Do you have a picky eater in your family? Is one of your children trying to set a world record for long-term survival on nothing but mac & cheese? Are you tired of nagging and haggling to get your child to eat his vegetables? Are you ready to resort to “health by stealth” in order to make it happen?
I may have a solution for you!
For my first day of “I Tried It: Pinterest Recipes” I tackled the Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe I found over at Modern Mother Cubbard and pinned to my “Recipes I’d Like to Try” Pinterest board, where I had pinned LOTS of recipes I’d like to try…but hadn’t gotten around to trying. Ahem.
So I tried it! And despite how weird it might sound, Cauliflower Mac & Cheese actually works! You cook the veggies, puree and season them, then use them to replace the white sauce one would traditionally use as the base for the cheese sauce for mac & cheese. Once your cute rotini noodles are slathered in cheesy yumminess, who will notice the healthy veggies hiding in there?
WARNING: Do not let anyone in your anti-veggie crowd see the cauliflower during meal preparation time. If they see it while you are cooking they will probably realize it is going in the food, and they will look for it in the food. Then they will swear they can taste it in the food and say it’s yucky and they’ll never eat it again as long as they live. Or something like that. Just remember the “stealth” part of “health by stealth” and you’ll be good to go. So for our purposes, this is Extra-Good Mac & Cheese, because whole wheat pasta and extra veggies make it extra-good for you! And because you don’t want a recipe with the word “cauliflower” printed in big, bold letters in the title laying around. So sneaky!
So get everybody distracted with a game or project or quiet reading time in their rooms or something. Ready? Great!
Extra-Good Mac & Cheese
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups raw cauliflower florets (But I want to try the stems sometime, because I think it would be a good way to use them up.)
- 3 cups whole wheat rotini noodles
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
What to do:
- Cook the cauliflower. I steamed mine by putting it in a covered dish with a few tablespoons of water and then popping it in my 1200W microwave for six minutes. (Your microwave may cook differently, so undercook and check before you overcook.) You may prefer to use a veggie steamer or just cook it on the stove. Whatever works for you!
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- When the cauliflower is cooked, drain off any water and then puree the cauliflower. I used a food processor but you can use a blender or whatever you have for mushing up veggies. During the last little bit of mushing you should add the garlic salt and pepper so they’ll be evening incorporated.
- Drain the pasta and put it right back into the pot in which you cooked it. Add the cauliflower mixture and the cheese. I took it easy on the cheese but you might want a little more. Your call. Mix the still-warm pasta and still-warm cauliflower with the cheese until the cheese melts and everything is evenly mixed.
- Grab a fork and taste it because you will not believe it. What cauliflower?
- DO NOT tell the veggie-haters. Let them stay in their no-veggie happy place.
If you’d like to follow along with my “I Tried It: Pinterest Recipes” series then I’d be overjoyed if you’d follow A Chat Over Coffee using the sign up link at the end of this post. I’d also love to have you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
Please leave a comment to let me know if you make Extra-Good Mac & Cheese for your family and how they like it!
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