What is it about cold, snowy weather that just makes us want to curl up by the fire with a warm bowl of comfort food? Before you rush to the cupboard to whip of a blue box of the orange stuff, I urge you to give this dish a try. As a busy working from home mother of a 5 month old, I can tell you that this dish only took 20 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake. If I hadn’t been interrupted by my son at the end of the meal, I could have easily eaten the entire pan. It is just that good.
The best part? Each serving is only 266 calories and is loaded in protein, fiber, calcium and over a day’s worth of Vitamin C! Here’s what I did:
Freebie Flavor Boosters: Garlic and Dijon mustard have very minimal calories but add a ton of extra flavor.
Cauliflower: By adding a head of cauliflower to the cheese sauce, you gain tons of nutrients and bulk without many calories and zero fat.
Skim Milk: Who said you need whole milk to make a cheese sauce? Oh that’s right, the French. Oopsies…
Yogurt: Plain yogurt is my favorite way to add tang and creaminess without a ton of fat and calories.
Panko Bread Crumbs: I heart panko. So should you. To learn more about panko vs. bread crumbs, check out this great article from ReluctantGourmet.com
Your fork is waiting.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Bring a pot of salty water to a boil and cook noodles one minute less than the suggested cooking time. (If it says 10 minutes, cook them 9 minutes, etc.)
- Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower florets until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and mash with potato masher; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together panko, olive oil and half of the parmesa (2 tbs); set aside.
- Strain cooked pasta and use the same pan to make the cheese sauce.
- Over medium heat, whisk together milk and flour until mixture starts to thicken - about 5 minutes.
- Once mixture starts to thicken, add grated cheddar, remaining 2 tbs parmesan, garlic, dijon, pinch nutmeg, sea salt and pepper. Add mashed cauliflower then ceck for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Remove from heat and slowly stir in the plain yogurt.
- Add noodles and mix well before placing in a casserole baking dish.
- Sprinkle panko mixture on top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until topping is browned.