Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Now that Christmas trees are filling NYC sidewalks and temperatures have hit the 30s, I’m craving comfort food. In my quest for some “lighter” options (lighter in sodium, sugar, refined carbs & fat and high in vitamins, fiber & protein), I stumbled across this wonderful cauliflower mac and cheese recipe by Pip & Ebby. I loved the idea of adding cauliflower into the sauce (brilliant!)…but was inspired to do a few swaps to amp up the nutritional impact. I’ve substituted protein or veggie-enriched pasta, switched out sour cream for greek yogurt to increase the protein, made options for all the dairy to be better tolerated by those with lactose issues, added a touch of turmeric to fight off winter colds and even added tuna (more protein) and peas (more fiber and crossing fingers she accidentally eats one and realizes it’s delicious!).

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. protein-enriched or veggie-enriched elbow macaroni
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 2 cups milk or milk substitute like plain rice milk
  4. 1 cup cauliflower florets
  5. 2 cups shredded aged cheddar cheese, divided
  6. 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
  8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  9. 1/2 cup peas (optional)
  10. 1 can low sodium tuna (optional)
  11. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the pasta, water and milk to a skillet.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pasta is nearly done.
  3. In a food processor, combine the cauliflower, 1 cup of the cheese, greek yogurt, olive oil, turmeric, salt and pepper.
  4. Pulse until mixture is creamy.
  5. Add mixture to the skillet after pasta has reached near-doneness.
  6. Add frozen peas and drained tuna, stirring well (optional).
  7. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until mixture is warmed through.
  8. Remove from the heat and top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Stir until cheese is melted.
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