Dad’s Kraft Dinner Mac n’ Cheeze

Alright – show of hands peeps, who grew up on this stuff?

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If you grew up in Canada, like me, it was called Kraft Dinner. We had Kraft Dinner for supper. A lot. I didn’t realise Americans called it macaroni and cheese until I moved here. It was a confusing time haha ;p And I thought it would make a perfect thing to recreate for the theme of the day.

20 Veganize an old family recipe.

I know this stuff is not the greatest, it is super artificial and I’m not sure how much nutritional value is actually in it, but I really do have fond memories of it growing up. When I was really little, my dad made it for me and my sister. I even remember once when I broke my arm, he went out and found teenaged mutant ninja turtle shaped noodles to make my Kraft Dinner so I would have more fun eating it. When I grew older, my parents worked a lot to make sure we didn’t go without, so my sister took over. And I think I had this pretty well every night for supper all through high school. I’d come home from school, my parents would be working and my sister would make this for us before heading out to her own part time job. Now, we followed the packet instructions – except for one thing. We added tomato juice! I have never actually had Kraft Dinner without it, so I have no idea what it tastes like otherwise. This is how I grew up with it and enjoyed it.

My sister and I stopped at adding the tomato juice. But my dad – he got creative. He would rummage through the fridge going through all of the leftovers to see what was needing to be used up before getting to the point of tossing and threw it in his bit pot of mac n’ cheese. Hot dogs, bacon, sausage, cheese whiz, mushrooms, tomatoes and wait for it. Dill pickles. Oh yea. Right in the pot they went. His regular combo was some sort of leftover meat, a can of mushrooms, tomatoes & tomato juice and dill pickles. Don’t get me wrong, my dad could actually cook. He was a chef at one point in his career. But the guy just really loved his Kraft Dinner ;p In honour of him – I bring you Kraft Dinner à la Kimmy.

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I found some gluten-free elbow noodles, I made homemade cashew cheeze, threw in some sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato juice and beyond meat beef crumbles. I don’t like dill pickles though :/ I couldn’t throw them in. So I fished a few slices out of my dill sauerkraut and garnished the bowl =)

Dad’s Kraft Dinner Mac n’ Cheeze (makes 4 servings… or 2 for really hungry people ;p)
1 cup of elbow noodles
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 can of diced tomatoes (don’t strain them)
2 cups of beyond meat beef crumbles (or protein of choice)

Cashew Cheeze
1 cup of cashews (soaked at least 4 hours)
1/4 of a red pepper (for colour)
the juice of a lemon
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
2 tbsp of coconut yogurt
1 tsp of sea salt
Coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

Start cooking your noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles cook, heat a wok on medium heat on your stove. Add a bit of olive oil and sautée your mushrooms. As the mushrooms sautée, make your cheeze sauce. Drain and rinse your cashews and throw them, along with all of the other ingredients in your blender. Pour in the coconut milk a bit at a time until you get a nice creamy (and somewhat water-y) consistency.
Once your noodles are cooked, strain them and add them to the sautéed mushrooms, add the prepared cheeze sauce and the can of diced tomatoes (and the juice!) and your beef crumbles. Stir it up until it is hot and then serve.

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Weird, but good =)

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23 thoughts on “Dad’s Kraft Dinner Mac n’ Cheeze

  1. I don’t remember having much mac and cheese at all until I became vegan and became obsessed with it. I think because I love the cheesy vegan sauces. Kraft box mac and cheese is around, so I guess it was around when I was little, but I think I must have only had it a little bit.
    But now that I have a world of vegan cheese sauce, particularly cashew based ones, opened up to me I cannot stop with the mac and cheese!

    1. Aw you poor child 😉 I just recently heard there is a vegan and gluten-free version of Kraft Dinner, so I’m quite interested in trying it. I know you what you mean about vegan cheese sauce – it is so good!! Especially cashew based =)

  2. Hey Bim Bim aka Kim, this looks super yummy!!! You have an incredible memory!! I don’t quite remember making Kraft Dinner as often as you remember, but I’m sure you remember correctly. Your version looks awesome!!!

  3. That does look odd – in a fun way – how nice that your dad would make it for you – I think my dad would have struggled to even cook for us out of a box (actually he proved it one) I love meals with pasta and cheese sauce. I think my mum used to make us pasta with cheese sauce though I don’t have clear memories of it but I am sure I never had that blue box of mac and cheese.

  4. I had Kraft Mac & Cheese all the time growing up! Loved that stuff! I’m trying to picture what tomato juice would taste like in there. My husband does what you dad did and makes pastas and soups with anything lying around. Sometimes he comes up with masterpieces and sometimes it’s a miss but it’s fun trying them. :) Your version looks great!

    1. Don’t try too hard – it’s quite weird and kind of gross if you’ve never had it and aren’t used of it ;p Your husband sounds great! It’s nice to try and the masterpieces are a bonus for sure =)

  5. Yum! We ate KD so much as a kid, I would be surprised if my brother and I didn’t have intestines that glow orange. So glad I can make healthier versions now.

  6. I grew up eating delectable Mom’s Mac and Cheese! Who can resist this delectable vegan mac and cheeze? There is something so memorable about the taste of mac and cheeze! Thanks for sharing your healthy and delicious Dad’s Kraft Dinner Mac n’ Cheeze with us on the Plant-based Potluck Party. I’m pinning and sharing.

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