Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (and meal planning)

My classes resume this week so I thought I would get a jump on meal planning/grocery shopping/food prep as well as share our meatless recipe for the week.  I spent the afternoon in the kitchen getting a jump start on our meals for the week (and putting together a few frozen meals for a friend on bed-rest).  I also whipped up some brownies using three kinds of chocolate, black beans and almond flour....but more on those in another post.  

Our menu for the week is:
Sunday-Rivel (or Ribble based on your family) soup, as requested by Chris.  Every family makes theirs differently; I include chicken, onions, potatoes and the rivels (a rustic, easy to make dumpling).
Monday-Sweet potatoes with chicken and rosemary saute
Tuesday (our meatless meal)-Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (already made)
Wednesday-Kale and Spinach lasagna (already made)
Thursday-Missy's White Chicken Chili (already made)
Friday-left overs/go out

The secret ingredient of our mac and cheese-cauliflower!

Sometimes you just want comfort food and that is what this mac and cheese is, comfort food with a healthy twist.  Instead of using straight macaroni noodles, I use 100% whole wheat pasta with cauliflower...once it gets covered with cheese, it's hard to notice!  The recipe is adapted from Real Simple magazine.

12 ounces whole wheat pasta (I like to use a fun, twisty shape like cavatappi or rigatoni)
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 slices whole grain bread
1/4 cup dried parsley or 1/2 cup fresh
1/4 fresh grated Parmigiano cheese
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I like extra-sharp cheddar....more flavor!)
1 1/2 cups fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Start by heating the oven to 400 (or not in my case as I made the recipe today and will be baking on Thursday).  Cook pasta in SALTED water (as we learned in our cooking class, this step is very important as it's the only time you can add flavor to the pasta).  Add the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time and then drain.  Transfer into large bowl.  

2. Meanwhile, grate cheese if needed (and I did need).

3. In a food processor, pulse bread until you have crumbs.  Add the parsley, Parmigiano cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stream in 2 tablespoons of olive oil...or less...just need to the the crumbs moist and should look like this:

4. On medium heat, add 1 TBS olive oil to pan and saute onion until translucent and starting to brown.

 5. Then add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (or more depending on your tastes), cheese, sour cream and milk.  Reduce heat to low and cook until cheese melts.

6. Pour over cauliflower and pasta mix to coat

 7. Once combined, pour into an oven safe baking dish

8.  Top with bread crumb mixture and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes


1 comment:

Alicia said...

Just made this tonight and turned out great! I did add ground italian turkey sausage to give more protein to it but delish!