Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mac-and-Cheese with Cauliflower & Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 medium red bell peppers
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. chile powder
8 oz penne pasta
5 c. small cauliflower florets
3 Tbsp. chopped chives

1. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Cut into 1 inch pieces and put in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Cut the garlic in half, lengthwise, and add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until the peppers are very soft. Transfer the contents of the saucepan, including the water, to a food processor or blender. Add the butter, honey, chile powder, and salt to taste and process until very smooth. Return to saucepan.
2.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cauliflower and cook for 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and shake dry. Transfer to a large bowl. Heat the sauce and pour it over the pasta. Add the cheese and stir well. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 6.
Recipe from: Eat Fresh Food

Why so good for you: Because there is only 1 c. cheese & 1 T. butter, but more importantly it is loaded with bell peppers and cauliflower. Here are some facts about them:
Cauliflower: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.
Red bell peppers are among the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can buy, with just one medium pepper (148 g) containing only about 30-40 calories and providing an excellentsource of vitamin C (one of the best sources), vitamin A, and vitamin B6. This same serving also provides a good source of fiber and vitamin E (a potent antioxidant). This diet-friendly treat has no fat, cholesterol or sodium and very few carbohydrates.

Appearance: Very pretty for Mac & Cheese... gourmet for sure!
Cost: Our Bell Peppers were on sale for 90 cents, but those can get pricey... so I plan to only make this when they go on sale.
Taste: My confession is that I can hardly tolerate cauliflower. I just have never grown to love it and I keep trying it in hopes that I will someday grow up and love it. But alas, this recipe didn't do it for me. However James really liked it. So if you love cauliflower and bell pepper, you will love it! And if you don't you will enjoy a few bites and then be done with your monthly fill of cauliflower.


  1. Way excited about this one. Now Mac n Cheese won't be just for the kids anymore.

  2. We had this one for dinner tonight. Everyone loved. I changed it up just a bit and used asparagus because we didn't have bell peppers. Still yummy though.