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 :)