I’ve partnered with Step2 for this post.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with adding hidden veggies into my kids’ favorite dishes. I’ve found that, if done correctly, you can get your kids to eat more vegetables without any of the usual complaints! The favorite by far in our household is when I fix Gourmet Mac & Cheese. Here is my quick and easy recipe:
Gourmet Mac & Cheese
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 1/2 lbs. (8 ounces) Velveeta, cut into 1/2 cubes
- 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash (I keep it simple and purchase a 4oz jar of baby food and use the full container)
- 1 handful of spinach leaves, stems removed
- 2 cups of macaroni pasta, cooked (can substitute other fun shapes if you’d like)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 15 Ritz Crackers, crushed
- 5 strips of cooked bacon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease 9×9 baking dish
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat
- Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
- Gradually stir in milk, stirring constantly
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes until thickened
- Add Velveeta cheese and stir until melted
- Stir in the squash puree
- Stir in spinach leaves, then remove from heat
- Stir in the macaroni, then transfer to greased pan
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the macaroni
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter and saute cracker crumbs for about 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Spread cracker crumbs over cheese
- Tear bacon into small pieces and sprinkle on top
- Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through
That’s it! You can barely even taste the added veggies in this dish (my kids haven’t noticed at all) and it’s absolutely delicious! Your whole family will love this gourmet mac & cheese recipe!
Speaking of gourmet, you have GOT to check out this brand new gourmet kitchen set we recently recieved from Step2. It’s called the Grand Luxe Kitchen and it. is. STUNNING! Seriously, this kitchen set puts my kitchen to shame!
Some of the best features of this kitchen set include:
- A refrigerator that really lights up
- An oven that really lights up
- A single cup brewer with pods for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
- Tons of accessories, including a 6 count of muffins/cupcakes, plates, utensils, bowls, cups, etc.
- A popcorn maker and blender that really “work”
- A pan and pot that make noise when on the stovetop
- A variety of fruits and veggies that are sliced in half and attached with hook and loop (Velcro), plus a cutting board and knife so kids can “cut” them.
- Tons of storage space
My kids have spent hours with this kitchen set. There are so many different ways for them to play with it. They love putting food in the oven and watching for the light to turn off to let them know “it’s done,” and fixing me a hot beverage with their brewer throughout the day. They also really love the ability to “cut” their food. Of course, the working lights and sound effects are a big hit too! One of the features I love, as a mom of multiple young children, is that it’s so big there’s plenty of room for all 3 of my older kiddos to play with it at once.
The Grand Luxe Kitchen is amazing! If you’re in the market for a new kitchen set (Christmas is just around the corner!) you can find it at ToysRUs. The suggested price on it is $349.99 but watch for sales at we approach the holiday season.
Want to WIN one of these amazing kitchen sets? I’ve teamed up with Step2 to offer one to one lucky reader! Click HERE to enter now. Good luck!
Disclosures: I was sent this kitchen set at not cost to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. Step2 recommends this kitchen set for children ages 3 and up.