Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pasta-less "Mac and Cheese"

When I started my clean(er) eating adventures in August 2012, I knew that dinner was going to be my biggest challenge. First of all, I hate(d) to cook. It was easy enough to substitute cereal for egg bake at breakfast, salad for lunch everyday, and fruits and veggies for snacks. But dinner...I was not ready to conquer. I had a bit of a transition phase last spring where I attempted some new recipes, but nothing really stuck.

However,  in August, I quit eating pasta (a staple of our dinner once or twice a week), and the need for dinner recipes arose. We got by for a month or two on our old staples (grilled pizza, paninis, chicken meals), but after noticing how much better I felt without pasta in my diet, I decided to give cutting back on bread/wraps a try at the end of October. Now I was really stuck...what the heck do we do for dinner.

Hence the obsession with quinoa and cauliflower this last month. The recipes you can make with these two ingredients are endless. I am sure you are all tired of hearing about my cauliflower pizza crust (yumm...I want some just thinking about it) and the quinoa bean salad (already made and in the fridge for tomorrow's late night dinner), so I've decided to do a little experiment over the next few weeks (well..let's be realistic, months) and try a new recipe every other week or so.

This weeks adventure - Cheesy Quinoa and Cauliflower, otherwise known as Pasta-less Mac and Cheese.

When I told Nate last night at the grocery store we would be having Cauliflower and Quinoa Mac and Cheese his response was "NO" with a disgusted face. His claim was that you can't mess with a classic. Understood, but we were trying it anyway. I told him if he didn't like it, we could go out and grab a bite, my treat.

And the verdict...DELICIOUS. Even Nate liked loved it (although he said MORE CHEESE for next time). This was seriously tasted (and smelled) like mac and cheese, minus the consistency. This is definitely going into our meal rotation. And this recipe gets big time bonus points for how easy it is. It took 20 minutes to cook and only required dumping the quinoa, chicken broth and cauliflower into a pot and leaving it until it was done. Add cheese and viola! I am thinking for next week I am going to cut the recipe in half and add in some chicken! Enjoy!

This may look like a bowl of mush, but I assure you it is delicious! 

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