Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tonight's Dinner: Too-Tasty-to-Be-Good-for-You Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Spent more time than usual in the kitchen today, so I thought I would share some the recipes with you. First up was dinner, which was Rachael Ray's Too-Tasty-to-Be-Good-for-You Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese. (photo credit: Tina Rupp, as listed on (My camera battery needs to be charged, hence the need to use the more prettier photo.)

Mac and cheese is one of the very few foods that Betty will eat. Almost overnight, her sensory sensibilities have become extreme. It's becoming a bit disruptive to daily life and is getting more than a bit concerning, but that's a different post for a different day. One of the foods she still continues to eat is macaroni and cheese, with a preference for Stouffer's. I'm trying to cut down our weekly grocery bill, so I've been making my own mac and cheese instead of paying $5.99 for a medium Stouffers. We also had a big ol' head of cauliflower in the fridge from the farm, and it needed to be used up.

So, I thought this recipe from Rachael Ray would be a winner, plus I could sneak some veggies in it. I broke the cauliflower in smaller florets than the recipe called for, but otherwise I made it as found on Rachael Ray's website (it's a kid's recipe, but you can tell Rach doesn't have children because - and I'm just speaking for mine here - there's no way a kid would willingly make something with cauliflower in it. Or maybe that's just in my house.)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 pound whole wheat pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth (I used one Not Chicken boullion cube)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (didn't have ... but if I make this again, I think the mustard would be a good addition)

1. Ask a GH (Grown-Up Helper) to bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Ask your GH to transfer the florets with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. In the same boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, then drain in a colander. Add the pasta to the cauliflower.

2. While the pasta is working, ask your GH to melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Have your GH help you whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and chicken broth and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese. Whisk in the mustard and season with pepper. Stir the cheese sauce into the pasta and cauliflower. Yum-o.

What We Thought:
I underestimated my kids. They found the cauliflower immediately. I thought this was very well-hidden, so perhaps you might have better luck. Boo ate most of it. The Dean was less than thrilled about the cauliflower, but ate it anyway. Betty had a tantrum but eventually wound up eating several bites. I liked it. I served a green salad with this, which included cauliflower(and which was all that Betty ate of the salad. Go figure.)


Anonymous said...

It is so hard to change your eating habits as well as the kids, who are saying, "Why can't I just have my Kraft mac and cheese?"
But it's good to make them aware there are ways to make our food healthier without making something"icky".
It just takes a lot of trial and error!
I applaud that you are doing so much to get that cholesterol down! I have been lax the last couple weeks. You are inspiring me to get back on track.
I may try the recipe out here.

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

It's a hard time of year to stick to this diet, that's for sure! Hope you like the recipe.