Grain Free, Gluten Free “Mac” and Cheese

We love mac and cheese here in the Hogan household. I love it. My mother taught me how to make a traditional mac and cheese many years ago – complete with elbow mac and breadcrumbs on top. Once I moved to the God-Given Diet, it was so hard for me to refuse a serving of Mac and Cheese when John made it up. We only do a pasta meal once a week, usually, because the kids love it, we love it (I am half-Italian afterall), and it gives the teens something to eat for lunches for a few days.

But more than just trying to lose weight by eliminating grains, I’m trying to keep to a more God-Given Diet in general. It’s cheaper overall and better for your health – as well as your pants size.

Lately, I’ve noticed that many people are using cauliflower as a replacement for grains in many main courses. I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower rice dishes. John and I wondered, then, if we could use cauliflower as the “mac” in mac and cheese.

The answer? “Yes! And it’s awesome.”

One of the problems I have with a lot of Paleo or Gluten-Free diet suggestions is that they encourage the use of replacement foods. Now, if you are truly ALLERGIC to gluten, then using something like coconut flour is great. However, the key to weight loss through a grainless diet is to learn to eat better – not to eat just as poorly using gluten or grain-free replacements. Brownies made with coconut or rice flour still have lots of sugar in them and aren’t good for your waistline!

Learning to eat with just the foods that God created for us to eat is crucial to learning to eat well and a great effect of this is losing weight and feeling better and more energetic overall.

Using cauliflower instead of a gluten-free pasta is a great way to incorporate more veg in your meal and get that pasta mouth feel without eating any processed flour at all.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bacon grease or butter

2 tablespoons flour, arrowroot, corn starch or other thickener depending on your tolerance

2 cups milk – can be coconut, dairy, rice or almond

16 ounces cheese of your choice – cheddar, gouda, gruyere or a combo all work well

2 pounds fresh cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces. Compost very thick stem pieces. Frozen can also be used.

Broccoli or other veg to your taste. Kale and spinach chopped small are great add-ins.

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Over medium heat, melt the grease or butter. Once melted, add thickening agent and whisk until incorporated well. Continue to whisk until they form a thick (toothpaste consistency) roux. Add milk and cheese and continue to stir over medium or medium high heat until all cheese is melted. If you don’t think there’s enough cheese – add more.  Saute fresh cauliflower in olive oil or butter while cheese sauce is forming. Add a little water and cover with a lid to steam it through. It’s not necessary to saute frozen cauliflower.

Place cauliflower amd any other vegetables  in a casserole dish and cover with cheese sauce. Stir until the veg and cheese sauce are thoroughly incorporated. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top, if you like, to form a cheesy crust.

Place in oven and bake until the cheese on top is melted to your liking. If you don’t want a crust on top you can avoid this step.

You can also cook up sausage, ham or another meat of your choice and add it in.

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