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Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

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I feel that I have redeemed myself in the kitchen tonight with this Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower. The reason there was no recipe post last night is that BOTH recipes I attempted were a total BOMB! First, I tried Thai Peanut Chicken with no success. Although, now I know how to tweak it to post it possibly later on. So then I tried a sweet potato muffin cream cheese thingy, and that didn’t turn out either! So, I went to bed at midnight totally discouraged. I am proud to say that tonight, dinner was successful. This dish is a lot easier to make than I had anticipated. I shortened the ingredient list just a bit to make it more simple. I also halved the recipe and baked it in a 1-1/2 quart casserole instead of a 3-quart casserole. It would be great as a side dish or fuss-free main course. I will be making this again! Publix has cauliflower on sale this week, so add it to your shopping list and try this dish. You’ll be glad you did!

P.S. I am normally not a fan of cauliflower. So, even if you don’t normally groove on cauliflower, step outside the box and give this recipe a try. Half it like I did, and serve it alongside something.

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower Recipe:

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower Ingredients:

For the Full-Size recipe:

12 oz. multigrain elbow macaroni (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne)
1 head cauliflower broken into small florets
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (I used cheddar and muenster)
1-1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup milk

How To Make Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.

Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5-7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, and milk.

Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Melt tablespoon of butter in a small bowl and mix in breadcrumbs. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top and bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

This one is a keeper in my book!

** Update: I did make this again, and I didn’t use the cheddar like I used the first time, and it lacked in flavor. The sharpness of the cheddar allows you to use less cheese (more figure-friendly), but not skimp on the flavor. So, use cheddar if you have it available. The first time around, I used a marbled white and regular cheddar. YUMMY!

(adapted from Real Simple)

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