Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mac Attack!

ahh, we just had a nice birthday nap after a trip to the gym and an awesome smoothie.
i had to take a picture of our green monster today (pre-blending) because it looked so pretty and you could really see everything that was in it layered so nicely.

first the v8 v-fusion juice, then the spinach, raspberries, frozen peaches, and vanilla protein powder on top. yum!

after the smoothie, i was still hungry when i remembered i had a box of annies mac and cheese in the pantry. not just any box though - my first box of their whole wheat mac and cheese.

it is entirely possible that i will ramble a bit in the next section. bail out now if you don't want to hear me go on and on about mac and cheese, different kinds of mac and cheese, and the nutritional merits and taste ratings of boxed macaroni and cheese.

first of all, you all know by now how much i love cheese. however, it can never be said enough. i love cheese! i also love pasta. i like every kind of pasta out there from macaroni, to lasagna, to angel hair (i think my favorite), to gnocchi, i love it all! so, it makes sense that when you put the 2 together, i am in heaven. i love all kinds of mac and cheese. i love the kind my mom makes with the crispy cheesy crust, i love the super creamy kind, i love getting in at fancy restaurants with truffles in it. yes, i even like the box kind. i realize that pasta has gotten a bad rap over the past 5 years or so (thanks a lot atkins and south beach) but i think, in moderation, it's fine. i almost always make whole wheat pasta because i can't really notice much of a difference. i have even showed you good ways to have your pasta and eat it too by adding protein and loading it with veggies.

but back to the boxed kind. kraft (the cheesiest) is the kind i usually have on hand for the odd hunger pang of mac and cheese. mainly because it takes just minutes to make. this is especially important when my hunger monster has reared it's ugly head and has decided only mac and cheese will do (just ask E, he has seen to hungry monster rear it's ugly head and will tell you, it's not pretty). plus, E likes kraft too. i have even tried their whole wheat mac and cheese (which is really just half whole wheat) but i didn't like it as much as the regular. i can totally handle other kinds of pasta whole wheat, but when i am going for boxed mac and cheese it just tastes too grainy, or textured for the fine, high quality powdered cheese mixture. yeah, it sounds silly that i am being super critical of the pasta when i don't mind the clearly fake powdered cheese packet.

anyway, i saw annie's whole wheat shells & white cheddar macaroni & cheese at wegmans the other day, i decided to give whole wheat another try.

so, here goes, taste:
i am going to be very hard on this category because, let's be serious, i am not eating boxed mac and cheese for the health benefits, i am simply eating it for the cheese and the carbs and to satisfy a craving. so, taste wise, this was very cheesy and i liked the white cheddar flavor. however, there is still something about the whole wheat pasta in my mac and cheese. i liked it better than kraft and it satisfied my craving. i also ate less of it than i sometimes do because it was so filling (or because my smoothie was setting in a filling me up). i would not get it again based solely on taste but when factoring in nutritional value, i would definaltely get it again. i cannot help but consider the fact that if i am going to eat something not really high on the nutritial value scale, i should at least choose the better of the 2 products. (meaning i should choose whole wheat compared to white flour). which brings me to . . .

nutritional value:

annie's ranks much higher on the nutritional value scale compared to kraft. (i feel a little badly about being so hard on kraft. it's just the brand i usually get. and don't worry kraft, i will be having you again.) first of all, annie's is organic and has nothing artificial. just look at the ingredient list!
organic whole wheat shell pasta, organic cheddar cheese (organic pasteurized milk, salt, non-animal enzymes), organic whey, salt, natural sodium phosphate

i can pronounce everything in this and the list is very short. compare with kraft ingredient list found at

annie's cholestrol and sodium is lower than kraft's and the fiber is much higher in annie's (obviously because of the whole wheat) 5g per serving compared to just 1g. which is why i felt fuller faster.

GCFE rating: i have to break this down because there are too many factors. the rating is just compared to other boxed mac and cheeses i have tasted because i would always rather have homemade mac and cheese over boxed.

taste: 6 out of 10
nutritional value: 9.5 out of 10
again, compared to other boxed mac and cheese not 10 being vegetables or fruit good for you.

basically, if you like mac and cheese, you should try annie's organic whole wheat shells & white cheddar macaroni & cheese.

*thanks for listening (those of you who actually made it through that mess:)*

on another note, i always welcome reviews from readers. you have seen me post several from K and one from W. E has even been wanting to rate his favorite - totinos pizza:) if you take the time to make a recipe or try a new item at the store and write down and review, i will post it. please just remember to at least review the taste and nutritional value.

off to see a birthday movie!


  1. ok- I know i'm in serious danger of turning into an annoying commenter but I just can't help myself :)
    I, too, had a craving for mac and cheese the other day and tried the same annie's white cheddar. Didn't love it...what I do really like, however, is Amy's Organic Mac and Cheese (frozen section). In fact, I love most of the Amy's line...especially the bean and veggie burrito's!

  2. Thanks for sharing your review on Whole Wheat Shells & Cheddar. We have a new Organic 5 Grain Mac & Cheese that is delicious and has 8g of whole grains per serving.

  3. i have heard about the 5-grain but can't find it. i'll keep my eyes open for it. hopefully wegmans will carry it soon!


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