With Little League season upon us, my family dinner schedule is turned upside down. My son needs to be on the baseball field from 5:15 until 7:30 or 8:00 two nights a week, which is a challenge for a family that usually eats dinner together around the table at 5:30. I am determined to feed everyone real food on these crazy nights despite the scheduling challenge. On some nights my son will need to eat in the car on the way to the field, and he’ll be hungry again for something on the way home. I have several portable meals planned, but I’d love to hear suggestions if anyone has ideas that I can add to my “in the car” meal plan.
This recipe is for macaroni and cheese muffins with vegetables in the middle. It’s a meal all rolled up into one little muffin. My husband thinks it’s a bit cruel to hide the vegetables like a prize in the middle (“Surprise! Broccoli and peas!”), but the children did enjoy them. The macaroni and cheese is adapted from the Joy of Cooking.
2 cups whole grain macaroni
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. white whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked broccoli florets
½ cup frozen peas (no need to defrost)
¼ tsp. paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12-muffin pan or use paper liners.
- Boil the macaroni according to the package instructions.
- In a skillet, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Gradually add the milk to the butter and flour. Whisk constantly for about 10 minutes over medium heat until it begins to thicken.
- Remove the skillet from the stove and stir in most of the cheese and all the macaroni. Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Fill each muffin cup with 2 tablespoons of the macaroni and cheese mixture.
- Add a layer of broccoli or peas to each one.
- On top of the vegetables, fill in each muffin tin with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture and sprinkle paprika and the remaining cheese on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until muffins are just starting to turn brown on top.