Spice up Mac and Cheese

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I love mac and cheese. It is an inexpensive side dish or a great main course. With a little imagination you can take a plain box of mac and cheese and turn it into a hearty and satisfying meal!

Use your imagination when cooking mac and cheesemag-glass_10x10.gif . Try adding 1/2 cup diced ham, a can of drained mixed vegetables and 1/4 cup chopped onion at the beginning of the cooking process, when the water starts to boil and you add your noodles.

Turn plain mac and cheese into chili mac. Cook mac and cheese according to the directions on the box. Omit the cheese powder. Add one can of chili, any brand, the choice is yours. Serve with crackers or cornbread.

Turn a box of mac and cheese into a tasty fiesta chicken dish! Boil 1 chicken breast, leg quarters, or thighs(skin, bones and all). Remove chicken from broth, set aside to cool. Cook the mac and cheese in the chicken broth, finish according to package direction. Add 1 small can of black olives, one small can of diced green chili peppers. Remove the chicken from the bones, dice and add to mac and cheese. Serve over crushed tortilla chips.

A very simple and inexpensive way to spice up mac and cheese is to add a dash of one of the following. Season All, Cajun seasoning, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, onion powder or garlic powder.

One last trick to spice up mac and cheese. Add one of the following to prepared mac and cheese. Sliced smoked sausage, cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage, crumbly cooked ground beef, tuna, cooked diced chicken, sliced pepperoni or crumbled cooked bacon. Now add one or all of the following. Sauteed onions, sauteed bell pepper, sauteed mushrooms, black olives, sauteed celery, diced pimento or drained diced tomatoes.

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