Cookin’: Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese

It’s pouring. I kid you not, p-o-u-r-i-n-g here in California and makes me want to do nothing but stay home and bake, watch more Mad Men and cuddle on the couch. Although I got my cooking fix with the lemon artichoke pasta and oatmeal raisin cookies I made last night for dinner, I keep dreaming about the cauliflower macaroni and cheese that I found in Runner’s World and made a couple weeks back – a deceptively healthy concoction of downhome goodness.

You may have heard me tweet about it, but I thought I’d share the recipe here with you and how I “Pageified” it. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but most of it is stuff you probably already have in your pantry.

Runner’s World & Mark Bittman’s Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock – I USED CHICKEN BROTH

2 bay leaves – I TOTALLY DID NOT USE THIS. CUTTIN’ COSTS WHERE I CAN

1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces

8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni – I DON’T KNOW HOW THEY GOT AWAY WITH ONLY 8 OUNCES. I USED 16 OZ. (I.E. A WHOLE BOX) OF BIGGER, CURLY PASTA

1/2 cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental, or a combination) – I USED SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE THAT WAS ON SALE. ENDED UP USING ABOUT A CUP

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg – CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE. YOU CAN REALLY TASTE IT IN THE PASTA SO MAKE SURE YOU MEASURE THIS EXACTLY

Salt and black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs – I ENDED UP USING A BIT MORE TO ENSURE THAT IT COATED THE ENTIRE TOP OF THE DISH

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F and simultaneously boil a pot of water for your pasta.
  2. The recipe originally calls for fancy heating of the bay leaves and chicken stock. I skipped this entirely and just warmed the chicken broth in the microwave for a bit.
  3. In a separate pot of boiling water, cook the cauliflower for 25 minutes; you will want in soft. Then put cauliflower in a food processor. Yes, it will end up looking like baby foot, but that’s a good thing.
  4. Cook your pasta, drain and rinse so it cools down. Then put it in a greased baking dish. I like to use a bigger baking dish so there is more crunchy goodness on top.
  5. Process the cauliflower some more with broth, cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. There is A LOT so you may have to do it in batches depending on the size of your processor.
  6. Finally, pour this “cauliflower sauce” over the pasta, toss and top it off with the parmesan, a little extra sharp cheddar and the bread crumbs.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes then put it on broil for three minutes for that nice crispy top.

Served Chicken Face and I four three, happy, healthy days.

I’ve never posted a recipe on here before so tell me, would you like more recipes or keep it to running and Lola news?

Happy running!

———–

Day 59: 8 miles

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19 Responses to Cookin’: Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese

  1. runlindsrun says:

    I’m soo happy you posted this recipe! I saw it and am planning on cooking it for a party in mid-March. Happy to see your little variations on it so I can get the ingredients I need- I’d probably pass on the bay leaves, too, and up the cheesy goodness and breadcrumbs!

  2. Kim says:

    I love your new foray into food blogging! :) I definitely love it when people share some of their favorite easy and healthy recipes, so keep ‘em comin’! Good luck with the move!

  3. I really enjoyed this recipe post! I’m a big fan of sneaking veggies into mac and cheese :) I’ve also added butternut squash, canned pumpkin, and peas. As long as you use enough cheese – the veggies don’t overpower the dish.

  4. katie says:

    this looks freaking amazing!

  5. Keri says:

    Its raining here too! This recipe looks good…I will have to try it!

  6. Average A says:

    YES! Definitely keep posting recipes! Again, I’ve had plans to “veganize” this dish; I just haven’t done it yet. I appreciate your honesty in what was needed & what was not. (I also laughed at the whole “ok, so i just used the microwave for this part” — really, why the extra work!)

    I’m always on the lookout for new healthier recipes that I can make vegan, so thanks for reminding me about this recipe. :)

  7. ShortSkirts says:

    ooo this sounds really good. I kind of want to chop up some chicken and throw it in too, for a one dish meal

  8. purpleshoe runs says:

    I’ve heard other people say this recipe is awesome too–must try! Also I totally read your ‘notes’ on the recipe as yelling. SAVE MONEY! USE MORE PASTA! bahaha. happy Friday : )

  9. Colleen says:

    I always love a good healthy recipe! I’ll have to try this. I tried sneaking califlower into mac and cheese once, but I didn’t puree it first so the kids complained. They probably won’t know it’s there this way! :) I’ve also put pureed califlower in mashed potatoes and you totally can’t tell! I love stuff like that.

  10. Lauren says:

    This sounds awesome! Cauliflower isn’t something I’ve ever thought about adding to mac ‘n cheese, but I love adding extra veggies to meals anyway I can. This looks like something I’ll definitely have to try. Anything that makes mac ‘n cheese a little healthier but still tastes delicious sounds like a winner in my book!

    And I personally like seeing recipes along with the running stuff. It’s interesting to see how runners eat. :)

  11. Naomi says:

    this looks simple enough that even i can make it! i love recipe posts, please share more!

  12. Simply Life says:

    That dish looks great!

  13. WeyrCat says:

    Used your notes in my Peppered version of this Runner’s Mag recipe!
    http://owlkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/03/cauliflower-mac.html

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