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Lenten Dinner: Chunky Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

8:24 AM

Mac and cheese isn't just a side dish at our house.  In fact, if loaded with the right ingredients, this simple pasta dish can be a meal for noodle and cheese lovers.  During the season of Lent, mac and cheese is especially appealing as a meatless option for busy families.

We customized this recipe using white cheeses, whole wheat pasta, and cauliflower for an extra-filling version that the kids enjoyed.  Note that I made this "chunky", but you can also puree the cauliflower extra fine to create a more creamy texture to hide the cauliflower.

You'll need the following ingredients that I purchased at my local Walmart:

  • 1 package whole wheat macaroni
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 8 ounces white shredded jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 package cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • carrots for garnish

Cook the pasta as directed on the package. While that is cooking start your cheese sauce by putting the milk and flour in saucepan and cooking to a simmer -- stirring constantly.  Add the cauliflower (make sure it's cut up into pieces first.)  Cook the cauliflower for 20 minutes, making sure the milk doesn't burn.

Use a hand blender to crush up the cauliflower -- if you like it chunky.  If you want to hide the veggie, pour the entire mixture into a blender with the steam valve open and puree until smooth.  Return the mixture to the pan and stir in the cheese s and salt until smooth.  Pour over the drained macaroni and top with the onions.  Add the carrot as a garnish, if you wish.

Overall, my kids liked this dish.  They knew it wasn't a typical mac and cheese, but even my cauliflower haters ate theirs.  It was a filling alternative to boxed mac, so if felt more like a meal than a side-dish.

You can find all the ingredients for your Lenten recipes at Walmart!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Links to shopping sites may be referral links.

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