Over the weekend my friend T. described a cheesy baked cauliflower dish that she’d made. It was a riff on mac-n-cheese, except with cauliflower.
It sounded delicious.
I decided to make my own version. Without a recipe.
If you are a regular reader, you know that I hate all domestic chores, but especially cooking, so this was a bold and unusual move.
I started with a 16 oz bag of crumbled cauliflower rice.
I decided to add protein via a 15 oz can of (rinsed) garbanzo beans mixed with the cauliflower.
To make it creamy, I added 8 oz of fat-free cream cheese.
I put all of these in a microwave-safe bowl and cooked for four minutes. After stirring and tasting, I decided it sorely lacked flavor and added about a tablespoon of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Big improvement.
Here’s where I made a mistake: in my zeal to make this dish healthy, I used two cups of fat-free shredded cheddar.
This was a bad decision. Not only is this cheese waxy and flavorless, it does not melt well. Do yourself a favor and get reduced fat cheese, the sharper the better. Or go nuts and get full fat. Just avoid the orange stuff above.
I stirred half of the cheese into the cauliflower mix and poured it into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. The rest of the cheese went on top.
The casserole went into a 350 F oven for about 35 minutes. I kept waiting for the cheese to melt and make a satisfying golden brown crust, but that never really happened.
I served it with a salad.
Verdict: in the end, this was pretty tasty. No joke! I liked it enough to have leftovers at lunch the next day.
My kids hated it, though. Spouse didn’t try it.
So there you have it.
P.S. I think this dish still has potential, especially if you get the cheese right. There is also room to add in a lot of other veggies. Sun dried tomatoes would be terrific in here.