Holy crap yum. This dish is freaking delicious – and managed to taste like cheese. Without creepy nutritional yeast! Or actual cheese! Yay!
Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian-ish
Paleo Mac & Cheese
Based on Paleo Mac N Cheese from My Natural Family
1 head cauliflower
4 Tbsp. unsalted grassfed butter
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree (100% pumpkin)
1 small carrot (about 1/4 to 1/3 c. diced)
1/2 small onion (about 1/3 c. diced)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
Core your cauliflower and break up into small pieces (you want it to look like macaroni when you’re finished).
Add to a large pan over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp. butter a generous pinch of salt, and the water. Cover and steam 5 minutes or until mostly tender.
Remove the lid and sauté for a few minutes, or until the cauliflower is lightly caramelized in spots.
Remove from heat.
While the cauliflower is working, dice the carrots and onion and add to a saucepan with 2 Tbsp. butter, the pumpkin, 1 tsp. mustard powder, 1 tsp. granulated garlic and a generous pinch salt. Sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Add the can of coconut milk and bring up to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the milk has reduced by 2/3.
During this time, taste for seasoning. The original recipe called for 3/4 tsp. mustard, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp. salt (to me, this tasted like coconut milk). I ended up using more like 2 Tbsp. of each to get the cheese taste I wanted.
When your sauce has reduced and your seasoning is where you want it, transfer the mix to a blender and puree until smooth.
Once the mix is smooth, add the egg and continue pureeing until incorporated. The puree will cook the egg, which will thicken the sauce. If you do this quickly, your sauce will be velvety.
Taste again for seasoning. Add more salt/mustard powder/garlic powder/pepper if necessary.
Pour over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch when combined with simple pan-sauteed chicken breasts.