Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I am hesitant to post recipes here that have not been tested on someone other than my husband. His feedback on almost everything I present him with is “I could eat this every day,” which does not make him a very good critic. Last night I hosted our weekly girls night viewing of The Bachelor and served cauliflower mac and cheese to rave reviews. What I like most about this recipe is that it tastes very rich and indulgent without having any butter and very little cheese. I usually serve it with either a simple green salad or my current obsession, Lacinto Kale.

I realize this is the second straight pasta post and promise to provide some variety next time. Even though I would not mind if it were true, we don’t eat pasta every night.

Cauliflower goodness

Cauliflower goodness

Recipe adapted from, “The Athlete’s Palate.” Runner’s World March 2011.

Four servings (yields enough for two, two person meals)

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces

8 oz. whole-wheat elbow macaroni (For those gluten-free I think quinoa or brown rice pasta would work just as well)

1/2 cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental. We are strong cheese lovers so I use crumbled Gorgonzola.)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I use 1 1/2 tablespoons of a good grainy Dijon)

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Salt and black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I eyeball this)

1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs (same as above)

Heat oven to 400. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat.

Remove cauliflower from water with slotted spoon and put into a blender or food processor. Add macaroni pasta to the boiling water and cook for five minutes. Drain pasta and rinse to cool. Put pasta in a greased, nine-inch square baking dish.

Process cauliflower with stock (bay leaves removed), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Note: if using a blender be sure to leave a crack for steam to escape.

Pour sauce over pasta, toss and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs.

Bake 20 minutes.

And in honor of Valentine’s Day, I made this Fudgy Brownie Cake which is amazing if you are a chocolate lover.

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