Make your life a little lighter this year without compromising on taste by adding cauli’n’cheese to your list of soul food favorites.
Also let’s get real. The star of the show with any mac and cheese is the cheese. Not the noddles. Therefore there is no harm done in making your lunch or dinner a little lighter by replacing the carb-intense noddles with the health friendly cauliflower. Granted, cheese sauce doesn’t exactly scream light and super healthy, but I think it is important to eat and enjoy the tasty things in life, while keeping an eye on smart food choices. Smart by my book usually means a small tweak to soul food to keep the right balance.
The sauce for cauli’n’cheese is identical to my classic mac and cheese recipe.
At a glance
- Cuisine: American, dinner, family meals
- Servings: 6
- Calories per serving: 339 kcal
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 12 strips of bacon
- 3 cups of shredded cheddar
- 4 cups of milk
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3-4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon of Pepper
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1,5 tablespoons of mustard
- ¼ teaspoon of chili powder
- ½ cup of fried onions
How to prepare cauli’n’cheese
Start by placing the bacon stripes on parchment paper in the cold oven. Then set the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and let it bake for 10-12 minutes until crispy.
When the bacon is done, place it on a paper towel and let it cool down for a couple of minutes. Then crush the bacon into small bits by crumbling the paper.
While the bacon is baking in the oven, cut the cauliflower into small florets and cook them in a pot for 5 minutes.
While the cauliflower is cooking, melt the butter in a pot on medium heat, add the milk and stir it. Make sure you not to cook it at a high temperature to avoid it thickening up super quickly. Slowly drizzle the flour into the milk while continuing to stir rapidly. The speed is essential to avoid flour lumps in the sauce.
Once everything is nicely blended and smooth, add the nutmeg and pepper. (Up until this point, this is exactly the way I prepare the béchamel sauce I use in my homemade lasagna. Then add the chili, garlic and mustard, while continuing to stir.
Pour the cauliflower into the pot with the cheese saucce and cook the cauli’n’cheese for 2-3 minutes.
Place the cauli’n’cheese in a serving bowl and drizzle the bacon bits on top.