Eating healthy is at the top of almost everyone's priority list, yet it feels so unattainable to prepare three healthy meals consecutively everyday for myself, let alone a family! I get it—as a mom of five, it’s absolutely essential for me to have a handful of quick, easy-to-make meals I can whip up at a moment’s notice that won’t break the bank and add nutritional value to my kids’ diets. Most of us have the best intention to prepare healthy food for our family, but as soon as our week gets busy, nutritional value often goes out the window and our old friend “convenience” swoops in and takes its place.
After compromising for too long, I have finally found a solution that allows me both nutrition and convenience! I found four recipes that I can count on for quick, healthy, protein-packed meals. One of my favorite bases to use that is both convenient and healthy is Camp Mac' n' Cheese! Camp takes a plant-first mac' n' cheese approach, and is made from brown rice and veggie pasta, with the choice of rBST-free dairy or vegan cheese sauce—all with hidden vegetables in every serving. Can you say convenient? I’ll be walking you through four different ways to incorporate Camp into healthy, delicious, and incredibly easy-to-make meals.There is the potential for so much variety, no matter how many times per week my family and I eat it, no two bowls have to be the same. With Camp, you can have it all!
Elevated Mac' n' Cheese
The first recipe (more like enhancements to boxed mac’ n’ cheese) on my list is a tried and true hit: The Cheddar and White Cheddar flavors of Camp Mac' n' Cheese paired with endless creative flavor combinations! I love serving this up for dinner any day of the week because every serving has a whole new nutritional profile, but maintains the same cheesy goodness.
When it comes time to customize, I typically choose ingredients I might already have in my pantry. This makes it so much easier and time-efficient to get a delicious, nutritious meal without spending a ton of time and money on it. If you’re not looking to reinvent the wheel too much, a dash of smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, chili powder, mustard powder, and even curry powder can elevate the flavor of the cheese sauce. You can also make this dish uniquely yours by adding roasted garlic into the sauce. For a whole lot of extra flavor, add protein and your favorite veggies into the mix! I like to add shredded chicken, cracker crumbs, green beans, and carrots into mine for some added texture and nutrients. Long story short, add in whatever feels right for you and your family—Camp will do the rest!
Grilled (Mac' n') Cheese
For a not-so-conventional lunch or dinner, I like serving up grilled cheese with Camp’s Classic Mac' n' Cheese inside! I love how this meal takes the classic simplicity of a regular grilled cheese and brings it up a notch with organic mac' n' cheese from Camp, giving my kids and I something fun and tasty to munch on. This dish is incredibly easy to make and with wheat or gluten-free bread, it’s a healthy alternative to a regular grilled cheese. All you need for your ingredients are bread slices, Camp’s Classic Mac' n' Cheese (already made), and whatever else you would like on your sandwiches. At my house, we love eating ours with tomato slices and bacon bits!
Sweet Potato Mac' n' Cheese
Sweet potato mac' n' cheese is my go-to when I’m feeling like the kids and I have been eating on the not-so-healthy side and I’m looking to get back on track. Adding sweet potatoes in unexpected places is always fun, so when I tested it out with Camp’s White Cheddar Mac' n' Cheese, it was no surprise that it was a hit; the nutrition, sweetness, and flavor makes it a fan-favorite dish.
You’ll first need to bake your sweet potatoes so they are soft. Then, to add the sweet potato to your mac' n' cheese, you can either use a blender or a small food processor for a creamy, smooth sauce or use the bottom of a glass to smash it up; the latter option creates a more textured sauce. Once your sweet potatoes are at the consistency of your choosing, you’ll fold it into your prepared mac’ n’ cheese. If you like both methods, you can switch it up every once in a while! If you’re feeling extra adventurous while making your sweet potato mac, add in bits of protein for a heartier meal.
Roasted Vegetable Mac' n' Cheese
Add some color to your pot with spicy roasted vegetables! For this dish, I like to use Camp’s Vegan Cheezy Mac. The noodles are made with organic brown rice, zucchini, carrots, corn and pea protein, and the vegan cheez is a mix of pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, maitake mushroom, and sunflower seeds; I love that there is so much variety and nutrition while maintaining an incredible taste. To change it up, I will roast whatever vegetables I have left in my fridge at the end of the week and mix them in with Camp’s Mac’ n’ Cheese. This is perfect as a side dish or a meatless dinner on weeknights. And if you’re really looking to spice it up, you can always toss in some cooked, cut-up chicken, steak or shrimp for a filling all-in-one meal.
I’ll just say this—you can't go wrong with any type of mac’ n’ cheese! It's pretty hard to mess it up, so whatever you've already got at home is fair game for an add-in. The best part is that your kids will ask for this time and time again (which makes our lives and dinner plans a lot easier).
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