Recipe: “Caulifloweroni” & Cheese Stuffed Peppers

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Can you hardly tell by these photos that this dish is actually pretty healthy and macro-friendly?  You’ll feel the same way when you’re eating it!  Swap out the processed, vitamin-lacking, and high carb pasta for cauliflower instead to add more vegetable variety to your diet, include some extra micronutrients, and be able to eat more because each serving is only 6.5g of carbohydrates, 9g of protein, and 5.5g of fat!  To cut out some fat content from normal mac & cheese, I used 2% milk and low fat shredded cheese.  If you’re willing to use more of your fat allowance towards this meal, using heavy cream instead or melting some cream cheese into your cheese sauce will make it that much more creamy and delicious!  Another possible, yummy add-in…bacon 🙂 but again, it will increase the fat content for your overall macronutrient profile…nothing wrong with that though if it works with your goals!

I shared some sneak-peaks of this on my IG story earlier this week, follow me @danielletkearns to stay up to date on what’s coming up and when I share new posts, or subscribe to my blog to receive email updates anytime a new recipe is shared!! Thanks!

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Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

1 1/4 cups of milk (I used 2%, can use any % or heavy cream, will change macro profile)

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Blend Lite Cheese

1 Tbsp Coconut Flour (can also use 1/4 cup regular flour instead)

4 Peppers (I used 2 red and 2 green for a colorful variety – you can use any color; reds & oranges are slightly sweeter than greens)

1 Tbsp garlic powder

~2 Tbsp chives

salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Slice the peppers in half, clean out all the seeds inside, and place open-side up in a baking dish.  Lightly spray with oil, and pre-bake them about 15 minutes.
  3. While the peppers are softening in the oven, boil the cauliflower (broken into small chunks) until it’s crisp-tender.  Drain and then lay the cauliflower between some layers of paper towels and press out as much water as you can!  Once dried as much as possible, put into a medium sized bowl and break the pieces up into smaller chunks.
  4. On the oven, bring the milk to a simmer (stir often) and then stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the coconut flour, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper.  Once everything is melted and blended together, pour into the bowl with the cauliflower and mix everything together.  Dice the chives into small pieces and stir into your mix and add in red pepper flakes to your liking!
  5. Peppers should be removed by the oven once they’re somewhat tender and the temperature should be turned up to 400 degrees.
  6. Scoop your “caulifloweroni” and cheese mixture into each pepper half (should fill all 8 halves) and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly and the cheese is thoroughly melted or slightly browned!

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Hope you enjoy!  Tag me in your food photos if you whip this up!!

**UPDATE**

Straight up Caulifloweroni & Cheese

I ran out of peppers and wanted a new twist on this delicious, healthy combination!

Following the same instructions above, I also mixed in 2 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard to the cheese sauce while still on the stove top.   I also added some green zucchini chopped into small chunks to the pressed out cauliflower chunks and then mixed it all with the milk, cheese, garlic and mustard sauce into an 8×8 square baking dish.  Topped with chopped chives and some extra cheese and baked at 400 until bubbly and melt-y!!

I enjoyed it alongside my Turkey Burgers (Perfect Breakfasts & Recipe: Breakfast Meatballs/TurkeyVeggie Burgers) for a classic, childish meal that was actually filled with vegetables and a healthy balance of macronutrients!

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Enjoy!

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