Recipes by Lucy Waverman available at www.EpiPen.ca
This healthy macaroni bake is a favourite among kids who crave macaroni and cheese but cannot have dairy. Even kids who think they are eating the real thing can be fooled by this recipe. Cooking and pureeing the cauliflower gives the sauce a whiteness that makes it look like the traditional cream sauce. The zucchini adds a nice colour to the dish but can be omitted if kids don?t like it.
Creamy Macaroni Bake
Heat chicken stock in a pot, add cauliflower and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on size of florets. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and reserve cauliflower and stock separately.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add macaroni to pot and cook according to package directions or until al dente. Drain macaroni, saving 2/3 cup (150 mL) pasta cooking water.
Puree cauliflower and reserved pasta cooking water in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Heat oil for sauce in a separate pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook together until flour turns a light brown colour, about 4 minutes. Add reserved stock, whisking continuously.
Add mustard,oregano, basil and pureed cauliflower and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes to combine flavours. Season well with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or food processor to puree sauce until silky smooth.
Add sauce to pasta mixture and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning.
Oil a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 32-cm) baking dish or other gratin dish.
Pile in pasta mixture, sprinkle on breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes or until dish is hot and sauce is bubbling. If the top has not browned then broil top for 2 minutes or until a slight