Name That Concoction!

My oldest son is completely and totally uninterested in food. To say he eats like a bird is an understatement; most of the time, he exists on only a few bites a day. He's always been like this, and it has worried me the entire three years and nine months that he's been on this earth. "Never force a child to eat," advises our pediatrician ... but I can't help enforcing the rule that he isn't done with dinner until he's had at least five bites. It's not going to kill him - and it sure makes me feel better when I know there's a tiny iota of nutrition running through that wiry little body.

That being said, you can imagine how ecstatic I was at dinner tonight when he scarfed down TWO bowls of food in quick succession - and then, a few minutes after the table had been cleared, asked if there was any more!

So what was this miraculous appetite-inducing food, you ask? It was the simplest of dishes - so simple that I tend to overlook it in favor of the more complex stuff I usually make ('cause mama can cook, y'all). It's ... drumroll please ... a kid-friendly combo of Kraft macaroni and cheese, tuna, and peas. *insert crashing cymbal here* It couldn't be easier. It couldn't be cheaper. It's the ultimate comfort food. It's got a little bit of everything: protein, veggies, and carbs. And my kid will eat it. What's not to love?

We're pigs, and I like leftovers, so I usually make three boxes - which almost fills up my 5-quart pot. The ratio is easy to remember: 1 box of mac & cheese (prepared according to package directions) + 1 can of tuna + peas to taste (for three boxes, I used about 3/4-bag of frozen peas, but you can put in more or less to your liking). My mom used to make this, and to my knowledge, she's a purist - sticking solely to the traditional recipe I just listed. My sister makes hers with a can of cream of mushroom soup. And I like to kick the creaminess up a notch by putting in a little cream cheese (I'd say two or three Tablespoons per box of macaroni). It's so versatile! You could make it lower in calories by using skim milk and low-fat margarine ... or spice it up with a little hot sauce ... or add a couple dollops of sour cream and a packet of dry ranch dressing mix. The possibilities are endless!

The only thing I don't like about this dish is its name. We call it what it is: macaroni-and-cheese-and-tuna-and-peas. *... YAWN* I may write all the time, but when it comes to figuring out a catchy name for it, my creative juices are ... well, not so juicy. So help a sista out: this is a dish worthy of a good title. Anybody got an idea? (And have you had this delicious concoction? What do you think of it?)


  1. I have heard that called tuna casserole!

    We do mac and cheese, tuna, and a 8 oz can of tomato sauce! Many think it sounds disgusting, but we love it!

  2. Hmm, I don't think it sounds bad with the tomato sauce. Just another "tweak" to try! Sometimes the simplest stuff is the best!

  3. my son is the same way... he's doesn't say the least he eats to survive not lives to eat.. we make this dish aswell.. I just call it the mac n peas. It's just a given that it has tuna in I was just glad to hear that I'm not the only mom thats going through this...

  4. back in my meat eating days i'd make a variation of this. only it was just cooked elbow macaroni, cream of mushroom soup, peas, tuna & smashed potato chips on top & bake it. mmmm

  5. This is one of my favorite meals! (And I make it with the cream of mushroom soup, too.) My Mom and Dad say they ate this all the time when they were first married because it was cheap and easy. Then, when we came along, we ate it on those nights when we all had a lot of activities going on because it was quick and easy. During Lent, we could eat it on Fridays, too!
    We always called it Tuna Casserole. Not very creative, but at least shorter!
    Oh yeah, AND we buttered and cubed slices of bread, browned them in a skillet, then put them on top of the casserole and baked it all in the oven. Mmmm...crunchy topping...good...

  6. I'm going to have to try the crunchy topping thing. I seem to vaguely recall, now that people are mentioning it, my mom making something with tuna in it that had crushed potato chips on top ... I wasn't all that fond of it, but I can get down with some buttered bread crumbs. Mmm ... :)

  7. I remember when mom made the mac/cheese, tuna and peas and I have made it a few times. Thanks now that I read your blog I am wanting to make it. Now to think of a creative name for it and as of right now I am drawing a blank.

  8. Kraft dinner and hot dogs was my kids favorite, just slice up the hot dogs into bite sized pieces one package of hot dogs will do the trick ,biol them right with the noodles. I dont know what kraft puts in the kraftdinner, but kids seem to love it no matter what!

  9. I love doctoring mac-and-cheese. Sometimes I use broccoli instead of peas, or leftover ham, chicken or turkey instead of tuna


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