Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Not quite Veg every day - but trying: Macaroni Peas

It’s a source (or sauce!) of deep disappointment to me that I can’t get Blue to enjoy macaroni cheese or cauliflower cheese – or in fact anything in a cheese sauce. I just can’t understand it, although it is probably my own fault. I practically weaned him on broccoli in cheese sauce, fish in cheese sauce, pasta in – you guessed it – cheese sauce. He loves cheese, in sandwiches, with apple, melted on toast, grated on top of beans, spag bol, chilli or fajitas, but in a warm sauce – no way. The fact that he is of an age of enormous appetite, and so will force down whatever I serve up to satisfy the raging monster in his belly, is of little consolation on the days when something cheese saucy is on the menu. I want him to love it. But I’m having to play the long game.

Anyway, undeterred, I soldier on, determined to turn him. I felt that the twice backed potatoes from Veg Everyday were a step in the right direction – they involve baking the potatoes, scooping out the cooked flesh, mashing it up with cheese and spring onions (and I added sweetcorn for extra veg and some cream cheese in place of sour cream) putting the mash back into the skins and baking for a further 15 mins. To my mind there were definite overtones of ‘warm cheese’ such as you’d get in sauce, but he really enjoyed it.
This evening, I am hoping to get another small step on the road to cheese sauce glory – Macaroni Peas. This is another Veg Everyday recipe, and yes, it really does say macaroni PEAS. Now I am definitely flying close to the edge here – Blue is almost as passionate in his dislike of peas as he is of cheese sauce, so if I win here, it will be a glorious victory. What’s even better is that this is a fabulously straightforward and easy tea involving macaroni (or other pasta) served in a sauce made from peas (frozen will do) cooked and blitzed with butter, garlic and grated cheese. Sounds like my idea of weekday tea heaven, in the style of Nigella’s marmite spaghetti. We seem to have grown out of tomato sauces for our pasta (the sauces that were so good for hiding a million nutritious goodies in) too, so as an added bonus, the prospect of a new pasta sauce is too good to pass by. The other good thing is that my shopping isn’t due till this evening and we really are at the bottom of the freezer. Macaroni, frozen peas –  ideal end of the month fodder.

So I left it there because the time came to stop faffing and get on with it. Time to stop gushing about the recipe and get on and cook it. Truth is, that as with all these first time recipes, I desperately want the kids to eat it up with smiles on their faces, but in reality, all too often, I am disappointed. But ever the optimist (or perhaps, just because I am a glutton for punishment) I push on.

I’m pleased to report success this evening. Perhaps not quite as cheesy as I’d hoped for the purposes of tackling the cheese sauce conundrum, but very delicious and the kids wolfed it down. It will definitely be on the menu again, and I could definitely up the cheese content. “This isn’t too bad” pondered Blue. Praise indeed.


  1. Thanks, I will definitely give this one a try. I'm all for easy meals and we enjoy Nigella's marmite pasta too.

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