I like cauliflower. It’s an unassuming vegetable. Not all in your face with bright colours and what not. It’s sturdy and holds its shape and doesn’t really taste like much so you can add all sorts of flavour to it!
I love macaroni and cheese but sometimes all that pasta, cheese and cream can be kind of heavy. So why not replace the pasta with cauliflower? Killing two birds with one stone, comfort food that is chock full of veggie!!
To add extra flavour I first roasted the cauliflower with some chopped onion, garlic, a sprinkle of curry powder for colour and drizzled with a little olive oil.
Meanwhile, make your cheese sauce.
I will leave this part to your discretion and taste. A proper cheese sauce is made by starting with equal amounts of butter and flour in the bottom of the pan. Heat and mix together to form a “roux” which is French for “butter and flour cooked together”!
Once that is well mixed and bubbling somewhat, start adding a fuller fat milk, as in NOT skim. Add the milk and bring it to a boil then turn it down immediately to a simmer till it begins to thicken. When it gets thick enough that it sticks to the back of the spoon, it is time to add the cheese.
A good quality cheddar or a mixture of your favorite melty cheeses. You could add a little smokie paprika like I did and a little S & P.
Now HERE is where the controversy starts. Let’s say…….you wanted to make it gluten free…..I mean you already have taken the pasta element out of it……but there is the pesky flour in the roux. WELL, what you could do, instead of using the roux to thicken the milk, you would just start with say, half and half cream!
Put it in the pot and reduce it by half, till it is nice and creamy and think. Then add the cheese as above. So you are trading gluten for high fat. It is a choice.
I suppose you could use non dairy products. I actually used almond milk instead of real milk cause I didn’t have enough, but then I added real cheese so kinda defeated any non dairy attempts. And to be honest, the almond milk wouldn’t thicken up right so I had to add more butter and flour……….
Once your cauliflower is good and roasted we will add it to the cheese sauce, just like you would macaroni.
Then just serve it with whatever you might serve your macaroni with! It’s worth a try.
And there is no reason why you can’t use this as a side dish or the main event!