I love to change-up every recipe I make depending the day or the ingredients that I have on hand. This recipe easily converts to a Gluten-free version by substituting with GF pasta and flour. When my kids were small I tried many ways to hide vegetables in meals that they loved. Although, I always encouraged them to eat what was placed in front of them, I also understood that trying new things is not always easy for adults, and children are no exception. I love this Mac and cheese recipe and I have adjusted my original recipe to accommodate steamed or blanched cauliflower. Although I now make it with large chunks of cauliflower, when my children were small I chopped the cauliflower into very small pieces once boiled or steamed. Of course, you could omit the cauliflower all together if you want. They never did realize that I added cauliflower, broccoli didn’t fly so well under the radar 😉
- 2 cups (8 oz) dry Macaroni or Pasta noodles (Gluten free noodles can be substituted boiling time will vary)
- 1 -1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups of almond milk
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp of vegan butter
- 3 Tbsp white or brown rice flour
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp of whole seed mustard
- 1/2 of a head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 cup vegan cashew cream cheese
- Season with salt, fresh pepper, * sometimes I add pinch fresh grated nutmeg to taste
Preheat oven to 350° Bake for 20-25 minutes
- Bring a pot 2/3 full of water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook 8 oz of pasta in a pot of boiling water as per the instructions or until al dente (still firm to the bite but not hard)
- Drain the pasta and set aside
- Shred the cheeses toss together in using more than one kind. Set aside 3/4 cup for the final topping
- Cut up half of a cauliflower into small florets
- Blanche for 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water or steam for 4-5 minutes
- In a pot or deep saute pan add 3 tbsp of butter, melt over medium heat
- Add the flour and whisk into the butter. Let cook for 2-3 minutes whisking constantly. Do not let burn
- Add the mustard and the garlic, whisk in until combined
- Add chicken stock and milk, whisk until thickened
- Stir in the cashew cream cheese until melted and combined
- Season the sauce with Salt, and pepper.
- Add pasta and cauliflower still in gently
- Pour into a 2 quart baking dish or pan or your choice.
- Top with the 3/4 of reserved cheese.
- Place in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.