff. And cheap.” so I grabbed a box of the $1 Sprouts brand, touting nothing organic or natural or fake-healthy – just a store-brand spin on the Blue Box Blues I grew up on and the promise of warm+fuzzies byway of nostalgic comfort food.

Fully knowing I’d have no problem slamming the whole box single-handedly and still be hungry after, I dug around in the fridge once at home to find some way to bulk it up. Screw you if you disguise something as healthy on the packaging, but I have no problem healthify’ing it myself once I get home. Things are always different when they’re on your own terms, right?

Sarah’s “Fuck You I’ll Healthify It Myself” Green Shells + Cheese

  • Cook noodles.
  • Stir in a few scoopfuls of plain Greek yogurt, instead of called-for milk and/or butter
  • Add and stir about 1/3rd of the weird powder cheese
  • Pile in spinach, peas, steamed broccoli, diced jalepeno (optional), and any other delicious veggies you have on hand. (cooked mushrooms would’ve been an A+ addition)
  • Dump into casserole dish or any other container that won’t melt in the oven
  • Grate some fresh cheese on top to make up for missing nasty powder stuff (I used pepperjack)
  • optional: add panko crumbs, black pepper, garlic, salt, whatever else
  • Bake at a temperature and time that will melt cheese but not turn noodles to rocks (I had it in for however long it took Brian to get home from the gym at 350)
  • Devour knowing that at least if you still eat the entire box you’re getting some vitamins and fiber in with it

dont make fun of my food pic

proof you’re not a food blogger: staged leftovers photo shoot

proof you’re not marathon training: leftover exist

Bye, gonna go smash the rest of that boxed pasta goodness. Have a nice weekend, fleet feet and tailwinds to everyone racing!

Sarah OUaL

Disclaimer: This is not a dig at Annie’s – I have no beef with you and your bunny crackers, I just prefer cheap when I’m buying junk food.


14 thoughts on “The Most F Bombs About Boxed Mac + Cheese, Ever

  1. This post cracked me up! It sounds like stone soup from the kids’ tale: ‘I can make you soup from a stone, just throw in a chicken, some onions, carrots, potatoes, maybe a little garlic, some tomatoes, you know…voila, stone soup.’ At which point you’re better off removing the stone and getting bulk pasta. ;)


  2. I usually don’t take pictures of what I am eating, because I am always so hungry i start eating before I get to the couch and my food is half gone before I take a picture..


  3. Hahahahahahaha, OMG. Too funny. I’m a big fan of Greek Yogurt because it seems like it’ll do ANYTHING you want it to. That’s all it takes for me to approve a food. But you’re “proof that i’m not marathon training” part about having leftovershad me in tears. Haha, MY LIFE.


  4. I have the worst diet ever. Maybe if I was as committed to my diet as I am to my running and beer /wine consumption, I could make some progress? Maybe….. but for now I’ll carry on.


  5. I don’t even attempt to make the mac+cheese healthy…i just throw in a can of chicken to bulk it up (read, attempt at protein addition). i like the veggie version though, and your kitchen/cooking posts always crack me up (in a good way).


  6. We used to make “Mac& Yak”. Mac and cheese (homemade, but boxed would work too), with about half a jar of salsa stirred in, and sometimes a can of beans too. Pretty awesome.

    (Then we had kids who didn’t like pasta or cheese. What the what?! Then we went gluten and dairy free. So, no more mac & yak. That’s okay, they eat salmon and chard so I really can’t complain.)


  7. I have a tiny spot in my heart reserved for the weird cheesy powdery goodness. I also lick my fingers after eating Pirate’s Booty and have been known to eat Doritos lime chips strictly for the powderfingers.

    My insides must hate me.



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