salt, sugar, modified corn starch, hydrolyzed yeast extract, sodium phosphate
and artificial flavor and dye.
And it’s not like there’s any reason why I would have to eat that sort of thing; I know how to cook healthy food from fresh ingredients, so why would I eat processed food from a kit, least of all
macaroni and cheese from a kit?
It’s not that I don’t like macaroni and cheese; I love mac and cheese just the same as every other member of the human race though I seldom indulge in it; I figure
it’s probably one of the most calorific entities you can put into your mouth.
But if I must have mac and cheese I can whip up a delicious batch of
home made in the crockpot, where the calories at least come from real milk, real
margarine, real cheddar cheese and real – well, sort of real – velveeta. *
But here’s the thing: I also love the Noodles & Company macaroni and cheese, which is how this story beings.
Last week I picked up Tommy at the airport after a business trip and as it was on the late side of dinner time we both agreed that some Noodles & Company would be good.
Tommy got the penne rosa, and I got what I always get, the
macaroni and cheese. And it was, indeed good, with a light but creamy sauce and topped with finely grated cheddar.
So good, in fact, that the next night after work when I was on my own for dinner all I could think
of was another round of Noodles & Company mac and cheese.
I headed for the restaurant, but the traffic was bad on Hamilton
Road, and there was no other route.
While I sat in traffic trying to decide how badly I wanted Noodles & Company mac and cheese, the thought popped into my mind of zipping into the Krogers just up ahead and seeing if I could rustle up the ingredients to whip together a Noodles & Company knock-off.
I pulled into the Krogers parking lot.
But by the time I dragged into the store I’d lost my mojo for cooking or driving, I just wanted to eat.
That’s when I thought of the mac and cheese in a box.
I headed for the boxed-food aisle and checked out the wares. Oh, well, why not just this once? What harm could one fake-food dinner do? Along side the
standard-issue neon orange mac and cheese there was a white variety with a photo
on the box of pipe-shaped pasta that looked just like the Noodles & Company
mac and cheese.
I grabbed the white stuff. The white looked more wholesome than
th orange, though I held no illusions that there was really any difference
between the two, except for the neon orange dye.
So I went home and cooked up my fake white macaroni and cheese
according to instructions: 1/3 cup of milk, ¼ cup of butter – actually I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. It tasted salty even for me, a saltaholic. So I upped the milk to ½ cup and the ICBINB to 1/3 cup and tried it again. OMG. It was smooth; it was light; it was tasty! I scooped some into a bowl and topped it with finely shredded sharp cheddar; it was ICan’t Believe It’s Not Noodles &
I scarfed down half the batch then finished the rest of it for lunch the next day.
That night Tom arrived home and for dinner I fixed fish with my boxed mac
and cheese surreptitiously prepared with the extra milk and ICBINB and topped
with shredded cheddar. I served it up in a blue glass bowl.
Tom didn’t suspect that her’d been served a mac and cheese
The next day we ate the left-over mac and cheese for lunch and
the following day Theresa and Phill arrived for a visit.
“How about some mac and cheese for lunch!” I cried.
“More mac and cheese?” Tom asked as I once again set the blue glass bowl full of shredded-topped pasta on the table.
His question hit me like a wake-up call. I’d been eating
macaroni and cheese for the past four days. And I felt like I wanted to keep eating
it. But not any macaroni and cheese. I only wanted my Noodles
& Company knock-off, full of starch and yeast and
preservatives and whatever addictive additives they put in it that was
giving me this macaroni and cheese Jones.
The next day I read about the study on carbs and processed food
and fat cells. I went upstairs and stepped on my bathroom scale. It
read 132.6 pounds, 2.6 pounds over my fighting weight.
I had to face that I had a mac and cheese Jones, and that I’d taken a hit by the Fat Cell
That was 4 days ago and I haven’t eaten any macaroni and cheese
since. I think I’ve been scared straight.
*If you’d like a really good and easy crock-pot macaroni and
1pound of macaroni, cooked, drained, and
1stick of butter or margarine
3 ½ cups of milk
1 block of velveeta cheese, (the smaller block of the two
possible blocks) cut into cubes
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Put all ingredients into a crock pot, cook on high for about 3 hours. Enjoy! 8)