Cauliflower & Pea Macaroni and Cheese

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I've been trying out a lot of new meals lately that would hold up well as freezer meals to stock up on pre-baby. I'm also looking for new meal ideas that incorporate vegetables in them as I'm sure I'll get into the 'battle' period over food with my future son at some point. I'm hoping that by eating well ourselves, we will set a good example for him. I'm also not above sneaking some vegetables into meals.

I came across this recipe for Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese and tweaked it a bit. I'm sure the creator of the original recipe is a lovely person, but she only used 2.5 ounces of cheese in her recipe. I don't want to live in a world where macaroni and cheese is made without using the whole brick.IMG_9381

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of cooked pasta (shells or elbow)
  • 1 head of cauliflower - cut into florets and steamed (or, just buy a bag of frozen like I did and steam that.)
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 1 T. flour
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. plain yogurt (I used greek)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup frozen peas (add as little, or as much, as you'd like. I did about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Steam cauliflower and cook your noodles.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Whisk milk and flour together in a pot over medium heat until mix starts to thicken. Add in cheese, mustard, garlic, nutmeg, salt and yogurt. TIP: If your sauce doesn't thicken then mix 2-3 T of cornstarch with 1-2 T. of water in a small cup. With the sauce heat on high pour in 1/3 to 1/2 the cornstarch mixture and whisk like crazy. If it doesn't thicken up in 2-3 minutes try using the rest of the cornstarch mix.
  • Stir in steamed cauliflower and blend with an immersion blender OR transfer cheese sauce and cauliflower to a traditional blender. I used a traditional blender and it didn't get 100% smooth, but if you had a higher end vitamix or similar I'm sure you wouldn't have that problem. It was still delicious!
  • Add cooked noodles and cheese sauce to casserole dish. Mix in frozen peas. Top with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until top starts to turn golden brown.

IMG_9364I'm not exaggerating when I say I ate the whole casserole in 2 days. I spread it out over 4 meals, but I definitely devoured it. I loved the slight tartness the yogurt provided, and it was nice to get some cauliflower and peas in me without having to think of a veggie dish to have on the side.

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What's your favorite twist on traditional macaroni and cheese?