Operation Nutrition

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Healthier Mac n’ Cheese

Mac n’ Cheese

Today’s meal is a reader’s request! I was asked to come up with a healthier version of traditional mac n’ cheese. I wouldn’t exactly consider this a “healthy” dish, but it is definitely healthier than a traditionally made mac n’ cheese.

I must admit macaroni and cheese is a favorite dish of mine. I do not eat it that frequently because of its high caloric content and amount of saturated fats. Needless to say, when I was asked to make-over this dish, I was so excited to take on this challenge!

Here’s what you’ll need for a serving of 6:
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Pictured here is:

  • 16 oz. frozen cauliflower
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup of almond milk (next time I’d use skim milk instead of almond milk…it was a bit too sweet)
  • 1  cup of cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (not pictured)
  • ½ teaspoons of mustard
  • Salt to taste

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook cauliflower in microwave. When cauliflower is finished cooking, dab with paper towels to get rid of any extra moisture.

Next, put the cauliflower in a baking dish.
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Now to make the sauce! In a saucepan, simmer the almond milk just until it begins to bubble.
Stir in cream cheese and mustard. Stir until smooth.
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Once it is smooth, add 1/2 of the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir until cheese is melted.
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Pour the cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
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Bake for about 15 minutes (or until bubbly). Enjoy!
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Mission: Healthier Mac n’ Cheese Accomplished!

The only thing I’d do differently next time would be to use skim milk rather than almond milk. It was a bit too sweet, but it was still pretty tasty.

Nutrition information: This delicious dish has 239 calories (compared to 1 cup of a traditional macaroni and cheese dish at approximately 400 calories) You could make this dish even lighter on the calories by using reduced fat cheeses.

Nutrition tip:Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable for your health. Not only is it high in dietary fiber, but it is also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Here is a great article about the health benefits of cauliflower written by Marty Anstell. The Amazing Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Stay tuned for 2 healthy Superbowl dishes!

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11 Comments

  1. Ooohhhh…that looks yummy! Good choice on cauliflower too, I would have never thought of that and its such a bland vegi it will take on any flavor you add to it. Will try this in near future, not sure Jeff will like it but we will see…thank you 🙂

  2. Hell yea! AM I aloud to swear on this site? I heart Mac n Cheese, so I was thrilled to find this recipe today! Thanks!!!

    • admin

      February 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      Deirdre, I’m glad you’re excited about the “Mac n’ Cheese”!!! It was delicious and my husband even loved it!
      I don’t have a print function set up, but if you go down to the bottom of the page, there are links for each recipe. You should be able to click on that and print just that recipe out. Let me know if this works!

  3. PS- do you have a print function to print single recipes? Everytime I try I end up printing out your entire blog. 😉

  4. Ok so I tried it this evening…I liked it and it was good! Jeff however didn’t because he does not like cauliflower. Oh well.. I did use 1% milk instead of the almond, but when I was making the sauce it was slightly lump and wouldn’t smooth out…don’t know what I did. Also is the whole thing 239 calories or is it 1 cup? But I liked, thank you very much for making it.

  5. I’m always looking for ways to use cauliflower in a dish. You don’t find a lot of recipes that use this wonderful veggie.

    Kristi

    • admin

      February 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Kristi! Thank you for stopping by! You’re so right, I don’t usually see alot of recipes that use cauliflower. It’s a shame because it has so many great nutrients.

  6. Ohhhhh happy day that I found your blog through foodbuzz. I have a client asking for a healthier mac n cheese and I just found it! I LOVE that you incorporated a veggie, I try doing the exact same thing in most of my recipes (well not the red velvet pancakes-ha!). Thanks for sharing such a simple, healthy din din!

  7. Did you use squirt mustard or mustard spice in this dish?

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