Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

I’m not a huge pasta person but every now and then I crave pasta like nothing else!  I must have it!

The only downside though is the dreaded carb coma afterwards.

Enter cauliflower.

beloved cauliflower

I love cauliflower!  If I can sneak it in I will.

I make Mac n’cheese the standard way- make a bechamel/white sauce then add cheese and pasta.

Except, I add a whole head of cauliflower to it!  And a few other things.

Here’s the run down:

I like to sneak in veggies not just for nutrition but to develop flavour.

So, start with a diced onion sautéed in some butter (I used about 1/4 cup)

Once the onion is transparent, add about 1/4 cup flour a little at a time while stirring.  Once the flour is well incorporated, let it cook for a couple of minutes.  Have some warm milk (you can use regular milk, soy, almond, or cashew) ready and slowly add it to the onion/flour mixture making sure to stop adding milk regularly to allow the flour to dissolve.  I added about 4 cups of milk in total and brought it to a simmer.

Now, chop up the cauliflower and add it to the milk mixture.  Let this cook for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.

Add spices and stir: I used black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and ground bay.

If you want to add more veggies, now’s the time.  I added a bit of broccoli.

Then, bring out your blender and puree the sauce.  I use an immersion blender for this and find that it works well however, you can use a standard blender or food processor and get the same results.  If you want a super smooth sauce, continue to puree until the sauce is silky – I left it chunky because I like to have a few pieces of cauliflower left among the macaroni.

I added frozen peas because I can’t have mac’ n’ cheese without peas!

Then,  to finish, add the cooked macaroni and whatever cheese you have in the fridge (a nice strong cheddar is always good).

Done! Serve with a little extra cheese or cracked pepper or ketchup!

a bowl full of yummy

a bowl full of yummy