Confetti Mac and Cheese

Confetti Mac and Cheese

I’m not one to deny myself a small mountain of macaroni and cheese when the craving strikes, so finding a way to turn it into a balanced meal is a must! 

Confetti Mac and Cheese

confetti mac and cheese

I make my Mac and Cheese confetti-style with a boatload of veggies.
[click here] for the from-scratch version of this recipe and [here] for my bacon broccoli mac and cheese recipe.

As a sneaky shortcut, I’ll grab a few boxes of Annie’s Homegrown Deluxe Cheese and Shells when they go on sale, and save them for those beyond lazy dinners where I just want a bowl-o-cheese in my face.  To pump up the nutrient density I warm up all the veggies I have on hand, fresh or frozen, and give this mac a makeover!

This batch had a cup of peas, a cup of carrots, and a few handfuls of broccoli thrown in the mix.  To give the macaroni and cheese a flavor boost, I add a sprinkle of garlic powder, parsley, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.  It’s shiny happy comfort food and makes enough for leftovers.  Sold!

Now the typical 1 cup serving of macaroni and cheese is bulked up with an extra cup [or more!] of veggies, so instead of a small sad scoop, I can have a PILE of the stuff!  I round out the meal with a big green salad and indulge without even the slightest inkling of guilt.  Its balanced, beautiful, and freaking delicious!

update: I added spinach to it tonight and oh. my. gosh!!! perfection!

Confetti Mac and Cheese

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Kate @ Chicken Nugget Girl

Your mac and cheese looks AMAZING! 


ACV shot sounds awesome!  So it’s one shot of apple cider vinegar and anything else you’d like to add?  Oh I need to make me some falafel’s been too long since I last had it…


I am SO glad you got in on the ACV!!!  I am still partial to my Fitmixer combo, but I’ll have to check out your idea – especially since I brew my own kombucha now!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

It’s glorious! Come start my first batch of bucha so I don’t have to do this alone! Kthx

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yup! It’s very tart so I like to add the flavored kombuchas to it! I’ve heard it’s amazing in juice and smoothies as well! =)

Ellie@Fit for the Soul

I like this idea of summer staples Jenn!  And that’s a really cute button you made 😉


I love a good salad… going to read your recipe roundup now.  And I’ll take on the challenge of getting in some good salads this week so that I can share.  My favorite salad recipe at the moment is watercress, feta and strawberries with a lemon dressing.  AMAZING!!

Heather @ InHerChucks

Linking up for the first time.  Thanks for hosting 🙂  That mac and cheese looks INSANE!  I need to give it a try.  Looking forward to checking out some of the other party goers.  Happy 80th WIAW.  The Depends are in the mail 😉

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

I think I’m turning into a cherry! I’ve had soooooo many in the past month. I can’t get enough. I even froze a ton for the winter when I get my cravings for fresh cherries. 

Miranda Mowbray

Yummm! That mac ‘n’ cheese (and that omelette!) look so gooood.

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

Love the ACV cocktail…I always say I like my ‘bucha extra vinegary as it is… 🙂

My OXO Cherry Pitter is my favorite kitchen gadget. At my cooking class on Monday I was singing its praises and telling everyone how at the time I thought I was crazy for spending money on it, but I get tons of use out of it when cherries are in season (AND I feel they are a splurge-worthy investment…which they usually are ;))


That cider vinegar concoction sounds…beneficial?? Haha, can’t say drinking vinegar sounds appealing, but I’ve heard of the health benefits, and even used to put some on my hair (when it was super long) as a rinse in the shower. It was stinky, but when it dried there was no smell and my hair was sleek and shiny. The low pH closed the cuticles nicely and it felt like silk! 

Andrea @ Vegvacious

Holy salads girl! I swear there is just so much fresh, local produce right now my head is spinning because I want to buy one of everything 😉

Oh, and I have a bag of cherries in my fridge right now that would love that little Oxo gadget. I think I’m going to have to get me one of those! Happy WIAW!

kristen @ verbs and vignettes

i LOVE the new theme. i was just talking about how summer feels like it’s slipping away, but there’s still a whole month of wonderful to have. the theme is just perfect.

i’m crushing on your veggied-up insta mac and cheese. i just so happen to have two boxes of annie’s in the pantry. 😉


I had cherries yesterday, loooove them. Now I need to get one of those fancy OXO tools to take my relationship with Cherries to the next level….


Where can I find one?


I am in dire need for the recipe of your homemade zucchini-ziki sauce!!! I have a batch of zucchini from my co-op goodies yesterday (you’ll see on the blog!) and that would be the perfect way to use one or two! I hope it’s on your blog cause I’m totally searching for it later today!

lindsay cotter

ahh yea! ACV all the way baby!


Welp, now I need a cherry pitter.


cherries that look like hearts are the best. and I’m obsessed with your salad bowls!!!

Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog

Thanks for introducing me to a new kitchen gadget I now must have – the cherry pitter! All your meals look delicious – especially the salad and mac and cheese. I love Annie’s shells and cheese and am always so happy to stock up when they’re on sale. Ahhh, the little things… 

Natalie @ Fresh Life Findings

Love your recap! That cherry gadget is so cool! I would love one of those.


Ahh yes OXO love.  There’s an OXO for everytthing!!!! 


I have that cherry pitter! Love it!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

You do. It’s like a foodie hole punch. Now if only they made a foodie stapler…

I dont know what I would staple I just want one!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Ohmygosh Maria! It make such a yummy topping! Here’s the recipe –
Also, make a giant batch of this: I’ve been eating this dip all summer long! So good!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

I’ve seen them everywhere! Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, some larger grocery stores, and anyplace that sells kitchen gadgets! =) Happy Wednesday Courtney!

Sara Stewart

Jenn! Your niece is ADORABLE!! I think she should be the spokeswoman for OXO.  Or, how about the two of you? Dynamite Duo? I think so!

Everything looks deeeelicious! Hugs xoxo


Wow! Your salad looks amazing!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Ahhh thanks love!!!! I hope my future kids are as freaking adorable as she is!

Katie @wishandwhimsy

OMG! Yes, your salads look incredible!

Heather Blackmon

Oooh – I like your version of the ACV cocktail. There is a kombucha brand on draft at the Whole Foods in Atlanta that I really miss and it was more vinegary than the typical ones I have. I love the idea of adding a little to kombucha to give it that extra kick! 


I need to get that cherry pitter. I always feel a little less classy (like that can happen) when I am forced to spit the pits out in front of people LOL 


Please tell me that cherry pitter is in stores?! I am dying and also thinking to myself “why didn’t I think of that?” LOVE CHERRIES! 


I want one of those cherry pitters! I always get red juice everywhere 🙁 Anyways, I’ve seen so much lately about ACV and it’s so funny because I just bought a gingeraide kombucha too; I’ll have to try this mock-tail you speak of(: So when you say a “shot of ACV” do you mean like a tablespoon? Also where do you get your kombucha? I know it’s kind of expensive (at least where I live) So i didn’t know if you bought it somewhere special. Thanks

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Hey Carly! I usually just estimate a 1oz shot’s worth — about two tablespoons! You can start out with less if the taste is too strong and work your way up to it. I just kind of go balls to the wall with it because I love the taste! It’s even better with gingerberry or the trilogy flavor — and with gingerade its almost like a ginger ale. Love it so! The cheapest I’ve found it is on sale at Whole Foods or Fresh Market – and if you buy 12 you get a 10% discount even on top of a sale price! It’s glorious! I dont have a WF or FM nearby [2 hours away!] so when I go to the small store near me I have to pay $4 and it kills me. I try to make one bottle into 3-4 servings if I can help it!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yes of course! Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and other such stores should have it!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

For what it’s worth, I think you’re super classy.


80 WIAWS young! But absolutely never mature. That wouldn’t be nearly as fun! Happy 80!

Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut

I am so glad I found out about this ACV thing!  Who wouldn’t want better skin and regular digestion?? 😉

You ladies are so smart! <3


Hehehehhehe. She said balls. This is my first time joining in and I’m excited!

Char M

I’d LOVE a cherry pitter. I need to get cherries first though haha

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yes. Yes you do =)

Ladies Holiday

Tamar & I from Ladies Holiday/Aliment have a thing for sighting hearts! Love the cherry heart…and all those salads…oh yum-a-rama!


oh my gosh cherries! i am going crazy trying to find cherries around here, but to no avail:) i’ll just have to live vicariously:) 

Weiya @ Enjoyer of Grace

I spy a Tervis Tumbler! I wish I could replace all my cups with them! They’re awesome! Thanks for sharing all the yummy treats!


my child is MADE OF edamame and cherries.

Eva Kempf - C2N

This was my first WIAW 🙂 thanks for doing this, lady! Your meals look so good; love that lunch. Until next week! 

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

ahhh hooray for your first WIAW!!!!

and I always say balls =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

I keep a bottle in my shower! LOVE using it on my hair!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

bahahahaha! i’ll keep an eye out for the package =) love it!!!! so excited you joined the party!!!!