Ah, the wonders of Stouffer’s Microwavable Macaroni and Cheese.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this cheddary, oozy, black box of noodles was my comfort food. It is right up there with Bagel Bites and Choco Taco’s in my little black book of favorite foods. Did I mention I was a junk food junkie?
In my younger days of watching Saved by the Bell after school and wearing boxer shorts as shorts (nice trend, America), a fluorescent orange bowl of Stouffer’s sunshine was the cure all for anything gloomy.
Got the sniffles? Stouffer’s. Stressful day in home-room? Stouffer’s. Craving the taste of melted plastic with your elbow pasta? Stouffer’s. Stouffer’s. Stouffer’s.
The answer was always Stouffer’s.
I know, it isn’t healthy. It isn’t even real food. And the taste I lovingly remember was probably a good dose of salt mixed with BPA. Two things I can’t and shouldn’t have. But even to this day, I still crave the taste of silky cream sauce with a toothy bite of noodles.
As with my other food longings, though, I tried to recreate the memories using pureed butternut squash,a masterful roux or two, and even low sodium “cheddar” that I ordered online.
And I came close; but no Stouffer’s.
So I gave in.
I know. You’re thinking, what? Give in? You never give in! Tell me it isn’t true.
But I gave in and I said, Stouffer’s, take your Mac n’ Cheese. Because I finally realized that the only way I was going to win this low sodium challenge was to ditch the obvious and take a new tactic. Forget trying to use cheese. Forget attempting to match salty taste. Forget the whole kit and kanoodle.
And that’s how we got here:
An equally orange, “milky” concoction with a secret sauce and the surprise addition of bright green peas. Without the high sodium content or salt. Or the melted plastic.
That’s how my favorite comfort food got a sexy new makeover. And now, when I think of runny noses, hectic afternoons, and cravings for hearty and heartwarming food, I think less of my old friend (Stouffer’s) and more of my new discovery (Mac N’ Peas).
And remember no recipes on this post…you’ll have to wait for the book on this one. But if you’ve got an old favorite that needs a low sodium makeover, post below and we’ll put the test kitchen to work.