Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? It’s the kind of comfort food that warms the belly and calms the soul, but oh man, talk about fat and carbs.
There is a way to cut back on both and still have a hardy and rewarding meal with a little less guilt or worry. This is my version of a lower fat/lower carb Mac and cheese. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
4 cups Cauliflower
1/2 pound pasta
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped ham
1 chopped onion
3 cups 1% milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
Panko bread crumbs
Cut the cauliflower into one inch pieces. I was able to find an orange cauliflower at a local farm stand for only $2.00! Yes, I love being frugal also! Steam the cauliflower until just a little tough to a poke with a fork. It will cook some more when you bake it. After steaming, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the 1/2 pound of pasta until al dente. I used cavatappi since they hold the sauce and add a little fun to the mix. After draining the water, rinse the pasta with cold water to stop the cooking while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the ham and cook in the olive oil to get rid of that extra moisture. Then add the onion and cook until just translucent. Turn down the heat a little and add the flour. Mix it all up until it’s a little on the dry side. If you’re using some kind of cast iron stove to oven pan, this will happen quickly from the pan retaining the heat, so really turn it down until you add the milk.
If you haven’t used a stove to oven baking pan/dish, place the mixture in a greased baking dish. Top with the Panko and if you’d like, some additional cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and then broil for about 2-4 to brown the top! Voila, you are done!