Monday, April 4, 2011

mac-less mac and cheese

So, we're trying to eat Primal again, which among other things means that we don't eat grains. I was having an incredible mac and cheese craving the other day and was lamenting the fact that I couldn't have pasta when I suddenly realized something: I always used to put cauliflower in with my mac and cheese anyway in an attempt to sneak one more serving of veggies into my husband. Cauliflower is quite bland, and the only reason he even noticed I added it to the mac and cheese was because the texture was slightly different. So, why couldn't I just substitute cauliflower for the pasta completely?

The answer, happily, was that I COULD! Check it out (sorry the picture is a bit blurry):

Basically, what I did was take a head of cauliflower, trim it and chop it into small florets, then cooked it in salted boiling water for about 10 minutes until it was tender. While the cauliflower was cooking, I made a batch of my standard cheese sauce - a roux of butter and flour (not technically primal, but it was only a couple tablespoons and I'm sure some non-wheat flour could easily be substituted), powdered mustard, onion powder, black pepper, milk and cheddar cheese. I drained the cauliflower, added some chopped kielbasa, then mixed in the cheese sauce. The mixture went into a casserole dish and was baked at 450 for about 25 minutes. The top got all lovely and toasty, and it was creamy, cheesy and wonderful in the middle. And best of all, it satisfied my mac and cheese craving without the pasta.

I'll definitely make this again, although next time I think I'll substitute a little bit of bacon or ham for the kielbasa, as I found the kielbasa to have a bit too strong of a flavor in this application.