Saturday, February 4, 2012

No Mac and Cheese For Me, but YUM!

After talking yesterday about Mac & Cheese, I wanted to make a big batch and eat it all myself. But since I’m watching carbs so when I ditch the baggy winter sweaters, I don’t scare small children, I had to make the alternative last night for dinner. Versions of this are a longtime favorite as a substitute for potatoes and Mac and Cheese among the low-carbers, but it’s truly delicious on any dinner table. I used frozen cauliflower because it’s a good dollar value and nutritious, and I have a carload of it in the freezer. Once our own, frozen from last season’s garden is kaput, I load up with one pound bags from wherever it’s on sale to make our absolute favorite cauliflower casserole.

One thing to note here before we get to the recipe is that you need to be sure the cooked cauliflower is well drained; excess water will make a runny casserole. The easiest way to be sure there isn’t too much water in the florets is to microwave the cauliflower in a microwave safe covered casserole for the initial cooking.

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

2  1-lb bags of frozen cauliflower cooked until very soft and drained well, and still hot
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. hot sauce (I prefer Cholula as it’s not vinegary)
¼ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper if needed
¼ cup grated parmesan
2T unsalted butter in bits

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray or oil a 3 quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Place the cream cheese in a deep bowl, and dump the hot cauliflower on top. Add the hot sauce and nutmeg. With a potato masher, or a stick blender, coarsely mash the cream cheese into the cauliflower until it’s about the consistency of mashed potatoes. Stir in the cheddar and taste the mixture for seasoning. Spread it in the oiled baking dish, top with the Parmesan, and dot with butter. Place in the oven and bake 45 -50 minutes until well browned on top and bubbling. Serves 6. 


  1. 1) Love Cholula... use it all the time!
    2) I still don't have a microwave and I'm going thru all kinds of withdrawal. I realize NOW just how much I use it. Will go shopping today tho :)

  2. Don't know why your second comment didn't appear, but the deal here is to keep the carb count low, so when you sub light and low-fat, the carbs go up because what they add for taste and texture usually has significant carbs. Plus, it becomes factory food, If Mother Nature wanted us to have dairy and butter with less fat, she'd have made the milk that way. Better to eat as it comes from nature and just eat leass. 1/6 of this is so rich, it's quite satisfying.