Saturday, October 3, 2009

GFCF Mac & Cheese!!!

Doesn't this creamy-looking dish look delicious?! Would you have guessed that it was gluten-free & casein-free? If I hadn't been the one to make it last night, I'm not sure that I would have known!! :)
What kid doesn't love a creamy, warm, satisfying bowl of macaroni & cheese once in a while? But for some children (my older son, Ashton, included) having that satisfying bowl of creamy macaroni & cheese can make them seriously ill, or even lead to a severe allergic reaction! I will let this lead me to say that prior to going on the gluten-free, casein-free diet, my son was the lover of all things macaroni & cheese. If it looked like macaroni & cheese, he'd eat it! But when, on a whim, we decided to try the gluten-free, casein-free (otherwise known as GFCF) diet for him, he could no longer have this creamy, yellow goodness! I found lots of substitutes (every one of which, Ashton would eat) but I found them to be less than stellar and some, downright disgusting! Some even smelled like dirty socks out of the package, YUCK! I was determined to find SOMETHING that I could feed to my son that didn't leave me gagging or with the desire to throw it in the trash before he dug in. So that leads me to last night.....
Well, this delicious looking bowl of creamy goodness came pretty close and was a HUGE hit with Ashton last night! I had went to Navan Foods earlier this week and saw that they now carried both the mozzarella and cheddar forms of the Teese cheese substitutes. I, being the adventurous soul that I am, decided to try the cheddar form and use it to make my son some macaroni & cheese. As I've previously said, I find that most mac & cheese subs just look nasty and smell even worse and I have no clue how they taste because I will NOT taste them, AT ALL. In one word, I find that most are N.A.S.T.Y! Well, I knew I had the pasta at home and wasn't really sure what I would use to make it but I set off with a mission in hand; to make my son a delicious bowl of mac & cheese that wasn't gross and that *I* didn't mind looking at!
So, last night was the night I decided to make it.....
I set out my ingredients
Andean Dream Quinoa Macaroni, Teese cheddar style, Earth Balance spread and Pacific chicken broth
And then I set out to make my son the most
yunmiest mac & cheese *EVER*! :)
Here is the recipe I used (I followed a tip from a fellow GFCF mom and used the broth instead of a dairy-free milk substitute .. that helped, A LOT, in regards to taste I think!)
1 box of Andean Dream quinoa pasta
1 roll of Teese (cheddar style)
2oz Pacific Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth
2 TB of Earth Balance Soy-free spread
sea salt, ground black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder (season to taste)
At this point, you get cooking! ;) I boiled the pasta according to the directions on the box. While waiting for the pasta to finish, I cut up the teese (which by the way, doesn't smell all that awful straight from the package like I was fearing it would) into small chunks and placed them in a smaller sauce pan. I then mixed in the earth balance spread as well as the chicken broth and let them simmer until the cheese was melted. Once melted, I added in the sea salt, pepper and garlic and onion powders and let it all simmer while the pasta finished.
cheddar sauce once melted .... it looks pretty runny, right?
Admittedly, I was a bit perplexed at how this watery cheese sauce was going to properly cover the pasta to give my son the macaroni & cheese I was envisioning for him.
But alas, once the pasta was drained (and I rinsed it just a tiny bit) and then mixed with the the cheese sauce, I had my beautiful looking mac & cheese!! Can you believe it?!
It LOOKED like normal, gluten & casein laden, processed macaroni & cheese from a box! And even better, *I* could tolerate the smell of it! It didn't smell like Kraft, but it certainly did not smell horrible either. I even tasted the sauce (that's how impressed I was, I NEVER would taste most of the subs) and I was quite impressed! It had a creamy texture/flavor and it tasted pretty good! Sure, I like my Kraft or Velveeta mac & cheese anytime, but for my son who can't have those, this was certainly what *I* considered to be a suitable replacement!
Here, you can see, that he's enjoying his macaroni & cheese! He wouldn't smile for me because well, he was too busy eating and was getting mad that I was making him look at me! LOL!
Anyways, I hope this recipe helps any that are looking for a good recipe for some good-tasting and good-looking macaroni & cheese. Since I made the entire box of pasta and the whole roll of teese, he's got plenty for leftovers and is asking to eat more of it for today's lunch, which I will let him indulge in. Now I am anxious to try the mozzarella teese for pizza and as a topping for spaghetti, yummy!!! Thanks for looking and stopping by! :)


  1. Hi Jenn,

    That mac n cheese does look good!!! Thanksgiving holiday is soon coming and I was starting to panic, I had no mac n cheese to feed our daughter! She had been gf/cf for 8 months and she so misses this dish. I am going to go look for the pasta and teese this weekend and try it.
    Thanks for posting this recipe. Hoping my daughter enjoys it as much as your son does.

  2. Hi Jenn: Just found your recipe and was so excited to finally feed my son "real" mac and cheese. I used a new cheese product I just discovered called "Daiya" instead, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I even ate a bowl, and believe me, I have never done that with any of the other subs. Thanks for posting this one!

  3. Not a problem "Anonymous"! I now use Daiya too and it's soooooo good! *I* can even tolerate the taste of it over any other sub!

    Glad you liked it! :)

  4. I am so happy I found your blog! I am a stay-at-home mom of two as well. I have a 7 year-old boy that has ADHD and a two year-old little boy who has recently been diagnosed with mild autism. We are two weeks into the GFCF diet and finding your recipe for the macaroni and cheese is exciting. That is the one thing my boys miss the most.

  5. I'm excited that I happened upon your blog today! I too am a stay-at-home mom of a son with high functioning Autism and another son with ADHD. I've been doing the GF/CF diet for a while now, but finding a good mac and cheese is very hard. I'm also helping a friend get started on the diet. She will love to try your recipe! Thank you!

  6. Jenn, I stumbled across your blog today, and I am thrilled with your Mac-n-cheese recipe. I can't wait to try it myself! I went GFCF about a month ago and desperately miss my mac-n-cheese!! Have you been to Sage Organics in Chesapeake? I'm in Suffolk and just found Sage yesterday. They have fantastic prices!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story, it is helpful. We have just been told as of 3 days ago to put my 8 yr old son Gabe on a GFCF diet for ADD. Mac n cheese would be missed horribly in our house. Such a simple dish it is one that we find so comforting. Thanks again!

  8. I'm so glad this was of some help and comfort to you. The diet was very difficult to follow, initially.... but we made it 2.5years. We were able to transition him back to completely normal foods over the course of 2-3months and he's done wonderfully ever since. Oddly enough, he's no longer on any medication, no longer has the issues that caused us to put him on the diet, and he's a real pleasant kiddo to be around! GOOD LUCK! :) I've got some other entries here that might be of some help (there are some cookies, and a post that recommends some of our favorite products)

  9. About to try this with my 2 year old!! I will let you know how it goes!

  10. Hi. I am a young mother of a two year old with autism, and have just started the GFCF diet. I was wondering if you took soy out of the diet as well. From what I read, they say if you're going to stop casein you should stop soy because the proteins are similar. I was also wondering how your experience has been with the diet as far as behavior and communication changes and about how long did it take before you started to notice the changes?

  11. Hey there. I am sorry I just am now getting back to you, 2months after you posted. I did remove soy (about 6months into the diet) and didn't notice any discernible differences other than my son no longer had a rash on his bottom.

    As far as the diet and what we saw .... my son stopped with the 10X a day runny stools, he POTTYTRAINED, he lost a lot of much-needed weight and was communicating much better. It took us about a month or so before we noticed any major changes. And 6months later, there were even more.

  12. Is the Teese cheese soy? I'm just starting this diet for my daughter and was told to stay away from soy also?

  13. Thanks for the recipe, I will try soon.

  14. About the chicken stock- Not needed. I used soymilk and it tasted yummy


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