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If you’re looking for a low carb mac and cheese replacement, you may be surprised by this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. Yes, I know it’s not actual pasta, but it will totally fulfill that comfort food craving! It’s almost just as good, and so much healthier.
That’s saying a lot, because when I was a kid, pasta was pretty much its own food group for me. Being one of the pickiest eaters you’ll ever find, even common so-called “kid foods” like fries and pizza were “no’s” at one point.
Pasta, on the other hand, that was always an enthusiastic “yes”! With some butter or olive oil and a very generous helping of shredded cheese… I could’ve eaten pasta every day. Fortunately, I was in rhythmic gymnastics for 20 hours a week, so there was no problem staying fit even with all the pasta I was eating.
Being Russian, I didn’t get to try all-American macaroni and cheese until much later. I still remember tasting it for the first time, at a friend’s house as a pre-teen. Not knowing (or caring!) back then about how processed it was, I absolutely fell in love! Of course the creamy cheese sauce was the best part.
My adoration for mac and cheese followed me through my college years. I didn’t cook a lot in college, but mac and cheese was a staple. I learned to make my own homemade kind eventually, and then I missed it dearly when I switched to a low carb and gluten-free lifestyle.
These days, low carb cauliflower mac and cheese is my ultimate comfort food. The cheddar cheese sauce is so deliciously rich and creamy! And, it’s super simple, with just three ingredients in the sauce, plus salt and pepper.
Roasted cauliflower makes a great stand-in for macaroni – hence the name, Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese. It’s still on my list to create a low carb pasta recipe, but until then, the cauliflower does surprisingly well. Particularly because it’s roasted.
You guys, always roast your cauliflower whenever possible! Do not steam it, unless you’re making cauliflower breadsticks or something. Roasting is more flavorful, and you don’t get that steamed cauliflower smell. So. Much. Better. (If you’re looking for another delicious way to enjoy roasted cauliflower, try roasted broccoli and cauliflower with parmesan and garlic, or an easy pesto chicken bake with cauliflower.)
If keto cauliflower mac and cheese isn’t enough, you can lighten up the recipe by using more almond milk and less cream. Or just the opposite, make it more rich by using more cream instead. Coconut milk or coconut cream would also be fine, if you don’t mind some coconut flavor in there. I also like to throw in some garlic or other spices for a more adult version.
Backtracking a little, I said “so-called kid foods” near the beginning of the post, because I don’t believe in this “separate kid foods” nonsense as an adult. With my own kids, they eat what we eat at the table. Sure, I may cut it into fun shapes or something as they get older, but the food will still be the same as ours. Real Food.
My job is to offer my kids nutritious food, and it’s up to them to choose how much they want to eat. This is so important for them to learn to recognize hunger signals and get used to eating unprocessed foods. If you do this consistently, it pays off! My two year old is excited when she sees that I made cauliflower mac and cheese, and begs me for more.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe – 5 Ingredients (Low Carb, Keto, Gluten-free):
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Want more low carb, gluten-free, kid friendly recipes? Try these: