Tag Archives: mac & cheese

Michelle Obama’s Cauliflower Mac + Cheese

I had a half of a head of cauliflower to use and I was really craving mac + cheese. I knew it was time to Google and a Michelle Obama recipe popped up. I guess since it’s political season, this recipe of was appropriate I suppose.

Cauliflower Mac + Cheese (adapted from The First Lady/Yum Sugar)

Ingredients

1/2 pound penne pasta (half a box–use whole wheat. just do it!)
1 cup milk
8oz shredded cheddar cheese (or a mixture of your favorite melting cheeses)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1.5 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
1/2 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
2. Steam the cauliflower until soft, about 10 minutes. Immersion blend the cauliflower(or transfer to a blender) along with a few tablespoons of the steaming liquid into a puree the cauliflower. Add more steaming liquid to thin the puree if necessary.
3. In a medium size casserole dish, combine the pasta and hot cauliflower puree. Add the milk, both cheeses, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and breadcrumbs with your fingers until it resembles damp sand. Sprinkle across the top of the pasta mixture, then place the dish in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the top is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.

I was really skeptical about this dish considering I usually make mac + cheese with a delicious cheese sauce. But, It was really good, very quick and easy and I’d make it again.

For the cheeses I used low-fat sharp cheddar and Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar which you MUST RUN TO TRADER JOE’S NOW and get. It is a cross between sharp cheddar and parmesan. Good luck not eating the whole brick!

Back to the dish… the cauliflower taste was there, but it was subtle. Perfect for any vegetable-phobic in your life. Or if you want to trick yourself into eating more vegetables… I don’t think Michelle Obama would be mad.

Saucy!

Come on, who doesn’t love cheese sauce!? If you don’t, you just haven’t made this recipe yet.

I love vegetables now, but as a kid I’m sure I wasn’t their #1 fan. I think my Mom made this cheese sauce as a way to get us to eat an excess of veggies. I don’t need to be tricked into eating vegetables anymore, but I still love this cheese sauce. We always had it served with noodles too and it makes an amazing mac + cheese. It’s super rich, and not the healthiest so we didn’t get to eat it very often. A good rule, even today.

The cheese sauce is a little tricky if you’ve never made a roux or a white sauce before, or if you’re me, but it’s awesome. And worth it.

Cheese Sauce w/ Broccoli, Cauliflower // Mac + Cheese

The Ingredient List:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1-2 broccoli crowns
  • 2 servings of cooked elbow noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt + pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk-warmed
  • 2+ cups shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese
Directions
1. Cook the elbow noodles according to the box, and set aside.
2. Wash and cut the broccoli and cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Use a vegetable steamer and in a large saucepan, bring 1 in. of water, broccoli and cauliflower to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 5-15 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until blended and a little brown.
3. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add cheese, stirring until melted. 
4. Drain veggies and noodles, pour cheese sauce over top… and dig in!

Mmm. Mac + Cheese! Veggies + Cheese sauce! So versatile!  You can serve this cheese sauce with any vegetable or type of noodle you like. You can even double the cheese sauce recipe and pour it over noodles + throw it in the oven for a traditional mac and cheese.
What would you put this cheese sauce on?