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creamy cauliflower mac and cheese

Sometimes it’s interesting to me to think about all the things that make my two little girls different. They’re both completely adorable, and both have long silky light brown hair, but the similarities end there. Abby is spunky and loud and loves to be the center of attention, and Lizzy is shy and sweet and hides behind Mama whenever there are strangers around. Abby is terrified of heights and extremely cautious about how she moves, and Lizzy has been climbing the furniture (and jumping off it) since she was six months old. One of the most striking differences between them, though, is what they like to eat. Abby is a picky little thing and is pretty set on just eating bread and cheese (or some variation of that) for every meal. (To be fair, she does love a few odd, unusual-for-kids foods, like hummus and broccoli.) Lizzy, on the other hand, is like a garbage disposal and will eat anything. She almost always eats more food than big sister, and sometimes even out-eats Mom and Dad.
Although I know I can plop pretty much any vegetable onto Lizzy’s plate and she’ll gobble it up, it’s a real challenge to work vegetables into Abby’s diet. She’s very sensitive to tastes and textures, and can’t stand the sight of anything green (with the weird exception of broccoli). Since mac and cheese is one of her most beloved foods, I thought it might be fun to try it with a healthier twist. The result was super yummy, and both girls ate it up and couldn’t even tell the difference! With a little cheese sprinkled over the top, the girls never suspected a thing!

Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
adapted from Pinch of Yum
8 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons butter
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
6-7 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound dry macaroni pasta
In a medium skillet, sauté the garlic in the butter until soft and fragrant. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil, and add cauliflower. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 7-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Remove cauliflower to a blender using a slotted spoon, and add about one cup of the chicken broth cooking liquid. Add the reserved garlic and the salt, pepper, and milk, and blend until smooth. Add parmesan cheese and olive oil, and blend until smooth. Toss the pasta with the hot sauce, and sprinkle with cheese if desired. 

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