Cauliflower Cheese Gets A Healthy Makeover: Delicious And Lighter Comfort Food

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Cauliflower cheese: a classic side dish that’s synonymous with warm, comforting meals. But what if you could enjoy that same cheesy goodness without all the extra fat and calories? Well, you can! This healthy cauliflower cheese recipe reimagines the traditional dish using lighter ingredients and clever techniques, resulting in a satisfying side that won’t weigh you down.

This guide goes beyond just a recipe – it’s your one-stop shop for everything cauliflower cheese! We’ll cover the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, nutritional information, and even answer some frequently asked questions. So, grab your favorite baking dish, and let’s get cheesy!

Easy Healthy Cauliflower Cheese Recipe No Butter - Tastefully Vikkie
Easy Healthy Cauliflower Cheese Recipe No Butter – Tastefully Vikkie

Ingredients

For the Cauliflower:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • For the Cheese Sauce:

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your preferred milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Directions

    Preparing the Cauliflower:

    1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a baking dish.
    2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
    3. Spread the seasoned cauliflower florets in a single layer on the prepared baking dish.
    4. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

    Making the Cheese Sauce:

    1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
    2. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to create a roux.
    3. Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, ensuring no lumps remain. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
    4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, almond milk, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.

    Bringing it Together:

    1. Pour the hot cheese sauce over the roasted cauliflower in the baking dish.
    2. Gently toss to coat the florets evenly.
    3. Return the dish to the preheated oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is bubbly and golden brown on top.
    4. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

    Nutrition Facts

    (Serving size: 1/2 cup)

    Calories: 220

  • Fat: 10g (of which 4g saturated)
  • Carbohydrates: 18g (of which 5g sugar)
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Sodium: 350mg

  • Please note: This is just an approximate nutritional breakdown. The actual values may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.

    Conclusion

    Healthy cauliflower cheese? You bet! This recipe proves that delicious doesn’t have to mean unhealthy. By using low-fat cheeses, healthier fats like olive oil, and a touch of almond milk, we’ve created a lighter version of a classic dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

    Enjoy this healthy take on cauliflower cheese with roasted chicken, grilled fish, or even as a vegetarian main course. It’s a versatile side dish that’s sure to become a staple in your healthy recipe repertoire.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use different types of cheese?

    Absolutely! While we used cheddar and Parmesan in this recipe, feel free to experiment with other low-fat cheeses like Gruyere, Monterey Jack, or even goat cheese. Just adjust the amount based on the strength of the cheese you choose.

    2. Do I have to use almond milk?

    Not at all! You can substitute unsweetened regular milk, low-fat milk, or even plant-based alternatives like oat milk or cashew milk. Choose whichever option best suits your dietary needs and preferences.

    3. Can I make this recipe vegan?

    Yes! To create a vegan version of this dish, simply use vegan butter, vegan cheese alternatives, and your preferred plant-based milk. Remember to choose vegan cheeses that melt well for the best results.