A Mac and Cheese Quest (aka There’s No Kosher Velveeta)
JSL’s favorite food is macaroni and cheese. He would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we allowed it. He will devour any macaroni and cheese put before him. Well, almost any. There’s one little caveat with his mac and cheese obsession: He refuses to eat macaroni and cheese I make him if it doesn’t come from a box.
If I crack open a box of Wacky Mac (about the only kosher macaroni and cheese we’ve found) and prepare that, he’ll tear into it. If a chef prepares macaroni and cheese for him at a restaurant, he’ll eat and enjoy it. But if I whip up a cheese sauce to go over pasta, he turns his nose up at the plate.
I’ve tried finding different macaroni and cheese recipes to prepare for him. I figure that if he’s going to eat this dish, the least I can do is make sure quality ingredients go into it. (Though I have tried sneaking some healthy food into it from time to time.) Unfortunately, most of the macaroni and cheese recipes seem divided into two camps: The ones that use Velveeta and the ones that use Cheddar.
The Velveeta recipes promise to taste just like the boxed macaroni and cheese. I would try these except for one small detail: We keep a kosher kitchen and Velveeta’s not kosher. In fact, even if it were, I don’t think I’d want to cook with it. It seems to go against the idea of making a macaroni and cheese dish from quality ingredients.
The cheddar recipes come out tasting nice and cheesy, but they don’t look or taste like the boxed kind and that’s a stopping point for JSL. Not for me, mind you. I prefer a good cheddar to powder cheese. JSL, however, rejects anything different and this certainly qualifies as different when compared to boxed.
I’m going to continue my quest, though. I can’t give up. One of these days, I *will* find a from-scratch recipe that steers JSL away from boxed macaroni and cheese. Just to tide us over, though, I’d better restock the boxes.
I use Alton Brown’s Stovetop recipe from Food Network. I love that it is easy to make, doesn’t call for anything that isn’t Kosher, is stuff that I can (or normally) keep on hand and it doesn’t take much longer than making it from a box. Even my incredibly picky husband is a fan.
Amy’s has kosher mac & cheese. Annie’s Natural might have kosher mac also. And it is all natural so better for them, but has a resemblance to the boxed stuff, sort of!
Some cream cheese will work, too. saw it on another youtuber I follow and that was the idea. Creamy without velveeta. Some American cheese slices (which can also be gotten kosher) apparently also work the same way. I love Alton Brown’s recipe, but if you little guy is still giving you a hard time, try the cream cheese to smooth it out a bit.