Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

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cauliflowerNutritionists will tell you that your diet should be colorful! The brighter the color, the deeper the hue, the more nutrients a fruit or vegetable will have, and therefore it will be better for you. Cauliflower does not follow this rule. This pale member of the brassica family (think broccoli and Brussels sprouts) contains vitamins C, E, and K, carotenoids, fiber, and a variety of minerals. And although the creamy white version of this cruciferous vegetable is what you are probably most familiar with, it also comes in purple and green, adding even more nutritional oomph to this already nutrient-dense vegetable.

Cauliflower is also very versatile. Steamed, stewed, roasted, made into “rice,” used as a pizza crust, baked, blended into a creamy cream-less soup, or mashed, its mild taste and light color make it easy to hide.

This version of mac and cheese is an easy way to bring up the nutritional value of this traditional dish. And it’s great for those picky eaters.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups dried whole grain macaroni or gluten-free pasta
1 1/2 cups organic milk
1/8 tsp salt
2 green onions, white parts only, chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose unbleached flour or gluten-free flour
1/4 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1/4 cup grated Gruyere
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

Steam cauliflower florets for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat, partially cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until almost al dente.

Place steamed cauliflower into a blender with milk, salt, green onion, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. When hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in cauliflower puree and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in cheeses and remove from heat. Add cooked pasta and stir to combine.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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January 2016
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