Monday, July 1, 2013

Easy Meal Mondays! Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

Happy Monday everyone!  It's that time of the week again and that means I have another great and easy recipe for you to try out.  This is another comforting recipe, but it is a bit better than typical Mac and Cheese because there is quite a bit of cauliflower added in that you will barely be able to taste because it is still very cheesy!  Jason and I used to make this all the time, but since it is not the best to eat pasta a lot, we have cut down on how often we make this.  I definitely crave it often!  I hope you enjoy this and let me know what you think!

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped (medium size head of cauliflower - if it is too large, you should only use half of the cauliflower head)
  • 4 slices multigrain bread, torn (I think that only two pieces of bread work for this also, but if you like a thick crust on top, then you should use 4 slices)
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I usually use dried parsley since fresh is more expensive, but if you have fresh it does taste better!)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper (fresh cracked black pepper is the best here)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain. (It is very important to cook the cauliflower, otherwise, it will not be cooked through enough after going in the oven.)
  2. Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. The bread will be easier to process into crumbs if it is toasted before you add it to the food processor. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; pulse to combine.
  3. Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard and warm slightly, then add in the pasta and cauliflower and combine.
  5. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Let me know if you try this one and if you like it!