Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I’ve done it! I have accomplished the Holy Grail! I made a meal that falls into the following categories:

Delicious
Kid-Friendly
Contains Veggies
From Scratch
Simple

I know you think I am lying, but I assure you I am not. Pinkie swear (that’s how you know I mean it!)

So this week I was dying for some homemade macaroni and cheese. I kept Pintresting all sorts of recipes, but finally I decided to just make up my own! I don’t do this very often, but you only live once. I started grabbing things that I thought I might need (butter, flour, block ‘o cheddar, etc) when I saw the huge head of cauliflower from my Farmer’s Market Basket and thought “why not?!”

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly CaffeinatedI chopped this puppy up into smallish “trees” and threw it in some boiling water for a few minutes. Basically until tender. Then I scooped it out and into my blender with 2 ladles of the water. **I’m still mourning the death of my food processor if anyone has one they would like me to review ;-)** DO NOT DUMP THE WATER! You are going to dump your pasta in there to cook while the cauliflower is blended.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

 

I blended my cauliflower pretty smooth. I did’t want my picky kids to be able to identify anything other than noodles and cheese!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

 

I always get the pasta made with veggies. I know that it doesn’t make a HUGE difference, but if they are at least getting a small amount of veggies I am going to call that a win.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Once the pasta was perfect I drained it and put it in a glass serving dish while I made my cheese sauce.

***WARNING***
This part goes quick! I was on the brink of burning it a few times! Make sure you have all of your ingredients and utensils within arms reach.

Chop up half a block of cheese into small pieces. I bought mild cheddar this week, but easily could have used another cheese.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Then put 1/2 stick of butter in the pot on a low-med heat. Use your whisk to give it a few spins around and help it melt.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Once that is melted whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk quickly and do not stop. You may want to turn down the heat if you were at a medium. By this point you should have the beginnings a lovely roux. It will bubble pretty good, but you want to keep it from browning (aka burning).

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Next I added about 1/2 cup of almond/coconut blend milk…keep whisking!! You can absolutely use regular milk!! This is just what I enjoy. I also dumped half of the blender of cauliflower in while I was in mixing mode. It should start to blend really nice and look creamy like a thick Alfredo sauce.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Lastly I added the chopped up cheddar! After mixing it in I decided it needed a little bit more cheese so I mixed in some shredded too.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Once your super thick sauce reaches maximum cheesiness I poured (dumped?) it on top of my noodles and stir.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

I even decided to take it a step further when plating dinner for the kids and topped it with MORE shredded cheese. ***WARNING*** The following pictured may make you drool!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Of course I ate my dinner out of the serving dish while standing at the kitchen island, but such is the life of a mommy!

And now for the final verdict from the kiddos:

Liam – 6 year old – super picky eater

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Eliza-Beth – 4 years old – typically finishes her plate…and her brothers’

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

London – 3 years old – His mood changes with the wind

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

London’s “Thumb’s Up” Picture ended up being him putting his thumb ON the camera.

Oh, and in super mommy fashion, I was able to mix in some of the leftover blended cauliflower into scrambled eggs for a breakfast dinner the following night! They were devoured by the older two with requests for more.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated The Deliberate Mom

Our Three Peas

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31 Comments

  1. Stephanie (@wifemommyme)

    What a sneaky smart way of getting more veggies into mac and cheese. Thanks for the idea. I have a little one that is pretty much anti-veggie as it gets.

    • mrsdmeeks

      The true test is when I get the picky eater to drink smoothies that contain SPINACH! I have to get them in somewhere!

    • mrsdmeeks

      I hope you like it! I think I am going to start sneaking in more veggies!

  2. Destiny

    What a great recipe! Bookmarking this page for later- YUM!

    • mrsdmeeks

      They always get so excited to have their picture taken…especially to be shared 🙂

  3. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    Oh my goodness… creamy deliciousness!

    I totally have to give this a try… after all, it is kid-approved!

    Thank you for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop!

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

    • mrsdmeeks

      It is endorsed by the picky kiddos!

      Have a great night, Jennifer!!

  4. Jean Lynd

    I adore cauliflower. Great recipe! I omit the flour & noodles & leave the cauli in smallish chunks, with a dash of cream cheese for a low carb dish. Over from SITS.

    • mrsdmeeks

      YUMMY!! I will have to try that one of these days! Thanks for stopping!

  5. Margarita Reczek

    I love cauliflower too, this recipe looks so delicious and rich tasting! Hope to see again tomorrow at the Coast to Coast Blog Hop Party! xo Margarita – WestCoastMama.net

    • mrsdmeeks

      I love that it is easy to modify too…you can use any cheese…I’m thinking about trying jalapeño jack next time for a kick

  6. ace1028

    This looks fantastic. I need to try it! I’ve been wanting to since my kiddo and I love cauliflower, so we have to give it a go.

    • mrsdmeeks

      I hope you like it!! The cauliflower taste is pretty well covered by the cheese, but I have picky eaters that I had to fool!

  7. Michele @ A Storybook Life

    Here from the blog staycation — this looks like a great recipe! I also make one with roasted butternut squash — roast the squash and mash it up and mix with the cheese sauce — kids will never know the difference. And if you have chicken and/or broccoli lovers in the house, you can add both of those to the casserole before you bake it, too, just for a little extra oomph. 🙂

    • mrsdmeeks

      GREAT ideas!! I have used squash in mac and cheese before because it blended so easily. thanks for stopping by!

  8. Caroline

    You sure do have a lot of recipes on here that look good! We are on such a strict diet that we can’t have this, but I do LOVE cauliflower!

  9. AntiMomAmanda

    i try to add cauliflower puree to my kids boxed mac and cheese, will be trying your homemade version the next time i make it, it looks so good!! thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • mrsdmeeks

      The homemade version takes just minutes longer than boxed and it is SO NICE knowing what you are giving the kiddos 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and let me know how it turns out!

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