Too often in the midst of a busy schedule, I loose perspective that each day is a precious gift . That’s why when our daughter asked if we’d watch our 2 grandchildren so they could celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, we didn’t hesitate. With a cooking class to teach and make ahead meals on my to do list for the same weekend, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to spend time with these 2 fun little characters!
There is a God-planted awareness humming inside of me for some family friends under going challenging times whom I wanted to offer some hands on help. I couldn’t shake this one off even with a crammed weekend. So among the cooking class, yard work and grandbaby sitting I managed to squeeze in a double batch of the following recipe. After all, I had a fun little helper!
Both families receiving meals are healthy “conventional” eaters with no allergies. Comfort food is in order; Mac n’cheese studded with roasted broccoli and cauliflower. I’m thinking a kid-friendly dish that adults would also enjoy. For gluten free preferences , our daughter whose doing gluten free for baby Tatem, substituted gluten free pasta for regular pasta and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder for the flour in the sauce. Take care when roasting the arrowroot powder that it doesn’t burn.
4 – 5 cups cooked whole grain macaroni or any small pasta
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat pastry or unbleached white)
2 cups 1% milk
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
dash of garlic powder
dash of nutmeg
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the broccoli florets and cauliflower florets in a large bowl with olive oil, fresh garlic and sea salt. Place in a large roasting pan with a lip in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. You can do this step a few days ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.
I stole a half hour in the wee hours of the morning before our little guests awoke and was pulling the veggies out of the oven while Tatem was eating breakfast. She immediately started begging for broccoli. What, broccoli for breakfast? Why not?
Melt butter in a medium saucepan, heating olive oil also along with it. Blend in flour and saute over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk, continuing to stir. I like to add a small amount of the milk, stir until smooth, then add the remainder of the milk.
Add the cottage cheese along with all of the seasonings. Cook on a medium flame stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Simmer a few minutes longer. Let cool.
Combine sauce, noodles, roasted veggies, and most of the cheese in a large bowl, mixing completely.
Top with remaining grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 – 20 minutes, or seal with aluminum foil and freeze.
I doubled this recipe to make 2 – 13 x 9 pans.