When things get super busy, I try to find find easy meals that will satisfy everyone.  This week is a little crazy at my daughter’s house.  I am training and implementing strategies for my business, and my daughter has finals.  Since I am running her to and from class, I don’t have large chunks of time to really get in the flow and get things done like I usually do.  Rather than feel overwhelmed about feeding both of us, I am searching for solutions like easy meals that we both enjoy and won’t take a long time to make.

I found Daiya’s new cheesy mac at Publix (in the gluten free section) last time I was there , and since I have some serious time constraints right now I thought it would be a good day to try it. I decided the best protein to make with it were these gardein mini crabless cakes, and I am glad I did.  The combination is fantastic.

Both cook up super fast.  I didn’t time myself, but I am going to say dinner was ready in 15-20 minutes.  It definitely didn’t take over 20 minutes from start to finish.  The flavor in the gardein crabless cakes perfectly complements the veggies in the daiya cheezy mac.  Next time I make this, I will add steamed veggies as a side, but this time it was just fine. The instructions for prep are on the containers, so I won’t get into that overly much.  Instead, I am going to just share my tips for speeding up the process while making sure everything is as tasty as possible.

As usual I had two burners going at once, that always helps.  It also ensures that everything is finished at the same time, and nothing sits and gets cold.  I can multi-task with the best of them, so when I cook I overlap prep as much as possible.  I even cheated a little bit with the crabless cakes.  While the water was boiling for the cheezy mac, I put the crabless cakes on a microwave safe plate and microwaved them for one minute before putting them into the frying pan. This ensured they would be warm in the center without ending up burnt on the outside.  From the microwave, they went into the frying pan and crisped up while I finished the mac.

I fried the crabless cakes on all sides.  I like them crispy all the way around the edges, not just on the top and bottom.  As you can see in the photos, I had to lean them against each other so they wouldn’t fall over while the sides were browning.  This TLC really does make them extra special.  Be sure to turn them regularly so they don’t end up with an extra brown spot somewhere.  This may have happened to me once or twice while making them.  Ijs.

I made the cheezy mac per instructions exactly.  The box comes with macaroni, a cheezy pack, and the dried veggies inside.  Instructions are very straightforward.  I ended up with a quick, comforting, and delicious meal.  Skylar gave it great reviews.  She said it was the best vegan mac-and-cheese she has ever had (thanks, kid), and really liked the crunchiness of the crabless patties.  She said she would totally eat it again anytime I wanted to make it for her.  I call that a win!