This is another one of the recipes described in my Foodbuzz 24,24,24 – A Very Veggie Experiment post…
A few weeks ago I tested my Undercover Carrot Mac and Cheese as a way to “sneak in” some added veggies into my niece’s, Mariana, dinner. A reader suggested me to try it too with cauliflower. So this is my version of mac and cheese with added cauliflower. I also used Jerusalem artichoke pasta to add to the nutrition and unknown vegetables used.
I usually make mac and cheese with a white cheese sauce. I thought it would be something different the kids would enjoy – steering away from the orangy sauces they’re so used too.
CAULIFLOWER AND CHEESE MAC
½ a head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces ½ a box of macaroni pasta, I used De Boles Jerusalem Artichoke pasta 1 tsp olive oil 1 tbs sofrito 1 ½ cups of soy milk 4 oz of cream cheese ¼ cup gruyere cheese, shredded ¼ cup pecorino romano cheese, shredded 2 handfuls of Italian-blend grated cheeses ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated or shredded Kosher salt and Black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water as if if were sea water. Add the cauliflower pieces and cover for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, we need to prepare the cheese sauce…
- In a medium pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and sofrito. Cook for about 2 minutes until the sofrito doesn’t look raw anymore. Add the soy milk and heat up.
- When the 10 minutes of cooking the cauliflower had passed, add the macaroni pasta to this same water. Move all well so the pasta does not stick and boil all contents for about 8 minutes more.
- When the soy milk is heated start adding the cheeses – I use this order cream cheese, gruyere, pecorino romano. Whisk them all to make sure they melt well into the milk. Finally I add the Italian blend of cheeses and I take it off the heat.
- Strain the pasta and cauliflower and return to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and mix it all together.
- Transfer to a baking dish and top with parmesan cheese.
- Place in a 350F oven and bake until the top is golden brown about 30 minutes.
Mariví was amazed that this has cauliflower and was so good. Ignacio felt there was something more in there than just mac and cheese and kept asking me how I made it… Diego just didn’t care and started shoveling it in. The two little ones did not understand how a mac and cheese was white instead of orange. So I convinced them to try it again after I mixed in a few slices of American cheese into their portions – bringing to the cheese total to 6 – the cheesiest I have ever made a mac and cheese before.
The learning… you make mac and cheese from scratch for the little ones, make it ORANGE with regular orange-color cheddar cheese. They’ll find it more familiar and will not look at it as funny as Kamila and Daniel did.