Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mac & Cheese Tomato Boats

My kid (and every kid I know, for that matter) LOVES macaroni & cheese!  But the problem with mac & cheese is that there isn't much nutritional value.  I've tried mixing in pureed carrots, chopped broccoli, and diced peppers.  But I've really stumbled onto gold with these mac & cheese boats.  She gets to help with the preparation (always a plus) and she gets to eat something fun because we call it "mac & cheese boats."  What kid doesn't want to eat their food out of a boat - then be able to devour said boat?  The best thing about this recipe is that you don't have to use the microwaveable mac/cheese cups; it works just as well (if not better) with prepared homemade mac & cheese.  For the sake of simplicity, I'll be using the mac & cheese cups.  The bacon is added for a little extra protein, but you could easily leave it out to keep this dish vegetarian.

  • 1 microwaveable cup of mac & cheese (such as Easy Mac)
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon French fried onions

Pan Insert to Use: Base Unit

Servings: 1-2

1. Preheat grill. If using the Xpress Platinum, preheat at setting 2.
2. Spritz pan with non-stick spray.
3. Prepare macaroni & cheese according to package directions.

4. Cut tomato in half & hollow out inside.  Use paper towels to remove excess moisture.

5. Break up 2 slices of American cheese and stir into prepared macaroni & cheese.

6. Add bacon to mac & cheese and stir.
7. Scoop mac & cheese mixture into tomato halves.
8. Top each tomato half with 1/4 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.
9. Put French fried onions into a small zippered plastic bag and seal.  Crush onions with hands to make crumbs.

10. Top tomatoes with onion crumbs.

11. Cook both halves (side by side) in unit for about 5-7 minutes.

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