Cauliflower Mac And Cheese With Keilbasa

7 02 2014

Here’s an easy and super healthy mac and cheese homemade right on the stove…but this isn’t from any box! Food Network came up with a brilliant spin on this comfort food, working in an extra serving a veggies that even the kids will enjoy. Wish I thought of this myself! You blend low-fat milk and cauliflower, then melt in reduced-fat cheese to make the sauce. No butter, oil, or extra flour. See, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy meal quickly, that doesn’t come from a box, the frozen section or carry out!

Cauliflower Mac And Cheese With Keilbasa

Cauliflower Mac And Cheese With Keilbasa

The following serves 2-4 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 8 oz)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat macaroni (about 6 oz)
  • Package of turkey kielbasa
  • Salt and pepper

Bring the cauliflower and milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree mixture until smooth. Return to the saucepan and stir in 1 and 1/4 cups cheddar and the parmesan.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs to al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain.

While the pasta cooks, slice the kielbasa in half down the center, and then again in half lengthwise. Add the kielbasa and a little water to a skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat until the water is evaporated and the kielbasa is browned, flipping occasionally.

Add the cooked pasta to the cauliflower mixture along with a little of the reserved cooking water. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the pasta is coated. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Divide mac and cheese among plates, top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar and black pepper. Serve with kielbasa.


Whole Wheat Mac-n-Cheese with Broccoli and Turkey Kielbasa

27 06 2013

Who doesn’t love a comfy mac-n-cheese casserole? But most of us don’t need the extra butter, flour, cream and fattening cheese in our diets (although all of that does make a killer mac-n-cheese). I like to lighten up my Mama’s classic mac-n-cheese and then toss in whatever meat and veggies I have on hand. Once you have the technique down of making the cheese sauce, the extra ingredient possibilities are endless 🙂

Whole Wheat Mac-n-Cheese with Broccoli and Turkey Kielbasa

Whole Wheat Mac-n-Cheese with Broccoli and Turkey Kielbasa

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 box whole wheat pasta, such as penne or macaroni
  • Half an onion, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 package turkey kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup non-fat half and half
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
  • Paprika

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large skillet cook the sliced onions, kielbasa and broccoli florets until they start to soften slightly, turning occasionally for a few minutes. Remove from heat,

Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan – remove from heat and whisk in the flour and dried mustard. Turn heat back on and add chicken stock and non-fat half and half, whisking constantly – stir until sauce thickens a little and is smooth. Next add the shredded cheese. Whisk the sauce with the added cheese until melted, stirring occasionally.

In a large casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, combine the sauce with the cooked pasta, broccoli and kielbasa until well mixed.

Dust the top with paprika and bake uncovered at 375 for about 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top.

Because this is a lightened up version, it won’t be super cheesy or creamy, but it will still be delicious…and of course, healthier for you! Serve with a side salad to round out the meal and enjoy!

Kielbasa and Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese Bake

13 01 2012

Most everyone I know enjoys a comfy mac-n-cheese supper…and I’m no exception! I also enjoy coming up with new ways of making it with creative ingredients. It’s cold and snowy here in CLE, so tonight’s supper was all about feeling warm and comfy with the few ingredients I had on hand. I always start with my Mama’s mac-n-cheese recipe and then add goodies from there 🙂

Kielbasa and Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese Bake

The following serves 4 with leftovers:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs

Tonight’s additional goodies included: 1 package kielbasa chopped and sautéed with a little diced red onion and roasted cauliflower.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

First roast the cauliflower: Line a baking sheet with foil and toss about a half a head or less of fresh cauliflower florets with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, tossing half way through. Remove cauliflower and set aside, leave oven set at 375 degrees.

While the cauliflower is roasting, saute the kielbasa in a medium-large frying pan until caramelized and slightly brown. Add the diced onion when the kielbasa is just about done, saute the onion until browned. Remove the kielbasa and onion onto a plate and set aside. I then used the same frying pan to make the cheese sauce, picking up all the kielbasa bits and flavor. Continue below…

In a saucepan melt butter (or in tonight’s case, use the frying pan you cooked the kielbasa in). Remove from heat, blend in flour with a whisk and then add salt and dried mustard. Turn the heat back on and add milk, stirring constantly. Stir until sauce thickens a little and is smooth. Add cheese and stir until melted, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook macaroni as directed (under cook al dente by a minute or two because it will finish cooking in the oven). Drain pasta and combine with sauce in a 2-quart casserole dish (also add and combine in the cooked kielbasa, onion and cauliflower at this point). Top with buttered bread crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and browned on top. Curl up on the couch with your comfy meal, a blanket and enjoy a movie on a cold Friday night!

Two-for-One Pork Dinners

3 01 2012

Pork roast with sauerkraut and kielbasa on New Years Day is a German tradition I grew up with thanks to my Grandparents, and continues in my own home today. Of course I didn’t always enjoy eating the sauerkraut, but my “Grammy” forced us to eat at least a strand or 2 for good luck….guess it just grows on you over the years. She would melt if she saw me making it on my own these days!

Anyways, I made this lucky dish on New Years Day just like tradition, but decided to reserve some of the pork to make an additional meal later in the week. I got my luck and saved a buck at the same time! Check out how I did it below…

Pork, Sauerkraut and Kielbasa

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Here’s everything you’ll need for two meals:

  • Pork Roast (about 2.5 pounds or so)
  • Chicken broth, enough to cover the pork in the crock pot plus extra for the second meal
  • 1 onion, halved
  • Sauerkraut (1 bag or jar)
  • Kielbasa
  • Brown sugar
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce, use as much as you like
  • Hamburger buns
  • Cheese such as provolone (if you want)

For the pork, sauerkraut and kielbasa dish (serves 4):

Add the pork roast to a crock pot and cover the pork with chicken broth. Next add 2 onions, halved. Cook covered on low for 6-8 hours. You want the pork to be tender and to easily fall apart, that’s how you’ll know it’s done. Remove the meat, tent with foil on a plate or cutting board and rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. At the same time, cut your kielbasa into 1-2 inch pieces and saute in a skillet until slight brown on both sides.

Add your sauerkraut to a medium-sized casserole dish, sprinkle with brown sugar and mix together. The brown sugar will help cut the acidity. Next add your sautéed kielbasa. By this time your pork should have had enough time to rest. Start to pull the pork in pieces using two forks, adding it to the kraut. Reserve some of the pork for the following BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, store in an air tight container in the fridge until ready to use.

Cover the kruat, pork and kielbasa with foil and bake for about 30-45 minutes. This will cook the sauerkraut and help the flavors to combine.

For the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches (serves 2):

Add your reserved pulled pork to a medium saucepan along with some chicken broth (enough to re-moisten the pork, about 1/2 – 3/4 cup), cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until nearly all the chicken broth is gone. This is my trick for keeping the pork tender and juicy.

Next add the BBQ sauce to the pork and cook until headed through, about 5 minutes or so.

Serve on buns with extra BBQ sauce and a slice of cheese like provolone if you’d like…it’s that simple! I served this with a side of corn and a small salad to round out the meal.