Mac & Cheese Alternative

My toddler loves Mac & Cheese. No surprise right? But I hate giving it to him all the time. (He is starting to ask for it for breakfast.)

I need something else. Like, now.

When I try to give him, say, steak, this is his reaction…..

Holy Moly, right?

So I found this recipe for Grilled Chicken and Veggie Macaroni Salad from Lawrys.com. I love it for two reasons. One – because it takes about 30 minutes to make, so it can be on the table fast. Two – because it is a blend between his desire for Macaroni & Cheese and my need for him to eat some protein and veggies. And it is something all of us can eat, so I’m not having to make separate meals. (Seriously, who has time for that?)

Bonus is that this recipe makes 12 servings so you can store some for later in the week for a quick meal when you don’t have time to cook.

What you need:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup Lawry’s® Herb & Garlic Marinade With Lemon Juice, divided
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium red bell pepper, quartered
2 ribs celery
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise

Grilled-Chicken--Veggie-Macaroni-Salad.ashx

How to Make It:

1. Place chicken and vegetables in 2 separate large resealable plastic bags. Pour 1/4 cup of the marinade into each bag; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes. (Though you can short cut this step if you are pressed for time.)

2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinade. Discard chicken marinade; reserve vegetable marinade.

3. Grill chicken and vegetables over medium heat 6 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, brushing with reserved vegetable marinade. Cool slightly. Cut into bite-size pieces.

4. Mix mayonnaise and remaining 1/4 cup marinade in large bowl. Add macaroni, chicken and vegetables; mix until well blended. Serve immediately. Or, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

(I also sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top…..obviously.)

So how did that go over?

Happy Face

So if you have a similar problem getting your kids to eat, definitely check out the Lawrys website for some inspirational ideas. A lot of the time, with the right seasonings & some Houdini-like actions (e.g. hiding veggies), it definitely is worth re-introduction to see if that may do the trick. But another fun way to spice things up is to try out this new way to create an advertisement about dinner. It was featured on the Rachel Ray show last month. Here is the one I did for my toddler so you can see what I’m talking about.

You just pick a recipe (8 to choose from), a theme (Boy or Girl) and then upload a photo. In about three minutes, you have your Dinnertisement. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, or email to the grandparents! It is a cute way to “sell” yummy dinner ideas to the family. If your child is old enough, have them pick out a recipe, theme and make a Dinnertisement themselves. They may actually eat the meal if they have involvement in the process.

In fact, if you or your child creates a Dinnertisement, leave a comment here with the link, and show us how you rock it. Or leave a quick comment about your biggest kid/meal frustration. (I think we will all be able to relate.) One of you will win a Dinnertisement Kit! It includes a Rachael Ray Lasagna Lover Stoneware, two Zak Design Serving Spoons, and five different Lawry’s Marinades and Spice Blends. (About a $60 value!)

Lawry's_giveaway

 

I hope you check it out. It is a lot of fun and see who the lucky winner was!!

………………………………………………………………………………………………

To see the contest rules, click here.

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

Comments

  1. Katie R. says

    My favorite way to get my picky eater to eat foods she’s not crazy about is to disguise them in foods she already loves. Like you I add vegetables to mac & cheese and when I make spaghetti I add vegetables into the sauce. Another great way to get children to eat their fruits and vegetables it to make them a smoothie. Sometimes I even add spinach.

  2. looks yummy!!

  3. Looks wonderful…something my son would love for sure!
    My son’s eating issues have less to do with being picky or not eating, and are more with getting him to stop whatever else he’s doing to take the time to eat! He’s not one to sit still, and mealtimes are certainly no exception!! I can at least be thankful he’s a good eater, when we can get him to eat though right? His snacks of choice tend to be apple and broccoli and pistachios!!

  4. Shannon Baas says

    What a great prize.

  5. alyce poalillo says

    looks like a quick, nutritious, colorful dish!

  6. Serena Powell says

    I’ve been dying to win a good lasagna pan. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  7. Julie Lynn Bickham says

    Thanks for the giveaway! My kids would love this recipe.

  8. Nicole L. says

    We use Lawrys marinades alot during the summer grilling season.

  9. I could really use this!

  10. Kat Emerick says

    Thank you so much for a chance!

  11. i’d LOVE to win this because my husband makes the BEST lasagna!! Thanks for the chance to win. 🙂

  12. Katherine says

    I could never get my kids to eat vegetables. Corn peas and beans were it here~

  13. Lauren Guilbeau says

    Awesome giveaway!

  14. Charlene says

    We love smoothies too. Such a great recommendation and I’ll have to sneak in some spinach! Great idea.

  15. Charlene says

    We have the same issue. Too much fun. We finally allowed him to bring one toy to the table. Seems to be a middle ground for the time being.

  16. Leslie B. says

    I understand your son completely, I LOVE mac n cheese! 🙂

  17. Margaret Smith says

    We also have the same problem. I try to cover up veggies with cheese or we put them into dishes, like meatloaf and pastas.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. This seems like such a yummy and great recipe! I would love to make it in that red dish!

  19. Danielle B says

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  20. Annette D says

    My son would eat Mac and Cheese every meal, this looks like a great alternative!
    Thanks for the chance!

  21. Teresa Thompson says

    This is a great giveaway!

  22. This looks very good. I’ll have to make this for my daughter.

    I’d love to win. Thanks for the chance.

  23. Very nice giveaway. Thank you!

  24. my wife would flip for this!

  25. Richelle says

    Oh man my son is the same, but with PB&J. Seriously. He’s starting to ask for it for breakfast too. Grr. Thanks for the giveaway. I wish my little man would eat lasagna.

  26. I’ve never seen the marinade before , I’ll have to look for them next time I am in the store

  27. Michelle R says

    your son is adorable, the food looks delicious!

  28. Amanda Boerst says

    That recipe sounds great! Thank you so much for this great giveaway!

  29. Seyma Shabbir says

    My little one is like that. He won’t eat steak! It is nice to come up with alternative. I try to make a pesto macaroni veggie and they do well with that.

  30. Lee Broom says

    My biggest frustration with my children is their total disgust of vegetables. The most I can get them to eat is corn on the cob. No beans, no greens, no tomatoes, no broccoli….arghh! At least spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce has some nutritional value. I hear you about the mac and cheese….it’s a favorite of one of my children, too.

  31. i love to cook would <3 to win

  32. Great giveaway! I love using Lawry’s marinades on chicken – it makes the chicken moist and juicy with great flavor!

  33. My biggest problem/frustration at meal time is my daughter will try to walk away and leave half of the food on her plate, only to want snacks later. I really just have to sit their with her and encourage her to eat. Thanks for the chance to win this great kit!

  34. My biggest kid meal frustration is when I cook a meal for my grandchildren and they all want something different. They are young and hard to please.

  35. I love Lawry’s products!

  36. Monja Blue says

    What a fabulous giveaway! Love Lawrys & Lasagna!

  37. This is a great giveaway and just in time for the Summer BBQ Season. We fix smoothies too and I am going to try the spinach trick

  38. Love the prize and would love to win it. thanks for the giveaway

  39. Linda Lansford says

    I use this all the time. Quality products

  40. Brn2lisn says

    I put veggies ‘hidden’ in tomato sauce – for pasta dishes and no one is any wiser

  41. Twingle Mommy says

    Sounds good, my kids would eat mac and cheese every night if I’d let them.

  42. The prize pack looks delish!!! That would be awesome to try!!!

  43. Christine says

    What a nice prize! Thanks for the Giveaway!

  44. Erica Best says

    Wow love this pack i made my video here Dinner tonight is going to be gee golly yumtastic! Take a look. http://www.dinnertising.com/Video/Details/1320?cmpid=2012-dinnertising-share-twitter

  45. Austin Baroudi says

    This looks like it would great for me and my girlfriend! Thanks for the opportunity.

  46. Meghan Finley says

    I’d love to win. This is an awesome giveaway

  47. Mindy McCrea says

    It is so hard to get everyone in my family to eat dinner! This would be a great help! Thanks

  48. Cheri Anne says

    I’ve always liked Lawry’s products. And, this mac and cheese alternative recipe sounds delicious. Thank you for that and the giveaway!

  49. My grandson is so picky that it is hard to get him to get anything~but this looks great!!

  50. My daughter was/is a picky eater, but I have made a point to feed the family one meal, if she decides she isn’t going to eat it then there is no desert and nothing different to eat (she will not starve :). After a few nights of not eating her dinner she decided that wasn’t much fun and joined in with the family!

  51. Brittany says

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  52. Jennifer M. says

    Thanks for the recipe and the giveaway. :0)

  53. Ashley B says

    This would be so nice to win!

  54. Danielle T says

    we love lawrys marinades, this would be awesome to win!

  55. Julianne says

    That looks scrumptious It is on my menu for this week

  56. Tamara Budd says

    Trying to get my kids to eat more than just corn for veggies. Thank you for this giveaway!

  57. I love Lawrys marinades s I hope I win

  58. Charlene says

    Great tip. It is hard to stay firm, but it does pay off. We are trying it ourselves!

  59. Charlene says

    Love it! So glad you made a Dinnertisement!

  60. Charlene says

    So smart!

  61. Charlene says

    We are having the same issue. We have a timer on the table now and also require him to eat a certain number of bites before he can be excused. Between what we are serving and him not wanted to sit still, dinner is tough!

  62. Charlene says

    Aww, thanks. He is cute, even when he is screaming. 🙂

  63. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  64. Thanks for the chance to win such a great prize

  65. Stacey R. says

    Thanks for the great recipe! I’m always looking for new ideas. Thank you for the giveaway!

  66. Jennifer R says

    I am lucky and my children eat a large variety of food but we do love to use Lawry’s. This would be a great thing for us to win

  67. Rachel M says

    I’ve been wishing to win a good lasagna pan. Thank you!!!

  68. Randall W says

    This looks easy – I think even I can do this 🙂

  69. I like BBQ and all kinds of spices and rubs good contest.

  70. Would love this for my spice cabinet.

  71. Stephanie H says

    Every lawrys product I have tried, I have loved. I use them with chicken. and to flavor soba noodles

  72. Kathlean Owens says

    I made a “Dinnertisment” also. http://www.dinnertising.com/Video/Details/1363?cmpid=2012-dinnertising-share-url Should say “Owens Dinner”

  73. I really like Lawry’s products & that lasagna pan looks awesome!

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

  74. Teh Doll says

    this would be awesome to have .. thanks for the chance!

  75. My son’s weird and doesn’t really like mac-n-cheese. I, on the other hand, love it!

  76. That looks so yummy!! I’ll have to try it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  77. jennifer bowen says

    the way i get my kids to eat some thing thay dont like or never had befor is my telling them its something thay may like or saying to them if thay just have a little of it then i get them some thing else to eat.

  78. Great giveaway!

  79. MommaMary says

    I like adding steamed broccoli to the mac & cheese.

  80. Charlene says

    Love it!

  81. I’d don’t have kids but I was a terror at dinner. I was so picky and had a hard time eating my veggies. Luckily I grew out of that 😉

  82. I’m always sneaking in veggies to get more vitamins and fiber into the kids diets. Would love to try these Lawrys!!

  83. moniquehasana says

    I am not as cleaver as you guys are, but I learned a lot of new tricks that I am going to put to work. I was offer her 5 cent for every meal she ate. You guys will save me a fortune in the future. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  84. Mandy Blank says

    Both of my kids would love this!!

  85. id love to win, ty!

  86. Jennifer W. says

    thanks for the great giveaway

  87. Sara Haaf says

    My son and I had a ton of fun making dinnertisements, here is one http://www.dinnertising.com/Video/Details/1343?cmpid=2012-dinnertising-share-email I love lawrys products and they have always been a staple in my families.

    It is kind of amazing sometimes the simple things we forget on getting kids to eat, using dips or smothering things in ketchup seems to do wonders!

  88. Stacey R. says
  89. Jesselyn A says

    O boy, your toddler reminds me of…. ME. When I was a kid all I wanted to eat (besides chocolate!!) was Mac & Cheese! I think it was near addiction =- and the truth is – II still do though I add some more grown up touches to it now, like multiple cheeses.wild mushrooms, seafood, a variety of veggies and occasionally a drop or two of Truffle Oil!.

    But my parents – like you – got more clever and imaginative and they managed slip (not really sneak) veggies in: first mushooms (canned!) and then sometimes carrots (back in the days when carrots we’re sweet!(!)

    Gradually they introduced GREEN foods: broccoli, asparagus and even sweet green bell pepper (usually in small dice or pieces) Eventually they took the plunge and started omitting the macaroni and the cheese SAUCE – and it worked! I started (reluctantly at first) just a bowl of the veggies with just a little cheese melted on top – to this day one of my regular comfort foods.

    I guess it’s all an evolutionary journey toward Pasta Primavera!.

    I would love to win this prize because both my hubby and me love creative cooking – with a few short cuts – like Lawry’s seasonings and marinades!

  90. Awesome giveaway. Thanks!

  91. 1955nurse says

    With my own kids, my biggest frustration was w/my Daughter’s eating habits… our Son ate ANY/EVERYthing put in front of him from the time he started eating! But Daughter was different… 1 day LOVING something, then the next time clamping her jaws; refusing ANY of it! ARGGGG! But we got thru it, and now both “kids” are healthy adults in their 30’s!!! Thanks for the chance – I have been dying for the RR lasagna pan, but haven’t had the extra$$ to buy…..

  92. Carol Ezovski says

    I’d love to win this cause my husband recently broke my lasagna pan and I miss it!
    We love lasagna — the kind with meat and also the veggie kind. Yum.

  93. Love to use Lawry seasoning on my grilled steaks

  94. Debra Pauley says

    love to try, thanks for the giveaway!

  95. I think that my daughter would like that, but my son doesn’t like mayo, so I’m not sure I could get it past him.

  96. Yum! I’d love to get some new flavors in my kitchen! 😉

  97. Sara Logan says

    This looks awesome! Hope I win

    Sara L

  98. Alicia Zirjacks says

    Thank you for the chance!!

  99. katie mitchell says
  100. carole c says

    love rachael rays cookware and would love to win this

  101. Would love to try some of these out on the grill–thanks for the chance and the great post!

  102. Jennifer Jo Archdeacon says

    I love Lawerys and I love Rachel Ray so this is a great giveaway. I would love to win,
    thanks.

  103. Thanks for the great giveaway! I think my kids just might like this Mac & Cheese alternative!!! Yum-O!

  104. Jill Myrick says

    Lawry’s is among our favorites for marinades.

    My children actually love vegetables of all kinds. My biggest issue is getting them to eat meat. Even my teenagers prefer a salad or baked potato to a good steak or chicken.

  105. My biggest frustration is casseroles or saucy dishes. My kids eat just about everything as long as there’s no “werd” sauces involved!

  106. Charlene says

    Love it! Thanks for trying it out.

  107. @nola727 says

    Thanks for the chance to win. Would love to give this to my mom to make her famous mac and cheese

  108. heather whitford says

    I just love the pix of him “requesting” the mac and cheese. I think i’ve seen that look on my kid’s faces, lol.

  109. Miz Vickik says

    The stoneware looks gorgeous! I don’t know what it is, but serving things in stoneware or using stoneware cups or bowls always makes the food seem a little “comfier” to me somehow. It just has a good, solid feel to it.

  110. I don’t blame the kid. Mac and cheese is amazing. I think I eat it more as an adult than I did as a kid, I just throw other things in it like chicken, or peas, or tuna. YUM.

  111. Charlene says

    Thanks for entering! And love your video! Hope the family did too!

  112. Emily Acker says

    Enter me! 🙂

  113. Nicole P. says

    I feel your pain with your child constantly asking for Mac and cheese. Mine would eat it everyday if he could!

  114. Heather W says

    My biggest meal frustration is that I am a picky eater, so how do I get them to change their ways?

  115. love to win. your recipe sounds easy. the stoneware is always a good thing.

  116. Thanks for giveaway. I would melt cheese with the vegetables my picky eaters wouldn’t try or eat.

  117. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  118. off to check out the Lawrys website for dinner ideas

  119. Jamie M. says

    I wonder if the dinnertisement idea could work for my 31 year old boyfriend. He is such a picky eater 🙂

  120. Diane Baum says

    We love fresh fruit salad-with every meal and for a snack

  121. Carolina Thomas says

    This looks amazing thnx for the great giveaway’

  122. Lindsay Benedek says

    I love rachel Ray! I hope I win!

  123. Shannon Lozano says

    My kids love mac n cheese and I love trying new recipes. I’m sure they will love this one.

  124. Margot C says

    My favorite way to get Alysia to eat something is to just flat-out make up a name for it. ‘Today we are having Fluffle-umpfs’ She has no expectations and no preconceived ideas about what that might be so she can’t really say ‘I don’t want that’. It works about half the time, she’s only 4.

  125. Charlene says

    Hahaha. I love that idea. Maybe we will have chickypoofs for dinner. 🙂

  126. Leslie G says

    Love the recipes. I am always looking for new items to spice up the food I am already making.

  127. ha, great post! Mac and cheese is everyone’s fave, I think

  128. I would love to win. Great giveaway!

  129. I would love to win this I’ve never done any pasta cooking. Thankyou, Pam

  130. DeeAnn S says

    I can never go wrong with mac & cheese and hot dogs. But spicing things up a bit never hurt things either! Thanks.

  131. Valeen N says

    What a wonderful giveaway! We love to use spices around here in our cooking! My son especially loves them as he has special needs and doesn’t taste things that are bland.

  132. Karen Hand says

    I love Lawry’s, and what a great prize. Thanks for the chance to win.

  133. I’d love to win this!

  134. Great giveaway thanks for hosting.. I would love to win this for my hubby because he loves lasagna and his bday is coming up and this would be a perfect dish to cook it in:)

  135. Gena Durbin Carrico says

    This recipe sounds good. I think my kids will like it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  136. My 8 year old would eat mac n cheese 24/7 if I let him and this alternative looks great will diffently have to try it

  137. marjorie gray says

    My kids are stuck on oatmeal with raisins right now. Hopefully I can get them to eat something yummy cooked in this lovely dish 🙂

  138. tallcapp says

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who really wants the lasagna pan. Lasagna is a family favorite.

  139. I would love to win this and your post reminds me of my son, who was picky until he reached 13. Now he can’t get enough food seemingly, he is growing so fast. 5-6″ at 13.

  140. Madeline says

    I love Rachel Ray products–thanks so much for the giveaway!

  141. Harmony B says

    Made a dinnertisement for the Grilled Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken.. that was fun

  142. Christine says

    would be a great help

  143. I would like to do a vegan version of just the Veggie Macaroni Salad sans the mayo. It looks fantastic!

  144. Allison Marie says

    I’m totally with you on the picky-eater issue! I have a 3.5 year old daughter, and all she wants to eat is waffles. She asks for them all the time!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  145. Jennifer Clay says

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  146. Michelle S says
  147. Callee S. says

    i love marinades! anything to change up a flavor of something you usually make!
    thanks for having a great giveaway

  148. Diana Hatch says

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  149. Sheila A says

    one way i deal with veggies for my little girl and my grandson is to introduce different foods at a very young age. We have a rule-you must try one bite..if you dont like it you never have to try it again! amazingly they like all kinds of veggies…brussel sprouts, broc, asparagus and squash have become there favorites and they even ask for them! thanks for the great giveaway!

  150. Sara Phillips says

    Thank you so much for the chance!

    I am always fighting with picky eaters! (And when I think they won’t touch something, they devour it!!)

    I have my fingers crossed for this prize pack! 🙂

  151. My son is very picky always make him try ano thank you bite and if he doesn’t like it than at least he tried it!,my daughters eat everything,inbound to try that recipe sounds yummy!

  152. http://www.dinnertising.com/Video/Details/1586?cmpid=2012-dinnertising I made a dinnertisment. Thanks for the chance. My son loves to “help” Momma cook, that has definitely helped in the frustration area. He is a lot more willing to eat when he helped cook 🙂

  153. Glenna F. says

    I would love to win, Glenna F.

  154. Melanie Johnson says

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  155. Amy DeLong says

    I think my 2 picky kids would really like this!

  156. Holly S. says

    That looks pretty good actually! My daughter is the same way; she won’t eat her dinner unless its got some sort of pasta in it… Anyways, thanks for the giveaway!

  157. christi baham willie says

    First I LOVE the recipe..Second I could really use a new pan!!! Thank you so very much for the chance to win this!!

  158. Katie Murry says

    My biggest kid frustration is getting all three of my kids to like one meal! Maybe if they are eating it out of this fancy pan, they won’t remember what they are eating and just be happy 🙂 A mom can hope right?

  159. Nikki Lynn Hanna says

    I could really use this! I also have a picky 3 year old so sometimes getting her to eat can be tricky. The best way I can get her to eat broccoli is to steam and put cheese on it, because she likes both. Another thing I do is she loves chicken and salad, so I mix chicken breast pieces in her salad to get her to eat both. I know that sounds simple but I get her to eat it!

  160. what a great giveaway! I love Lawry’s seasonings and marinades

  161. mp phaiah says

    my biggest kid meal frustration is getting my son to sit still long enough to eat a full meal. he will only sit for about 5 minutes then wants to go off exploring – i know he is not getting a full meal! its very frustrating!

  162. Alba Garza says

    My nephew gives the same reaction. Luckily with my son I didnt. we will see if baby Gis does. Thanks for the giveaway.

  163. Charlene says

    Love your dinnertisement and I’ll have to try that recipe too!

  164. Charlene says

    Love your dinnertisement. They are so easy to make!

  165. Charlene says

    Goes to show they don’t stay picky for too long (or little for too long either!!!) 🙂

  166. Charlene says

    No. I think it is fantastic! Fun right?!

  167. Tracie Trump says

    Love mac and cheese and your dinnertisement!

  168. sarah s. says

    I think dinnertisement is a great idea! I would love to win this for my best friend. 🙂

  169. Looks delicious! Thanks for the chance!

  170. Teresa Thompson says

    This is an awesome giveaway. Thanks!

  171. Karen Gonyea says

    Wonderful recipe…I’m gonna give it a try this weekend 🙂

  172. That sounds pretty yummy!

  173. Kellie Conklin says

    An action packed dinnertisement featuring girlled chicken with pico de gallo. A fantastic meal for my family shown in a fun way! Thanks for the info and giveaway!
    http://www.dinnertising.com/Video/Details/1624?cmpid=2012-dinnertising-share-email

  174. would my husband count as the picky kid? i won’t lie, i’m the pickiest. but when my kids don’t like something, they don’t.like.it. and won’t budge. they are pretty good eaters, especially if there is ketchup or honey mustard involved. my husband pouts when we have something he’s not a fan of.

  175. That looks delicious!

  176. My daughter is going through a very picky eating phase. Hoping it will pass soon! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  177. My daughter loves mac and cheese too! Thankfully she eats lots of fruit and veggies.

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