cooking with kids · Recipes

Mac & Cheese Mess-An Epic FAIL

We interrupt your normal Exhausted Mommy recipes to announce I had an epic fail for dinner tonight. First some background:

While I normally strive for a 90% gluten-free and dairy free diet in our house, lately, any dairy-even butter on toast-has been upsetting my stomach. And before you comment your concerns-yes, I have a doctor’s appointment already scheduled. But in the meantime, tired of having to run the bathroom every five minutes for two hours after every meal, I decided to cut out ALL dairy and see if that helps. So I bought the dairy free butter and cheese, since I already drink almond milk. And since I’m a normal, (re: hormonal) woman, I also made sure the products were soy-free, as that can also upset my system. I used the dairy-free cream cheese and nutritional yeast (a great substitute for grated cheese) with no problems for a recipe I’ll be posting soon, and it tasted just as good as the original, so I was hopeful for the butter and cheese. I tasted the butter before I began and that seemed fine, so it was all down to the most important ingredient: the cheese.

Tonight for dinner it was just The Maestro and I, since the girls are with their dad and Music Man is away this week doing what every classical musician does-playing a summer music festival. So I decided to try and make every toddler’s favorite: macaroni and cheese. Only this time, the “cheese” wouldn’t be real cheese, or even the powdered packet that was everyone’s favorite growing up. It would be dairy-free cheese. And butter. And milk. Easy, yes?

Well, easy yes…but good? NO. As you can see from the picture it looked creamy and delicious. It tasted like cardboard. It was not good. Maestro hadn’t had his yet, lost in watching his favorite show in it’s original Russian and singing along with it (and that’s another post all together), so I quickly grabbed his bowl and mine and dumped them, along with the rest of the dinner, in the trash. Which for me is HUGE since I hate to waste food. But this wasn’t food. It was exactly where it ended up-garbage.

I need to do some more research on dairy-free cheeses, because honestly I’m disappointed. I LOVE cheese and my access to different brands is limited…like severely limited, as I live in a rural area where the nearest Trader Joe’s is 90 minutes away and the nearest Whole Foods is in another state all together (I may live in the only state in the union that doesn’t have a Whole Foods and a tiny Trader Joe’s…and I’m also not the only person I know who drives 90 minutes to go to said Trader Joe’s).

In the meantime, it’s crackers and hummus for dinner-because that is gluten-free and dairy-free and still tastes great. The Maestro is already chowing down on them. Neither one of us eat a big dinner, so this is actually perfect for us. And it’s getting the taste of that mac & cheese MESS out of my mouth.

Oh well…they can’t all be winners.

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