Seems like Christmas was just yesterday and here we are — at the beginning of the Lenten season and on our way to spring.
For many, Lent means meatless meals, among them those that include cheese. Two favorite cheese-laden dishes for Lent are lasagna and macaroni and cheese.
Over the years, I’ve offered many macaroni and cheese recipes, and to be perfectly honest, kids seem to always prefer the kind that comes straight out of a box. And, it’s not just the children who lick their plates clean when served a bowlful of Kraft’s macaroni and cheese, but some adults, too, who grew up with the stuff. A recipe found in a vintage Sunbeam frypan recipe and instruction booklet comes pretty close to having the taste many folks yearn for from their macaroni and cheese, due surely to the use of processed sharp American cheese, which guarantees a smooth, curdle-free velvety sauce. (I used Velveeta, also a product of Kraft, for the Sunbeam recipe.)
Besides its ease of preparation, the lovely part about this version of macaroni and cheese, lies in the butter-browned fresh bread crumbs that top it, sublime when homemade bread is available.
And, while we’re on the subject of things that come out of a box, there’s no doubt that no-boil lasagna noodles makes fixing the once laborious Italian casserole easier than ever. Four-layered No-Boil Lasagna, prepared from a recipe that originated on the back of a Barilla no-boil lasagna box, has become a favorite of mine — and you have told me, yours, as well.
Of course, any recipe that comes from a box can be improved upon with our own homemade touches, but as a place from which to start, during Lent and other times of the year, these recipes are good meatless ways to begin.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.