My favorite meal of all time is probably macaroni and cheese. I like mine best crispy on top, creamy in the middle and made from scratch. I love it so much that even the Kraft blue box will do. I’ve been known to consume an entire box in one sitting. I used to get those Easy Mac bowls and I would eat 2-3 of them before I felt like it was enough macaroni and cheese.
The USDA would probably consider macaroni and cheese a healthy food. The box proclaims it to be a good source of calcium. They even make whole grain mac and cheese. If it’s whole grain, it must be healthy, right?
Let’s look at the facts:
Nutrition Facts for Kraft
- Dietary Fiber: 5 g
- Sugar: 6 g
- Dietary Fiber: 1 g
- Sugar: 3 g
Both of these “healthy” meals are almost your entire carbohydrate intake for the day. One cup of macaroni as my entire daily ration doesn’t sound great. When I eat a whole box, I’m getting 180 grams of carbohydrate. I can hear my pancreas cursing me for torturing it.
I decided to try mockaroni and cheese. I admit, it doesn’t look as tasty as the real stuff, but it’s partially because I was too hungry to photograph it well. It is a good way to add some vegetables to your diet and still get a similar flavor and mouth feel as real macaroni and cheese.
- 1 head of cauliflower, steamed and chopped
- 4 ounces cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 ounce of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all of these ingredients, except a handful of cheddar, into an oven safe bowl. Make sure they are mixed well.
- Sprinkle the handful of cheddar on top.
- Place the bowl into an oven that’s been preheated to 350 degrees and cook it for about 30 minutes, until it’s your level of brown. The top will get crispy just like traditional mac and cheese.
You can really use whatever cheeses you want
You can use frozen, chopped cauliflower instead of fresh if you want to
I’ve seen some recipes that use cream cheese instead of cottage cheese.
|This is what it looks like before baking. It tastes better than it looks.|
It really makes a convincing substitute. None of these substitutes have the gluteny goodness of real pasta, but I don’t really miss it in this dish. The mouth feel of the cauliflower is very similar to the mouth feel of pasta. With mac and cheese, the pasta is just a sauce delivery system anyway.
I served mine with a feta and tomato salad and some roasted kale.
Nutritionally, you see a lot of the values we like (fat and protein) stayed the same. That’s because they came from the cheese. We didn’t cut that. However, carbs and calories came way down. Calories are more than halved and carbohydrates decreased by 80%.