I’ve finally gotten a little more into the groove of this whole gluten-free thing. So now I have started to brainstorm meal ideas. I think I may have mentioned a few times that I don’t enjoy eating the same things over and over. Instead, I’m always trying to think of an entirely new creation I have never tried before. Today’s recipe is the result of that overactive of mind of mine. Gluten Free Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a little gluttony mixed in with that does of healthy.
I’ve noticed that cauliflower is one of the trendier vegetables out there these days. I’ve seen recipes using cauliflower as a substitute for meat and pasta or even another vegetable. (think mashed cauliflower instead of the carb loaded potatoes). My thought was to use it as a substitute for a roux. Some of you may be wondering what the heck a roux is. It’s a mixture of butter and flour that is often used a thickening agent in dishes. For instance, a mac and cheese. Which is precisely what I wanted to make. Using the cauliflower in this way would add a large serving of vegetable and remove the glutinous component to the traditional dish.
It took 2 attempts but I was able to make my hypothesis work. It became a creamy, cheesy meal that will sneak all those infused veggies AND the fact that its gluten free right by your dining guests.
It’s a great recipe to try out on your picky vegetable eater, a comfort meal that is a tad healthier, and an inventive new dinner to add to your weekly mix.
.…all for the love of the dish
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 1 onion
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese for pasta
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for topping
- 1 box pasta
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Tools Needed-Immersion Blender, Food Processor or Blender
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Add oil to a medium sized pot and once heated add the onion and the garlic. Let soften a bit about 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile cut ½ head of cauliflower into florets.
- Place the cauliflower florets into the pot with the onion mixture. Add salt and pepper. Let cook about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of water to the pot and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling turn to a low simmer and cover the pot. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring a large salted pot of water to boil. Pour in 1 box of pasta and cook to al dente. Once cooked, drain and pour back into pot.
- Remove the cauliflower from the heat after 15 minutes of simmering. Drain or strain about ½ cup of liquid out of the pot. Add the milk to the cauliflower. Than using an immersion blender, food processor or blender puree the mixture until completely smooth.
- Return the puree to the pot and turn on low heat. Add the cheese, nutmeg and any additional salt or pepper to taste you would like. Stir until cheese is fully melted into the mixture.
- Pour the cauliflower and cheese mixture over the pasta and mix all together.
- Pour into a serving dish and top with ½ cup of cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
- Now it’s time to dig in!
For the cauliflower: I found it easiest to cut the cauliflower head into 4 equal parts [put 2 aside as we all need ½] and then chop down into smaller parts from there. I found that Gluten Free pasta cooks slightly quicker. 6-7 minutes was perfect for al dente. It is important not to overcook the pasta because it will be cooked again in the oven-that was my problem in my first attempt I attempted using an immersion blender and a food processor to puree the cauliflower they both equally got the job done. I don't think there is one that created a better result so any method you use should be good