Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Published on May 25, 2012 by   ·   5 Comments Pin It

What vegetable helps prevent cancer, was once considered a delicacy in Italy, and was given an honorable place in the gardens in 16th Century France? Cauliflower!

Although many of us might consider cauliflower as being boring, tasteless and devoid of nutrients,  nothing could be further from the truth!

Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens. Its name is derived from combining the Latin world caulis, meaning cabbage, with the flower alluding to the white head that we eat. Cauliflower is very much like its cousin broccoli but the head is white instead of green and it has much more of a nut like flavor.

Cauliflower is anything but devoid in nutrition and is, in fact, a nutrition powerhouse! Cauliflower is a good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, phosphorus and potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid and manganese.

Like broccoli, cauliflower contains several phytochemicals including sulforaphane, a compound that when chopped or chewed may protect against cancer and indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair and seems to block growth of cancer cells. Some say cauliflower also seems to work as an anti-estrogen slowing or preventing growth of breast and prostrate cancer.

Regardless, cauliflower is delicious grilled, pureed like a mash potato (see below), raw with dip or added to Katherine’s family’s favorite Mac and Cheese recipe (see below)!  All the recipes below are huge hits with everyone from a carnivorous uncle to a messy toddler;

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese (aka “Crunchy, Crunchy Pasta”)

Photo via (click image for their recipe, also great!)

  • Head of cauliflower
  • Bag of pasta (Tinkyada for a gluten-free option!)
  • 2-3 cups vegan grated white cheese
  • Flax seed oil (optional but great for Omega 3’s!)
  • Whole wheat bread crumbs (or gluten-free rice bread crumbs)
  • Grated vegan parmesan (optional – we like Parma)
  • Dollop of vegan sour cream (we use dairy-free tofutti)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Olive oil or cooking spray

Cook the pasta and put it in large casserole dish. Cook the cauliflower until it is soft and either put it in a colander to mash up or place in food processor and chop up until it is chopped but not completely pureed. Add the cauliflower mixture to the pasta then add a dollop of olive oil, sour cream, a squirt of flax seed oil and the cheese and stir right in the dish. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top, then bread crumbs, and finally sesame seeds (for those without nut allergies,) parmesan (really makes it crunchy). Place in oven and cook for 20-30 mins at 350 degrees. The best thing about this dish is that it is even better on the second day!  Going mac n’ cheese crazy? Try this Thai version from our archives for a fancy alterna.

Grilled Cauliflower

Image via (click image for their recipe)

  • Head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Cut cauliflower up into pieces and place into casserole dish. Liberally drizzle with olive oil and dash a bit of sea salt on top and cook in over for approximately 20-30 minutes until brown. These are truly addictive for kids and grownups alike!  Want something a little naughtier? Try making the oilier (but oh-so-amazing) Garlic & Herb Cauliflower Bites from our recipe archives.

Cauliflower Mash Potatoes

Image via (click image for their recipe)

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 2 baked potatoes
  • 1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup white vegan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Dash of pepper

Boil or steam cauliflower until soft. In the oven, bake potatoes until soft. Take the skin off of the potatoes and place them in a food processor along with the cauliflower, oil, salt, cream cheese and 1/8 cup of the cheese. Process until smooth. At this point, you can either place the mixture into smaller cooking dishes and place remaining cheese and some pepper on top and bake or you can just serve as is and dress with cheese and pepper. This is delicious and takes an old standby and makes it a bit more nutritious!

Via diet and lifestyle coach, writer, raw food chef, GirlieGirl Army Blogger,  and teacher Katherine Pennington from Be in Balance.  We also love reading her blog Raw Mom and Hot Dog Kids for tips on how to raise healthy kids in a very unhealthy world.

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. Amy says:

    Is that Lisanatti almond milk cheese vegan? I thought it had casein in it.

  2. GirlieGirlArmy says:

    Amy: Thank you for catching this! We assumed Katherine’s recipe was vegan in entirety since her site is about being a “vegan Mom” with “hot dog” loving kids. Alas! I will let her know and have amended the recipe. Bless your vegan sharp eyes!

  3. Thanks for including my Cauliflower n’ Cheese recipe!

  4. That’s a lot of cauliflower. Love the idea of using it in vegan mac n cheese. I actually made cauliflower tots the other day. Pretty tasty.

  5. katerina says:

    Cauliflower cheese is actually just the British version of Mac n Cheese. I grew up eating it all the time. Traditionally it’s just cauliflower, sometimes also potato, a cheese bechamel sauce, and then baked in the oven. When I became vegan I just made the sauce with earth balance, almond milk and nutritional yeast. It’s delicious!

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