May 09, 2013

In recent years, I’ve come to appreciate the many healthy alternatives to classic American comfort dishes, my favorite being macaroni and cheese. This particular recipe is for those of you comfort-foodies who will order anything ending in n-cheese. While this recipe is not the model of health, it contains phytonutrient rich veggies and no refined carbohydrates. Also, by substituting conventional pasta with cauliflower, you can eliminate 258 empty calories per serving.

This rich and creamy twist on a classic is for those who err on the side of healthy and also love cheesy deliciousness. Enjoy!


Serves 4

  • 1 Large Cauliflower; Cut into small florets
  • 2 Cups Grated Extra-Sharp Cheddar
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil Butter
  • 3 Cloves Garlic; Minced
  • 1 Medium Shallot; Minced
  • 1 Leek; Minced
  • ½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Cup Breadcrumbs (Whole grain, preservative free breads make the best homemade breadcrumbs)

Prep & Cooking Directions

  • Cauliflower (2)
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter in medium-large pot over high heat. Sautee minced garlic, shallots and leeks until golden and tender. Add milk, basil, red pepper, salt and pepper and allow to heat but not burn. Once hot, add cheddar and constantly stir until cheese is completely melted. Add chopped cauliflower to the pot and fold into the milk-cheese mixture. (If you choose to use breadcrumbs, add now.) Once the cauliflower is complete coated with the mixture, transfer the contents of pot to a greased baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until dish is golden and bubbly and cauliflower is tender.

Optional Topping: Sprinkle top with coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar and breadcrumbs and bake for additional 5 minutes.