A flavourful home-made macaroni and cheese made with finely chopped cauliflower which adds a great nutritional boost .
Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower
1 1/4 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups dried macaroni
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp brown rice flour ~or~ all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp mustard powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/5 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
2 cups milk
1/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
1/3 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tbsp rolled oats
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
Steam cauliflower. Steam the cauliflower for 4 to 5 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the thick parts of the florets. When cauliflower is cooked, set aside to cool.
Cook the pasta. In a medium sized sauce pot, transfer the water that was used to steam the cauliflower. Add more water for a total of 5 cups of water that will now be used to cook the macaroni. Add a little sea salt to the water and then bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for the amount of time recommended on the packaging; usually about 5 minutes or until al dente.
When pasta is cooked, drain the water using a colander placed in a sink, and then refresh with cool water until pasta has cooled. When the pasta has cooled and has been fully drained, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pasta and combine to keep it from sticking together.
Finely chop the cauliflower. Using a food processor or by hand, finely chop the steamed cauliflower. Transfer the finely chopped cauliflower to the pasta and mix to combine.
Preheat oven and prepare ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large gratin or casserole dish and lightly flour. In a small bowl combine the flour, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper then set aside. Grate 1/3 cup of white cheddar cheese and transfer to a separate bowl. In a blender add the rolled oats, thyme leaves and rosemary, grind until crumbly then transfer to a small bowl (this will be for the topping).
Make the roux. In a large saucepan melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted slowly stir in the mixed flour ingredients. When the butter and flour have been mixed, slowly begin to add the milk 1/4 cup at a time. Gradually add the milk, beating continuously with a small whisk until the mixture is smooth and thickens. Once all the milk has been added, whisk in the yogurt and mix until also smooth and thickened. Add half of the grated cheese to the milk-roux and stir until combined.
Combine ingredients. Now add the macaroni and cauliflower mixture to the milk-roux sauce and mix well to coat. Spread the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni and cheese with the ground oats and then followed by the remainder of the cheese.
Bake. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is melted and lightly golden. Serve immediately. Enjoy.
Recipe shared by: J. Marshall
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