LOW CARB Chipotle Cauliflower “No-Mac” & Cheese with White Beans

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – this has to be one of the greatest Goddamn things ever!  I cannot recommend highly enough that you try this.  You can leave out the white beans (which I added for texture & fiber content) if you are serious about dodging carbs or make it with pasta instead of cauliflower if you are carbo-loading for a marathon – or do part cauliflower & part pasta.  You could add black beans or corn or garbanzo beans or diced tomato – or avocado after it is baked as a garnish.  So many options.  I made this up out of my head with ingredients on hand.  My version used 1 cup heavy cream & 1 cup water because I didn’t have milk.  It came out a tad wetter than I expected – probably because cauliflower doesn’t absorb moisture the way pasta does  – and I’d never attempted an all cauliflower mac & cheese before.  If you like your mac & cheese (or your cheesy veggies) wet – this recipe is for you.  If not either cut the milk by 1/2 or add another 1/2 cup each of the cheeses – or both.  That should solve the problem.  Or add a cup of cooked pasta.  I feel very confident about this recipe & that you will enjoy it – wet or dry.  And, though I haven’t confirmed this yet, I bet it is better the next day.  It could be made vegan by simply using the vegan alternatives to the dairy in the recipe.  This recipe is pretty spicy so – adjust the chipotle & jalapeno, if you are sensitive to heat.

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LOW CARB Chipotle Cauliflower “No-Mac” & Cheese with White Beans

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – cut into but sized florets (I did the cutting after it was cooked & cooled)

1 can white beans

4 TBS butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 cups milk (or 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup water) – or less for a dryer result

5 chipotle peppers & their adobo sauce – diced

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

1 red (or green) serrano pepper – seeded & diced (optional)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro – chopped

1 cup quality cheddar (I used Kerrygold Reserved Cheddar) – or 1/2 cup more more for a cheesier result

1 cup quality pepper jack cheese (I used Tillamook Pepper Jack) – or 1/2 cup more for a cheesier result

S&P to taste

1/2 cup Panko or other bread crumbs

1/2 cup additional grated cheese to top the casserole

Additional cilantro for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the over to 350.

Boil water & add the cauliflower to it.  Boil about 6-7 minutes.  Drain & rinse under cool water.  Drain the beans & add to the cauliflower.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the flour & whisk continuously so i doesn’t burn.  It should brown just a bit.  Add garlic powder, smoked paprika & slowly whisk in the milk – allowing the sauce to thicken.  Add chipotle & sauce & cilantro & jalapeno & serrano peppers (if using).  Raise heat to medium-high & simmer about 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.  Add the cheeses in increments, allowing it all to melt without clumping.  If it gets too thick, add water or a little milk.

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Add the white beans & cauliflower florets & stir to coat.

Grease a casserole pan or other baking dish.  Top with additional grated cheese & bread crumbs.  Put the cheesy cauliflower in it,  top with additional grated cheese & bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until the sides are bubbling & the bread crumbs are browned.  Remove from heat & let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with additional fresh cilantro.

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2 thoughts on “LOW CARB Chipotle Cauliflower “No-Mac” & Cheese with White Beans

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