I love macaroni and cheese.  Probably too much.  It’s my go-to dinner when my husband is on travel (well, that and Cheerios) and I still will eat the boxed stuff.  So to counter the inevitable rise in my cholesterol, I embarked on a mission to find a mac and cheese I could eat more frequently, without the infusion of cheese into my bloodstream.  That led to using cauliflower, which I always have a craving for because my husband doesn’t like it.  This pureed cauliflower cheese sauce was a perfect way to feed my craving and eat my favorite food all at once.

Mac and Cauliflower Cheese Bake | doomthings

Ingredients (adapted from Runner’s World):

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2-3 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 oz pasta of choice (elbows or shells are the best)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Gruyère, Emmental, or a mix)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (I just used regular spicy brown mustard)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Cook cauliflower in boiling water for up to 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Cook pasta for 5 minutes, drain, and place in greased 9in-square baking dish.
  3. Warm vegetable/chicken stock with bay leaves on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then remove bay leaves.
  4. Process cauliflower and stock in a food processor with cheese, oil, mustard, and nutmeg.  (Work in batches if you have to).
  5. Pour sauce over pasta evenly in the dish and mix in broccoli.
  6. Top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

I will be making this again, not only because it was yum (and I didn’t feel like I had just downed a pound a cheese), but because I didn’t use all of the stock and I think if I had, it would have been creamier.  The texture reminded me a little of soft grits.  This could have been due to not boiling the cauliflower long enough, using less stock, or not pureeing it enough.  Less creamy aside, the flavor was very good.  I mixed in some of the parmesan to the sauce which gave it an extra flavor kick.    Also, it makes a good leftover. +10 planning

 

  1. Dawn says:

    You used nutmeg? :) This is so exciting! :) What a fun ingredient to surprise the palette! This recipe is awesome miss! :) What a great mix! :)

    • Gir says:

      Yeah! I found a bunch of mac and cheese recipes that used nutmeg so I wanted to try it!! It didn’t turn out as creamy as I would have liked, but I think that’s because I didn’t process the cauliflower long enough. I’m totally going to make it again though; I felt awesome (instead of full of a pound of cheese and butter) after eating it!