Quick Healthy Dinner Idea: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lentil Pasta
Last week we mentioned making this on our Instagram stories and so many of you asked us to share it, so here we are!! I am so, so excited about this one. If you're a mom like me that is always trying to squeeze in some healthy stuff for your kids, I really think they will love this one. My kids are a bit older now (5 and 7 as I write this) and believe it or not, I still struggle with getting them to really love veggies. But I refuse to give up! LOL!
I decided to take a spin on a classic mac and cheese casserole, and add in a ton of cauliflower. I also switched up the pasta from a whole wheat pasta that I would normally use, to Chickapea pasta, which is made with organic chickpeas and lentils, so it's a great source of plant-based protein, which I'm all about.
This dinner was FAST to toss together too. I made the casserole earlier in the day and then put it in the fridge, so that it could bake while I was emptying backpacks and cleaning out lunch boxes. That's basically dinner time perfection around here.
So, let's get to the recipe!
Healthy Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese with Lentil Pasta:
1 box Chickapea Pasta
1 head of cauliflower, chopped and rinsed well
1 cup shredded old cheddar
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
2 tbsp butter
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
freshly ground pepper and sea salt (to taste)
- Steam your cauliflower in a bowl with about 1/8 cup water, covered, for about 6 minutes. Depending on the power of your microwave, test after 4 minutes and steam until stems are nice and soft. Drain any leftover water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta as directed. It cooks just like regular pasta, easy peasy.
- For your sauce, begin by melting butter over low/medium heat. Once melted, add in your garlic until fragrant, about a minute. Add in flour and whisk continually, until it begins to look clumpy. Allow this to cook for a minute or two, whisking all the while.
- Once your flour is good and clumpy, slowly add in your milk. Whisk continually, to ensure it all blends well. Once all milk has been added, keep whisking, taking little breaks to allow it to thicken up a bit. Add in extra milk if it thickens too much. At this point, add in your mustard, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is nice and smooth. Remove from heat.
- In a large pot (I used my pasta pot so I didn't dirty an extra dish) mix together pasta, cauliflower and cheese cause. Pour everything into a casserole dish, top with a little extra cheese if you like (it's a must for me), and bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy!
Let me know if you try this out! And don't forget to pin it! Also, follow us on Pinterest, because we are obsessed with pinning easy dinner ideas!