Have you ever craved a heartwarming bowl of classic macaroni and cheese?
Studies actually show that depriving yourself of a particular food typically increases the likelihood of craving that particular food1. Instead of focusing on a restrictive diet, why not introduce food choices that are equally as delicious and will support your healthy lifestyle?
We have come up with a healthy alternative to this high-fat and starchy comfort food that you can feel good about eating. In our vegan, gluten-free rendition, we have replaced the cheese with a zesty dairy-free ‘cheese’ sauce, and the starchy macaroni with a low-carb vegetable, cauliflower. One serving of cooked cauliflower has just 14 calories and less than 3 grams of carbohydrate2. When cauliflower is cooked it has a mild, slightly sweet and nutty flavor that can resemble an earthy rice or pasta.
If you have healthy alternatives for your familiar and not-so-healthy comfort foods, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can more feasible, and even enjoyable. Try satisfying your next craving with this Healthy ‘Mac n Cheese’ recipe.
Healthy Mac And Cheese – Ingredients
- 4 C cauliflower
- ¼ C unsweetened almond milk
- 6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tsp coconut oil
- up to 1 Tsp ground mustard (the more you use, the zestier the sauce will be)
- ¼ Tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed or 1 Tbsp almond meal, or a mixture of both
Healthy Mac And Cheese – Preparation
1. In a large bowl, break up the cauliflower into small bits. You can even use a food processor if you prefer an even finer chop.
2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the cauliflower bits until they soften up and are semi-translucent.
3. Mix the ingredients for your cheese sauce together in a small bowl. If your sauce appears to be too thick, feel free to add another splash of almond milk to thin it out. If you want you can even add a splash of coconut milk for a creamy addition.
4. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower bits and mix it together evenly.
5. Pour your cauliflower “mac n cheese” into a baking dish or ramekin. You can even use a muffin tin to make individual servings.
6. Sprinkle the ground flaxseed and almond meal on top, and cook in the oven at 400? F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. If you want an extra crispy crust, put it under the boiler for a few minutes.
Hope you enjoy this new version of healthy mac and cheese! Let us know how it goes if you try it out.
- Hill AJ. The psychology of food craving. Proc Nutr Soc. 2007;66(2):277-85. ↩
- 2USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. Available at http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2894?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=cauliflower. ↩