Call it Mockaroni and Cheese, or Macaphony and Cheese, but whatever you call it, this stuff was awe.some.
I had a terrible craving for some sort of pasta and cheesy sauce, or alfredo sauce, or something with a bite and some cream. However, I’m doing the low carb thing and I’m starting to realize just how carb intolerant I actually am. So, what’s a girl to do? Come up with something that will satisfy all those cravings! And while I wouldn’t call this “health food”, it is low carb and there are lots of great nutrients in a bunch of the ingredients.
I made a couple of mistakes while making this, but I’m going to list the ingredients and steps the way they should have been done, so if my photos don’t seem to match exactly what I’m talking about, please forgive me and know that in the end it will be fantastic! Just as a head’s up, I forgot to add the tomatoes, so they’re what’s missing in the pictures. I remedied that in the end and you’ll see that in the last pictures. Here’s what I did:
- Three heads of cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 7 cloves of garlic, chopped, divided
- 1 lb. spinach
- 5 med. tomatoes
- 1 lb. ground pork (I’m thrilled to have access to local, chemical free pork and it’s amazing!)
- 3 cups of heavy cream (I think next time I’d only use two, maybe two and a half)
- About 1/3 of a brick of cream cheese – if the sauce needs thickening add more
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- about 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- about 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- half tablespoon each of cayenne pepper, chili powder and cumin
- olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the cauliflower florets out on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, a big pinch of salt and toss to coat. Cook for 30 minutes, or until golden. Remove and set aside.
meanwhile, chop your onion and garlic (take a moment to admire this gorgeous, chemical free onion… Isn’t it sexy?)
heat a large saute pan on med/high heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and when it ribbons, add the onion, half of the garlic, cayenne, chili powder and cumin and saute until the onion is translucent.
Admire my gorgeous, local bred, local fed, chemical free pork… freshly ground, just a couple of days ago.
Add the pork to the onion and garlic and brown
When it’s cooked through, transfer to a heat safe bowl (I love my Pyrex bowls), cover with foil and set aside.
In a large pot with a lid, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. When it ribbons, add the rest of the garlic, and saute for a minute or so. Add the spinach and saute for a minute. Add about 1/3 cup of water and cover to steam.
When it’s wilted, transfer to the bowl with the pork, recover and set aside.
Add the cream to the pot that you cooked the spinach in, then add the cream cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire and whisk until everything is melted and combined. Add the cheddar cheese a little at a time and whisk to combine.
When the sauce is smooth, add the cauliflower, spinach and pork to the sauce and toss to coat everything.
Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, until everything is bubbly.
Ok, so here’s where I made the mistake. This was delicious, but I had always intended to add tomatoes to it. I completely forgot to do that and when this came out of the oven it was really good. However, I knew it would be better with tomato, so I chopped the tomatoes, added them to the mixture and put it back in the oven at 400 for another 20 minutes.
I think that using only 2-2.5 cups of cream and adding the tomatoes before the first bake would be perfect. In the end I was glad that I had used 3 cups of cream, because baking twice might have really dried it out. This truly satiated my craving for pasta – I promise! Let me know if you make this and how it worked for you.
Serves 6, possibly 8-10 if you serve a salad along side.
It is OK to use my photos or content provided a link back and proper crediting is given