Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese


I picked up this Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese frozen dinner from Trader Joe’s because I admit … I am a die hard macaroni and cheese fan.  BUT I am not a fan of the fat that comes with it – or the yucky feeling that follows in my belly after consuming.  I had seen this dish a few times at Trader Joe’s but had been reluctant to pick it up partly because I’m skeptical of frozen mac & cheese.  I’ve tried the SmartOnes (Weight Watchers brand) but haven’t been a fan of either the frozen or refrigerated version, as well as some other frozen brands I’ve tried.
One night I put this in the microwave and was quite surprised with how good it was.  The top has a little bit of “hardened” cheese on it, while the consistency throughout is creamy. It’s not nearly as rich as homemade mac & cheese gets – but it’s definitely palatable and filling.  The great part is the container houses one serving, so when it’s gone – it’s gone! It’s also 7 points plus for the serving, which isn’t bad at all.
QUESTION:
What is your favorite brand of mac & cheese – outside of homemade?

My version of an Authentic English dinner


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We have a local English butcher/market in town which has been in business for 60+ years.  The butcher makes and sells some of the freshest meat you can find.  One of the things they sell is homemade sausage.  Originally they started out selling only English pork sausage (Bangers) and they branched into selling a smaller breakfast version and went into flavored sausages – Greek, tomato, hot, cheese, etc.  I enjoy many of the sausage flavors they sell but the traditional pork banger sausages are my all-time favorite.  Then again, I grew up eating these.
In England, bangers are served with peas and mashed potatoes.  Growing up my mother always made macaroni and cheese as a side for this dish.  My father enjoyed it this way and it’s what’s “normal” for me to have with it.  I typically don’t eat pork sausage because it’s so high in fat (and WW Points plus values) but to have something you really want and enjoy once in a while is totally worth it.
The sausages are raw, so to cook them I put in about ¼ cup water into the bottom of a pan, place the sausages in and cover them up.  I let them steam in the water, removing the lid to turn them and let them simmer down.  When the water was almost evaporated I added some more because they certainly would not have been done yet.  I followed the process through again and when done I let the casings brown on each side before removing them from the pan.
I cooked my Kraft macaroni and cheese per the box directions, skipped on the butter and milk, added a tiny bit of spray butter, the cheese packet and some black pepper.  I served this along side some no-salt added peas.
Points Plus value wise this meal was 19 points plus.  Yes, that’s a lot, but I don’t have this all the time.  The sausage was 11 points, the mac and cheese was 7 and the peas were 1.  It was so filling I could only eat half and ended up eating the other half a few hours later.
QUESTION:
Have you ever had English pork bangers before?