Apr 17, 2014

NOODLES & COMPANY

A couple of my daughters have given this recipe a prominent nickname but really it’s just a simple food storage meal that tastes surprisingly similar to the extra creamy macaroni and cheese served at this restaurant chain.

Fresh Ingredients

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Storage Ingredients

2 cups dry macaroni

1 cup Alfredo sauce (Buying the 3-pack of sauce from Costco makes it perfect for my three-month supply.)

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1 cup water

1/2 cup powdered milk

*or substitute 1 cup evaporated milk for the water and powdered milk

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Boil pasta in salted water for about 7 minutes. If using powdered milk, reserve 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid and then drain the pasta. Return both the reserved water and the pasta to the pan and stir in the powdered milk, Alfredo sauce, and Parmesan cheese. (If you’re using evaporated milk drain all the water before adding the other ingredients.) Transfer to a small cake pan or casserole dish and top with the grated cheddar cheese. Cover with plastic and microwave for 2-3 minutes until all the cheese is melted on top.

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I like to serve this dish with a healthy side of sauteed spinach

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and fresh tomatoes. The whole meal can be ready in less than fifteen minutes and that’s much quicker than driving to the nearest restaurant and waiting for our order to be prepared.

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A dash of nutmeg is nice on top as we enjoy a yummy dinner and the money we just saved.

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15 Responses to “NOODLES & COMPANY”

  1. Annalee Kelly Says:

    Leisa, how do you saute spinach? I have a bunch of fresh spinach in my fridge that I need to use up… and do you season it or put anything on top after?

  2. Liesa Says:

    Hey Annalee,
    I just heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and saute until it begins to wilt. Sometimes I add a clove of fresh minced garlic right at the end so that it doesn’t have a chance to brown. Supposedly that’s a no no. Salt and pepper and add maybe just a splash of balsamic vinegar or fresh Parmesian. (You could also add some carmelized onions if you want to be fancy.)
    I’m sure you’re better at this than I am!

  3. Camille Says:

    I really enjoy your blog. I’m sorry I haven’t written before to thank you for sharing your talent with us. I have to admit I was wondering how you saute spinach. Now I know. Thank you so much for all the great ideas you share with us.

  4. Liesa Says:

    Thank you Camille! How nice of you to say so!

  5. laura from mesa, arizona Says:

    Liesa,

    I couldn’t help but notice the Morning Moo (which I LOVE) but I always thought it was just for drinking not cooking. I don’t understand how you can use it in this sauce?? If I can cook with it I will start using it more often!

  6. Liesa Says:

    Yes Laura! You can for sure cook with the Morning Moo. In fact we never drink the stuff so I’m sneaking my supply of powdered milk into our mashed potatoes, soups, and sauces aaaaaall the time. You’ll have to try it!

  7. Laura Says:

    We cook with Moo too! (we drink it too, no biggie). If you go to the morning moo website, they even have some info about what proportion of powder to water to use to replace evaporated milk, etc.

    Here’s the link: http://www.internet-grocer.net/morn-moo.htm

    but I also copied the info:

    +Light or half strength – makes a great skim milk substitute
    + Full strength – great when used in place of milk
    + Double strength – makes an excellent substitute for light cream
    + Triple strength – makes a great condensed milk substitute
    + 1 tsp dry Morning Mooâ makes an excellent coffee creamer

    I make chocolate pudding by mixing moo powder, sugar, cooca and a pinch of salt. Just add water, then a splosh of vanilla after it cooks – easy, very affordable.

    Also, once, in a moment of ‘just how far can I take this?’ I used moo powder to make homemade sweetened condensed milk…then I cooked it low and slow until it caramelized, and we had caramel dip for apples. After a few days in the fridge it re-crystallized a little, but I nuked it, and it went right back to being caramel sauce.

    Leisa, your mac and cheese looks really pretty! Sadly, I was raised on the stuff in a box (not even the name brand!), and that’s the kind I like. There must be a law of the universe about having it with spinach and tomatoes, though. The standard dinner at our house was macaroni and cheese, blackeye peas, sliced tomatoes and saute’s spinach. At least we grew the vegetables.

    My favorite way to prepare spinach is wash it, saute’/steam with the water that sticks to the leaves, then just as it’s finished put a little bit of soy sauce, a few drops of dark sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds for garnish. Yummy!

    K, I’ll hush now. :)

    -Laura at TenThingsFarm

  8. Sam Says:

    A tasty meal made even better:

    last night, we made this but added a few extras on top…

    Frank’s Hot Sauce
    Uncle Jerry’s magical sweet chili sauce
    AND
    Bacon strips

    It hit the spot!!!

  9. Kristine Says:

    Dear Laura,

    I would love to know how to make chocolate pudding from scratch! Would you mind sharing the recipe? YUM!

  10. Liesa Says:

    Thank you Laura for sharing more good ideas. Like Kristine, I too would love your recipe for chocolate pudding made from powdered milk. I’ll try the soy sauce and sesame oil in the spinach next time.

  11. Laura Says:

    Here’s a link to the chocolate pudding recipe, along with some photos:
    http://tenthingsfarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/home-made-chocolate-pudding.html
    I made is special, just because y’all asked, and just because it’s yummy, and just because it’s chocolate. I’m helpful like that.

  12. Liesa Says:

    Raise your hand if you think Laura is the BEST! Thank you Laura. I’m reeeaaaallly looking forward to this one.

  13. Kristine Says:

    Yes, Thank you Laura!!!

  14. Rhona Says:

    I did some spinach for family the other day and we added some mushrooms and some bacon to it. They really liked it that way.

  15. Liesa Says:

    Bacon makes everything wonderful, doesn’t it? Thanks Rhona for the great reminder!

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