No Pasta "Mac" and Cheese Recipes

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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cauliflower-mac-and-cheese

Confession time!!  My secret comfort food has always been Fold's Macaroni and Cheese.  As a teenager I could finish a box and barely feel guilty about it afterwards. At least I made it all by myself.  It doesn't get easier than mac and cheese out of a box and what is it about bright orange cheese powder that just gets me salivating?

Truthfully,

I never even had real macaroni and cheese until I was much older and I rarely make it now, because my oldest son never liked any version of mac and cheese, he doesn't even like pasta unless it is homemade. (I know his future wife is going to kill me, but I am trying to get him to cook for himself)  I secretly hoped I would satisfy my boxed mac and cheese cravings by eating his leftovers, but after a few tries when I ate the whole box he wouldn't even touch, I gave up and haven't seen a box in my house in 10 years and haven't missed it.

Now, we get our mac and cheese fix in a whole new way, comfort me with creamy veggies.  Sure, when you add this much cheese to anything you can't really call it healthy, but it is healthier and a great way to get your veggies.  If you are looking for the real creamy mac and cheese taste, but without the pasta, you must try my latest creation.

cauliflower "mac" and cheese

Replace your macaroni with roasted cauliflower for a creamy, dreamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole.  When I posted this on instagram the crowd went wild, so I knew it was a winner.  Then I had our JOKTaster test it out just to be sure and she loved it so much she made it for her birthday!

I did top it with some toasted panko, but you can keep it gluten free with gluten free panko and potato starch instead of flour.  You can make it ahead and reheat it;  just make sure you serve it extra hot and bubbly.

If your family is on the more adventurous side like mine, we prefer spicy and not quite so creamy, you have to try this.

Mexican Corn Mac and Cheese

This Mexican Corn "Mac" and Cheese doesn't look anything like the original, but the surprising combo of flavors and textures somehow reminded me so much of the favorite comfort food that it was the inspiration for this article.

This recipe is based on a classic street food served in Mexico (so I am told) where they roast the corn on the cob, cover it in mayo, spices and cheese and you somehow figure out how to eat it on the cob on the street.  For this version, I made it the same way, but then took it off the cob and served with a fork, much more civilized for my taste and it doesn't get stuck in your teeth.

The best part is, it is even great the next day served cold!!

I hope I inspired you to think outside the Mac and Cheese box, let me know in the comments below.