I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
March is National Nutrition Month and the theme this year is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right." It’s also time for another recipe challenge. This time the California Milk Advisory Board is celebrating "dairy good" nutrition by challenging Recipe Reduxers to lighten up some of their favorite recipes with real California dairy foods. The hardest part for me was deciding which California dairy products to use, as there are hundreds of them available nationwide.
California leads the nation in production of milk, butter, and ice cream. They are number two in cheese and yogurt production. While they may not be the leader in cheese production, they are at an all-time high. Real California milk and dairy products are sold nationwide and can be identified with the Real California Milk or Real California cheese seals on packaging. Look for the Real California Milk seal on packages of butter to identify dairy products made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms.
Macaroni and Cheesy Cauliflower
1 cup dry macaroni (whole wheat or high fiber)1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into florets (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons California butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups California nonfat milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
6 ounces California extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 cups fresh whole grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil macaroni in large pot of boiling water, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes (or according to package directions). Add cauliflower florets to pasta water during last 7 minutes of cooking. Remove pasta and cauliflower from pot; set aside. Reserve 1 cup cooking water.Melt California butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in California milk, garlic, and reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat 7 to 10 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in peas, all but 1/2 cup shredded California Cheddar cheese, ground peppers, and nutmeg; stir until cheese is melted. Stir in cooked cauliflower and macaroni.
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower mixture to dish and spread evenly. Top with bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 cup shredded California Cheddar cheese, and parsley. Bake 30 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly. Place under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until breadcrumbs are crisp and lightly brown.Makes 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Information per Serving (1/8th of recipe):247 calories, 11 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 4 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein, and 266 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein, vitamins C and K-1, calcium, and folate and a good source of riboflavin and thiamine.
Cost per Serving (1/8 of recipe): $0.83Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.
Be sure to check out these other "healthier" favorites.