Friday, March 11, 2011

Quick Mac 'n Cheese and Deli Rotisserie Chicken

Lest you get the very wrong idea that I am a perfect homemaker, feeding my family three amazing homemade meals every day, I thought I’d share how my day went yesterday.  It actually started last weekend when I got behind on keeping the house in order.  Once Monday hit, it just kept snowballing.  Wednesday added to the chaos as Keanna, April, and I spent the day on a field trip to the sticker factory—very fun!  Come Thursday morning, the house was a disaster (it still is), the dirty dishes were piled up, and we only had one more diaper for each of the boys.  (They are pretty much potty trained but still wear them out of the house and at night.)

I sent Robbie and Keanna off to school with toast made of the last two slices of bread, the heals.  Fortunately, the teachers had a special teacher appreciation lunch or Robbie would have had to have half a pack of saltine crackers for lunch.  I did have some steel-cut oatmeal in the fridge that I was able to feed the boys, along with the very last of the milk.

It was imperative that I went to Costco to get diapers for the boys or we would be in trouble come bed time.  Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t go to WinCo to get groceries.  Because I have a nursing baby and two toddlers, it is impossible to do both stores in one outing.  I had nothing planned for lunch or dinner…I had neglected to do my meal planning for the week.  I needed something quick and easy that I could get at Costco.

For dinner, I ended up grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the deli to serve with some leftover brown rice and frozen veggies.  I never buy rotisserie chickens from regular grocery stores.  They usually cost at least six to seven dollars and are usually two pounds or less.  Coscto’s chickens cost $4.99 and are 3 pounds each.  And they taste amazing!!

With dinner covered, I grabbed two boxes of diapers and moved on to lunch.  I ended up buying a big box of macaroni and cheese.  While I do love my homemade mac ‘n cheese, sometimes I just don’t have the time to make a cheese sauce.  Kraft is my favorite boxed macaroni and cheese, but I am not willing to pay for it.  At WinCo I get Hy-Top; at Costco I get Kirkland Signature.

To make it a little more exciting and nutritious, I always add veggies, either frozen or leftover.  If I have leftover meat in the fridge, I add that too.  Yesterday, I added some of the rotisserie chicken that was going to be for dinner.  And I like to add some Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  Sometimes I add a little shredded cheddar.  There are no quantities, just use what you have and do what you want.

Quick Mac ‘n Cheese
1 box macaroni and cheese plus ingredients in package directions
Veggies, fresh, frozen, or leftover
Leftover meat, chopped
Cheese, grated or shredded (cheddar, Parmesan, Monterey jack, etc.)

Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Add veggies a few minutes before noodles are done.  Continue to prepare according to package directions, adding desired ingredients.  If adding cheese, you may need to add more milk.

I used leftover veggies that were already cooked so I
added them when the noodles were almost done.

Parmesan adds a little tang.

Macaroni and cheese tastes best when
eaten with Spider Man spoons!

Is this the healthiest lunch?  Absolutely not.  But it is very inexpensive, quick, and easy.  And sometimes that's just what I need!

1 comment:

StaceyN said...

Hee, hee! I know days like that! We eat very little cold cereal around here, so it is a bit of a treat when we do, and on crazy days, I announce to my big boys in an excited voice, "Guess what, we're having cereal for dinner!" Which is met with much cheering and jubilation :-). That way, I can flake out and be a hero all at the same time!

I really should keep some quick boxed food like mac n cheese on hand for those kinds of days. We just had our new baby last week (five weeks preemie!), so I'm sure there will be plenty of chaos days around here for a while :-). Thanks for sharing about your ugly day... it's nice to know I'm not the only one!

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