Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese Recipe
Mac and cheese is probably one of life's simple pleasures. Seriously, who doesn't love noodles with cheese and more cheese? I found and tweaked a lightened-up version of mac and cheese, and believe me... it was heavenly.
I stumbled upon this recipe on Food Network's Twitter page, but of course I had to tweak it a little bit to make it somewhat of my own. The secret ingredient in this recipe is cauliflower. Cauliflower is a great vegetable because it helps fight cancer by providing antioxidant, digestive, and cardiovascular support.
I don't think there is any way mac and cheese could ever be 100% healthy if you still want the delicious, cheesy flavor. However, there are ways to make it healthiER. Here is what you need:
- 1 package elbow macaroni, preferable multigrain
- 3 cups cauliflower florets, coarsley chopped
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese and more for topping
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Breadcrumbs for topping, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions (reserve 1/3 cup cooking liquid). Bring cauliflower and milk to a small boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for an additional 8 minutes until cauliflower is soft.
Transfer the cauliflower and milk mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot and add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 parmesan cheese and stir well. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined with the cheese, add it to the cooked and drained pasta and mix evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the mac and cheese in a 9 by 12 inch baking dish and sprinkle with more cheese and breadcrumbs. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. I hope you enjoy the fun twist on regular mac and cheese. Bon Appetit!