Monday, April 8, 2013

Mockafoni & Cheese

  If you know me, you know that I LOVE a good macaroni and cheese. (Just browse through all of the mac n cheese recipes that I've posted!) There are few dishes that are as warm and comforting and I think it's arguably the quintessential comfort food. But what if you're choosing to remove carbs from your diet? No more mac and cheese, right? Well, almost. This recipe will satisfy your craving for rich and hearty mac and cheese but without all the carbs.
It's another recipe I recently discovered on a food blog called Linda's Low Carb Menus and Recipes. If you're counting your carbs, this site is a GOLDMINE with everything from hints and tips to dozens and dozens of recipes. Every recipe she posts has been tested by her and her family, and she includes nutrition information as well! How awesome is that? I love the fact the her low carb recipes are delicious enough for someone who isn't counting carbs. Take this recipe, for instance. If someone just made this as a side dish for a roast beef dinner, and served it to his or her guests, no one would ever think that the recipe was devised with carb counting in mind. It's just a rich and decadent dish! That's the best kind of low carb recipe, I think. It makes you forget that you've removed anything from your diet.
  In my humble opinion, if someone is trying to lose weight by restricting carbs, he's likely to be more successful if he doesn't focus on what he's no longer "allowed" to eat. Instead, it's just a matter of making different food choices that just happen to have a lower carb count, that's all. If you think of it like that, you're more likely to stay on track and reach your goal!  That's sounds pretty good to me.
 So, thank you, Linda, for the recipe. I know I'll be making this one again.
  I think YOU should make it too! Love it.

16 ounce bag frozen cauliflower
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream or low carb milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced chives, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook the cauliflower until tender; drain well. In a 1 1/2 quart casserole; soften the cream cheese in the microwave about 30-40 seconds on HIGH. Whisk in the cream until smooth, then stir in 4 ounces cheddar cheese. Microwave on MEDIUM about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Stir well until creamy and smooth, microwaving a little longer if necessary. Stir in the green onions, chives, salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and gently fold into the cheese sauce to coat well. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Top with the remaining 2 ounces cheese and bake at 350º for 35 minutes, until bubbly and brown on top.

Per 1/4 Recipe: 326 Calories; 27g Fat; 15g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carbs
Per 1/6 Recipe: 217 Calories; 18g Fat; 10g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs

I used fresh cauliflower instead of frozen and I doubled the whole recipe. It turned out great! I figured I might as well make a big batch, then I can always freeze the leftovers. I also added a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese over the top before the shredded cheddar.

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