After my second daughter was born, cooking became a real challenge for me. Evie has gluten intolerance. And after her diagnosis, I discovered I had been dealing with the same gut issue too as a result of an underlying health condition. By necessity we are gluten-free. It isn’t our first choice – we grow wheat on the farm for crying out loud! This health challenge changed my perspective as much as the weekly menu. As a working mom, who was also running a small business, I relied on quick –throw and go type meals to make it through the work week. Those go to casseroles Grandma taught me or the “healthy” organic chicken nuggets in the bag. No judgment here momma, those dino nuggets are tasty! But there is no easy meal plan for gluten-free families. Instead, as I discovered with dismay, many complicated and expensive wheat-free recipes tasted terrible and were a waste. It seemed a full time job to prepare gluten-free food which in the end my family shuffled around their plate.
I love hosting and cooking, and I want to make food that is wholesome and delicious. I want my daughters to know and love those dishes which are a part of our family story, and I want them to consume healthy meals while also indulging in a few treats when the occasion arises. To accomplish this, I’ve had to start over – to go back to the days of experimenting in the kitchen as I did with my grandma many years ago. I’ve had to start with a recipe and then toss it aside, adjusting for flavor and consistency as I deem fit. As a result, I have collected and modified recipes which my family and friends enjoy. And when my wheat-eating friends ask for a copy of the my recipe, or the dish is scraped clean at the end of a family gathering, well then I know I’ve done something right. This recipe is one of those modifications, and it is so simple Evie can whip it up all by herself.
Grandma's mac n' cheese.
Cooking Time: 1 hr.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Butter a 9" x 9" baking pan.
Combine in a medium bowl:
1 Cup cooked gluten-free macaroni (avoid corn)
2 extra large eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 Cup whole milk
1/2 Cup gluten-free bread, torn into small pieces or run through food processor. (I use Franz)
salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
pinch of pepper
1 Cup Velvetta cheese, cubed (no way around it - it melts better)
Pour into prepared baking dish and top with:
1 Cup shredded cheese of choice (we love white cheddar)
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hr.
Note: Gluten-free noodles and flour tend to by drier so to compensate increase your wet, binding ingredients in this case eggs. For you wheat-eaters, Grandma's original recipe is included below - she never puts parsley in it. In fact, she never follows the recipe card so every time she writes it down, it is a bit different. Just remember cooking is confidence; feel free to experiment!