Mac N’ Cheese Clean and Healthy

Mac N’ Cheese is an awesome favorite of my clients. Challenge? Make it (mostly) anti-inflammatory and Healthy. I’m up for the challenge. First things first, find a recipe to start with. Why reinvent the wheel? Most clean eating advocates have probably already trekked this road and since Mac N’ Cheese is not something that I make, I will need a recipe. A quick search on Pinterest finds me a recipe from ifoodreal. Thank you Olena! Her recipe is super easy to follow and needs only some slight modifications to make it less likely to cause inflammation. The inflammation culprits in this dish are the pasta, flour and dairy.

Well, it’s next to impossible to remove the Dairy from this dish, but you can clean it up. Goat’s or sheep’s milk is generally healthy and may be suitable for those who can’t tolerate (or should not consume) cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains a form of casein (protein) that can aggravate the immune system (inflammation).

Removing the wheat and gluten causing ingredients and replacing with healthy plant based proteins boosts this recipe into full meal status. Using the Organic dairy products removes any chance of GMOs and swapping them out for Goat’s milk products makes it more digestive friendly.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Ancient Harvest Quinoa Supergrain pasta Macaroni Elbows
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower (1.5 lbs), riced in a food processor or minced
  • 1 Organic small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp organic butter
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free Organic Oat Flour
  • 2 cups Goat’s milk or Organic Milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (8oz) Organic Cheddar Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 9″ x 13″ baking dish with a light coat of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to instructions subtracting 2-3minutes, stirring occasionally. At the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the cauliflower. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and transfer to a large back to the pot you boiled it in (no sense in dirtying more dishes). Set aside.
  3. Preheat large skillet on low heat and add butter, olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oat flour and cook for another minute or until flour is well combined . Whisk in milk, raising heat to medium – high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low – medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1 cup of cheese, sea salt and black pepper, and stir until the sauce is smooth. Pour into the bowl with pasta and cauliflower, mix well. The mixture should be thick and not saucy.
  4. Transfer mixture to previously prepared baking dish, level with spatula and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden crust and edges appear. Cut and serve hot.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.

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