July 14, 2013

National Macaroni Day

"It's diamonds in your pockets one week, macaroni and cheese the next." - Jolene Blalock

It's National Macaroni and Cheese Day!

Sponsored byAmy's

I think it's safe to assume that nearly every kid in Amur-KAH, at one point in time, ate macaroni and cheese from the "blue box". We always did when my dad was on KP duty; he would add random stuff to it like tomato soup, spam, tuna fish and peas, etc. to try and make it a more "well balanced" meal. Eventually my mom, who was working second shift at the time, put the kibosh on that (because, in all honesty, it was a little gross) and started leaving meals for us to just toss into the oven.

Still, Kraft created something a bit of a legacy when they first introduced macaroni and cheese in their infamous blue box in 1937 where it sold for just 19 cents a box. But they certainly didn't create the creamy combo, so who did? While the exact origin is unknown, it was most likely started in Europe. While the exact date is unknown, the first recipe which really documents the concept of the dish was in the anonymously written, Latin book "Liber de coquina" in the thirteenth century. And it's thought that President Thomas Jefferson loved a little mac and cheese, and after visiting Europe returned and taught the chefs at the White House how to make it. The dish may have initially been introduced to the colonies this way.

And now you're all the wiser, foodies.

I was fortunate enough to team up with Amy's Organics to celebrate today's food holiday. They make a variety of entrees, including several frozen mac and cheese options like: traditional macaroni and cheese, macaroni and cheese that's light in sodium, rice macaroni and cheese (made with gluten free pasta), macaroni and soy cheeze (a cholesterol and lactose free option; though note, it still contains milk proteins), rice macaroni with dairy free cheeze (a gluten, soy, and dairy free vegan option). I tried the last option intentionally because it seemed to be the opposite of traditional mac & cheese, and I wanted to see if it stood up to it's more traditional counterpart.

It was probably the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had.

I found it to be gooey and thick - real stick to your ribs kind of food. It was intensely cheesy and flavorful which I so wasn't expecting, and the noodle held up really well (regardless of what they're made from, sometimes prepackaged frozen pasta meals comes out either doughy or hard - this did not), too. The entire time I was eating, I kept thinking, "I can't believe this is vegan!" which, to me, is the mark of an excellent plant-based dish. I only had two complaints: it wasn't seasoned enough (a little salt and pepper on my end remedied that quickly though) and there wasn't enough! I could have eaten a vat of that stuff, and plan on doing so in the immediate future!

If you're not familiar with Amy's Organics, then shame on you. Their line includes everything from chili and beans, soups and veggies burgers, cakes and pizzas, Indian, Italian, and Thai inspired dishes,  and now candy bars, too. All organic. All delicious (I only eat their chili if I'm not making my own). According to their website, "We didn't set out to become the nation’s leading natural frozen food brand. All we wanted to do was create a business that would allow us to earn a living by providing convenient and tasty natural vegetarian meals for people like ourselves, who appreciated good food, but were often too busy to cook 'from scratch.'"

For more information check out Amy's Organics online, on Facebook, and on Twitter, too.

Happy National Macaroni and Cheese Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission of company.