“Cheesy” Macaroni and Cauliflower
By: Alison Bigg, Chef – Victoria, BC
Cheese sauce was the first culinary technique my mother taught me. It was my ‘job’ in the kitchen. It made me feel important and a part of the team. I eventually experimented with it by making it with blue cheese and adding Dijon for spark. This same sauce is also yummy on broccoli and in potato soup.
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 2 TBSP chickpea flour
- 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
- 1 TBSP dijon mustard
- 2 minced cloves garlic
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3 cups milk or almond milk
- 2 cups grated cheese *
- penne pasta (ancient grains or your favorite gf version)
- One head cauliflower
- Salt and pepper
*for a vegan version, sub out the cheese for 2 extra TBSP of nutritional yeast and 2 TBSP of tahini paste.
- Get a big pot of salted water boiling.
- Heat a deep, wide saucepan to medium high. Heat yeast and flour in dry pan until you can smell it is toasted. Add butter or olive oil, bay leaf, garlic and Dijon. Whisk until smooth.
- Add milk slowly, whisking constantly until smooth. Get hot but not boiling, it will thicken by now.
- Add the grated cheese. Let your child be creative and add any combination of cheeses they might like. (cheddar, goat cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese, are all good choices)
- Meanwhile let your child chop the cauliflower into florettes. Show them first, then let them use a sharp but small knife — trust that they can do it! Blanche the cauliflower in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, don’t overcook. Pull the veg out of the water into a colander and put in the noodles.
- Once noodles are cooked, strain and add to sauce along with cauliflower. Let your child season with salt and pepper by tasting it first. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.