You know those tasty little microwaveable packets of cheesy goodness that are Kraft Instant Mac n' Cheese cups?! Did you know that you're getting 470mg of sodium, 41g of carbs, and only 6g of protein in that 220 calorie tub?
I don't want to tell you to put down the Kraft (although there are many healthier options like Annie's or even homemade mac!) so instead I want to share with you the healthiest Mac Hacks I can think of! Read on!
Pizza Mac N' Cheese
The real problem I have with mac n' cheese is that it is very little nutritional value. There is no color! No Veggies! So, here's how to solve that: Make your mac n' cheese (using half the cheese packet) and add in some diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sliced pepperoncini, and a light sprinkling of mozzarella or parm, and some basil. You're getting that same cheesy goodness with the added bonus of veggies and protein!
Green Chile Chicken Mac
This is half way between soup and stew and packs a serious punch! Cook up a box of mac and cheese as directed, then stir in some shredded chicken meat, a can of chopped green chiles, and a cup of salsa verde. Top the whole thing with a small handful of shredded jack cheese, sliced scallions, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and sombreros (optional) That's protein and a bit of spice to speed up your metabolism!
Buffalo Chicken Mac
Buffamac & cheese is as easy as half a cheese packet, adding some shredded chicken, two quarter-sized globs of buffalo sauce, and if you're feeling fancy, a handful of crumbled blue cheese.
I love cheeseburgers. I love mac & cheese. Put the two together, and what do you have? You do the math!
Brown some ground beef in a skillet, make your mac & cheese, then stir in the beef, a handful of sliced scallions, and some sliced tomatoes.
Spinach and Chickpeas
Combine a standard mac with a can of drained chickpeas, some chopped blanched (or microwaved or frozen) spinach, and a sprinkle of paprika.
Chipotle Black Bean Mac
Throw in some canned black beans and some chopped chilis!