Thursday, October 25, 2012

Green Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Green Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
In my quest for eating more real foods, I've been trying to think of recipes that are colorful, tasty, interesting looking, and healthy.  Since it's almost Halloween, I decided to make something would interest my 3-year old.  My family does not eat a lot of cauliflower nor do we eat a lot of Marconi and Cheese.  In fact, Blue Rock does not like the typical Macaroni and Cheese dinners from a box.  But I thought, maybe if I'm creative, he'll eat my green Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese.  I first got the idea from Healthy Recipes From the White House to You by Michelle Obama.  However, I changed her cauliflower macaroni and cheese quite a bit.  For example,my green macaroni and cheese does not use milk and has kale and walnuts, and most importantly is green!  This is a great vegetarian recipe.  My family loved it and I hope yours does too!

Green Macaroni and Cheese 

8oz-10oz whole grain pasta (if gluten free use rice pasta)
1/2 cups walnuts (divide into 1/4 cups each)
2.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese, I did a mixture of sharp and mild (or a mixture of your favorite melting cheeses), divided, save 1/2 cup of cheese for the top
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup fresh kale
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I made mine with one piece of toasted whole grain bread and 1/4 cup walnuts in a food processor). If avoiding gluten, use gluten free crackers instead of bread.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Bring water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, drain.
  2. Steam the cauliflower until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender along with a few tablespoons of the steaming liquid. Add kale.  Puree the cauliflower and kale until smooth.  Add butter and blend.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of walnuts to the blender and blend with the cauliflower and kale puree.
  4. In a medium size casserole dish, combine the pasta and hot cauliflower puree. Add the puree mixture and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a food processor, add 1/4 cup of walnuts.  Pulse until fine.  If making your own breadcrumbs, add to the food processor.  If not, mix the walnuts and breadcrumbs, should look kind of like sand. Sprinkle across the top of the pasta mixture.  Top with about 1/2 cup of cheese. Place the dish in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the top is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.
Serves 4 to 6.

Yum, looks like slime

Grated cheese, sharp and mild cheddar cheese

Mixed the cheese sauce with the pasta

Top with walnut breadcrumbs

Add a some mild cheddar cheese on top

It's done!

Time to eat!

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