Comfort Food Revamped

There are now endless versions of Mac ‘n Cheese – no one is left out whether you are plant based, coeliac or omnivore there is a recipe for everyone.

I have always watched the American version with horror as they pour the mix from a packet and mix it with milk on the stove (I just cant understand why you wouldn’t want to put it in the oven with cheese on top). Its not a dish I cook often as being a purest it means a fair amount of dairy which probably shouldn’t be consumed on a regular basis.

Photo from SeriousEats.com

The closest we get to a stove top Mac N Cheese in our house is something called ‘One Pot’ where cooked pasta is combined with a mixture of eggs, cheese and black pepper. The pasta is drained and returned to the pan using the residual heat to create a rich and cheese sauce to which bacon bits, ham or even vegetables can be added if desired.

delicious macaroni with cheese served on table with toasted bread and sauce bowls
Photo by Yasser Mohamed on Pexels.com

All things aside mac n cheese is still one of my favourite dishes and a very comforting meal to have on a cold day. I came across a Half Baked Harvest recipe which made me think about the American version in a very different light – one pot creamy cauliflower mac and cheese. It caught my eye because of the addition of cauliflower, a quick read through the recipe confirmed that it would be perfect for my niece and nephew so I sent the recipe straight to my sister who agreed with me.

A fitting tribute to our one pot recipe it really does only use one pot and there is no draining water or fuss. The more I thought about it the more I could see this recipe being adapted into a multitude of different versions. Broccoli and maybe even butternut squash would be perfect replacements for those without cauliflower in their fridges.

For me the best thing about mac n cheese is putting it in a baking dish, adding cheese to top and putting in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes for a glorious crispy top. I cant see that this wouldn’t be doable with this recipe if you don’t mind waiting the extra time but I’m sure it would be delish without that extra step.

Now there are some I’m sure who believe mac n cheese shouldn’t be messed with but I like to think there’s room for manoeuvre with recipes and the thought of making it healthier can only make it a good thing in my opinion, it made me wonder…would gnocchi work? More specifically vegetable based gnocchi? There has been a recent fashion for both cauliflower and butternut squash/pumpkin gnocchi so why not combine these two luxurious ingredients? I am of course not the only one to have this thought – a quick google taught me that – but why the devil not? Surely this is the combination is a match made in heaven for those seeking low-carb and keto options – google it and you will find a plethora of recipes to point you in the right direction. In the UK these new versions of gnocchi are not so readily available so it will be a case of finding a recipe to make my own.

raw gnocchis on floured surface
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

I will let you know how I get on. In the meantime have you got a go-to recipe for mac n cheese? Do you make yours with gnocchi? Let me know in the comments below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/nomwritingfood

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