I’ve been testing and developing recipes for Produce for Kids for a couple of years now. One thing that they sometimes do to boost the health-factor in their recipes is to add vegetables where you (and your kids!) wouldn’t expect them. Thus is the case with these Hidden Veggie Meatballs that were created for Produce for Kids by Amanda Keefer:
My kids totally gobbled these up. I couldn’t believe how good they are, and yet nice and healthy.
This hidden veggie trick got me thinking about our other family favorites and how I can hide some veggies in them. I’m starting with Macaroni and Cheese. The key will be to still have a nice creamy sauce but to use less cheese and include a vegetable.
If I make macaroni and cheese with very little cheese, but it’s still orange, nobody will know the difference.
I cooked some carrots and then pureed them really well with the cooking water. I added flour and milk to that and some cheese. But not very much. It was 1 cup of grated Parmesan and 1/2 cup of cheddar. It made a nice creamy sauce with a perfectly orange cheddar color. I mixed it with cooked elbow macaroni and served it to the participants.
My husband, my kids and one colleague – all macaroni and cheese lovers.
My husband ate it up quickly and didn’t mention or notice a thing.
My kids ate it happily, for dinner that day and then again for lunch the next two days. No complaints. Just, “Yay! Mac ‘n Cheese!”
My fellow editor, Lyndsay, from The Cookful, came over that day to cook with me. She dove right in and then looked at me. She said, “Sooo good. Sharp cheddar? What else is in there. Mmmm.”
Carrot Macaroni and Cheese is decidedly delicious and due to its intense orange color, people believe it’s loaded with cheese even though it’s not. I guess we really do eat with our eyes. And if our eyes say, “CHEESE!” our mouths lap it up.