Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Low Carb Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese

I have a lot going on today, as you know, so I am going to give you this fantastic recipe post that I wrote last week and saved for just such a day. Hope you like it! Scroll down for a picture :)

I love macaroni & cheese! It's comfort food at its finest. In fact I bet about 20 of the 80 pounds I lost was old fashioned macaroni and cheese! But now that I am eating low carb and including more veggies in my diet, I have to get creative when I get a craving for this delicious, carby, cheesy mess. I am kind of picky about my macaroni and cheese, too. I don't like it to be dry or clumpy; I want creamy, flavorful, saucy stuff. Yes, I do have the good old Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese recipe on my blog, which is fantastic and healthy but it is definitely not low carb.

I've looked online at a lot of recipes, but none of them really hit the spot. So today I took a chance and made up a new recipe. And guess what? It was fantastic! This is my new go-to Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe from now on!

Wait... did I say cauliflower?? Yes! Instead of noodles, I used fresh steamed cauliflower. The results? Amazing!

"Fake" Baked Macaroni & Cheese (aka Low Carb Cauliflower Mac & Cheese)

Take a half head or so of fresh cauliflower and steam it until it is just tender. Or, cut into chunks, put in a big bowl with a half inch of water, cover and microwave for 5-6 minutes until tender but NOT MUSHY!) Drain, pat dry, cool enough to handle and then rough chop the cauliflower into noodle-sized pieces.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of chopped cauliflower and set aside. Put the rest away for another use.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 3 Tablespoons half & half and 1 Tablespoon light cream cheese. Add one slice of 2% American cheese torn in pieces (I used one Kraft 2% Single). Season with a little black pepper and mustard powder; add onion powder and sea salt to taste. Whisk until all melted and creamy but don't let it boil. Keep warm.

Grate 3 oz (3/4 cup) of low fat sharp cheddar (I used Cabot 1%) and 2 oz (1/2 cup) of reduced fat Colby jack or cheddar jack cheese (I used 2% Kraft). Mix the cheeses together. Add most of the cheese to the warm sauce, leaving out just enough to spread over the top of the casserole. Stir the sauce until the cheese all melts. Add the cauliflower and gently fold with a spatula until the cauliflower is covered in sauce. Place mixture in a small casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until cheese starts to brown.

This recipe makes one generous, delicious, creamy serving. I eat this as my entire dinner. You could have half, instead, with a small grilled chicken breast and a salad. This entire recipe has 526 calories, 13g carbs, and 51g protein. Yay for protein!

If you are on Medifast as I am, here's the recipe breakdown:
cauliflower = 1 full Green (3 vegs)
Cabot cheddar = 1/2 Lean (leaner option, needs 1/2 Healthy Fat)
2% cheese = other 1/2 Lean
3T half & half = 2 condiments and 1/2 Healthy Fat
1T light cream cheese = 1 condiment
The Kraft single is 50 calories, 2g carbs, 4g protein so I count it as my snack even though it is not listed
I do not count the seasonings in this recipe, but they total about 1/4 tsp all together so it is less than a half condiment. If you are 100% OP, tweak as needed! It is a little higher in calories and fat than the usual L&G but having this once a month or so works for me :)



SG said...

well, i know what im making next week! that looks to DIE for!

Julie Lost and Found said...

oh man..that looks awesome! I'm going to have to try it.

I've never tried any of the "fake" recipes made with cauliflower. I think I'll make this the first.

Debbie said...

Okay, I copied both recipes and I am going to try one of them this weekend. They both sound wonderful and the one today looks great to.

Lori said...

If this is as good as the cauliflower pizza, you've hit another one out of the park! I can't wait to try it.

moonduster said...

That sounds yummy and looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

wow...now that looks awesome! Even though I am off Medifast now I will surely include this in my calorie counting! Thanks for calculating it all out!


rachel said...

how many total grams of fat are there? you posted the calories and carbs and protein but not total fat. (i could probably subtract the total cals from carbs/protein and do the math, but you probably already have the info!)

Lyn said...


the whole recipe has 29 grams of fat. Which makes me wonder... how the heck many grams of fat is in regular mac & cheese with regular cheese, butter, etc?? Scary what I used to eat. This tastes just as rich but so much healthier.

That said, if it seems a little high fat to you (or anyone) you can cut it a little by using fat free half & half and fat free cream cheese (that would save 8 grams right there), and if you went with a fat free American, too, it would cut off 3 more grams.

misssarahlou said...

Sounds delicious, my mum used to make this all time when I was a kid (I hated it!) she called it cauliflower cheese...I love it now and you may have just given me a craving for it!

carla said...

hmmmm would the four year old eat I wonder?

ashley said...

Love it! I will be passing this onto my readers with link back to your site on 7/7, thanks!!

beerab said...

I just moaned out loud after reading this- it looks DELICIOUS!

Anonymous said...

That's called cauliflower with cheese sauce over here (you can make it with leeks too) and is my mother's favourite side dish.

momoftwins said...

you cant have cheese!!!!

Lyn said...


you are mistaken. Please refer to the Meatless Options List on the official Medifast site, under "Product and Plan Resources: Nutritional Information." Reduced fat cheese is listed.

Lindsey said...

Lyn - do you think you could do a combination of this with the butternut squash in lieu of some of the cheese and butter? I've been doing one with actual macaroni that doesn't call for any butter and uses only a little 2% milk with reduced fat cheeses and we really like it, but I'm thinking of switching the macaroni out for cauliflower... what do you think?

Lyn said...


I bet that would work. If I were trying to combine the two recipes, though, I might try making the Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe that's on my blog but sub steamed cauliflower in place of the pasta. Let me know what you come up with!

TryinToLose said...

I love love love this recipe for the mac & cheese. My husband and I could not believe how wonderful this was. Thank you so much for this!