This easy and kid-friendly all-in-one nutritious and delicious Mexican Mac and Cheese will become a staple in your house in no time!
This recipe has been tested, tasted and perfected many times over the years and it’s still one of our favorite go-tos! It is meatless, but you can definitely add cooked ground beef, chicken or turkey if you wish (and replace some of the beans and lentils). As a dietitian, I recognize that most of us do not eat enough plants, and as most of us know, plant foods offer so many health benefits and protect us from chronic disease and illness. That’s why I decided to make this a meatless meal, and include beans and lentils instead!
Both beans and lentils are part of the “pulse” family. They’re largely grown locally (in Saskatchewan and Alberta!) and provide loads of plant-based protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. As a busy Mom, I often turn to canned beans and lentils because they’re so quick and easy! All you have to do is rinse and add them in.
What about picky eaters that don’t like mixed dishes?
Some kiddos don’t love mixed meals (like casseroles, lasagna, chili, soups etc.), especially if they’re still learning to enjoy certain foods (aka going through a picky eating phase). This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t serve them though, because they need multiple positive exposures in order to learn to like a food, but what it means is that they may not take as much as you’d like, AND that you should consider offering a “considerate food” on the table as well so that they have something to eat in the case that they’re not ready to try the mixed dish. What this might look like is having the Mexican mac and cheese, as well as some bread, a salad, and a fruit tray.
And hey, your kiddos might just surprise you and try it all on their own!