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You asked for it.  I delivered.Meet my new best friend — lightened up mac and cheese with cauliflower thrown in, ya know, just so you get your veggies.  I’ve had SO many requests for a skinny version of macaroni and cheese and didn’t want to post just any recipe.  So I tried a bunch of different ones and this particular one was my absolute favorite!  Not only is this a healthier version, but it’s creamy, super cheesy and has a sweetness that all the other recipes lacked.

Take my word for it.

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The combination of cheddar, parmesan and cream cheese was incredible and instead of making this into one big casserole like the recipe had called for, I put them into individual ramekins for portion control.  If you’re just cooking for two or three, feel free to put this in a few ramekins and the rest of the mac and cheese in a smaller casserole dish that you can heat up the next day.  That way nothing goes to waste and you can enjoy this deliciousness all week!
You may be wondering why I used Italian breadcrumbs instead of making my own.  Well trust me I wanted to, but after I had gone to the store I realized I was out of wheat bread!  So I ended up just using what I had on hand.  A better alternative is blending two pieces of whole wheat bread with about a tablespoon of olive and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese and using that as a topping for your macaroni.  Throw in some chopped parsley like I did for some color and a hint of flavor.  I also used Ronzoni Smart Taste elbow macaroni {which I LOVE} because it has the same great taste as regular pasta but is lower in points.Can’t beat that!

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Lightened-Up Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5 oz) box Ronzoni Smart Taste elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add macaroni and cauliflower. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the water then drain macaroni and cauliflower.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine Italian breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley together and set aside.
  4. Place cheddar, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper in the already heated pot you just used and mix in the macaroni and cauliflower. Stir until well-combined and cheese is completely melted. Add reserved water.
  5. Place in 8 greased ramekins (or a 9x13 baking dish) and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until bubbling and the crumbs are browned. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1 ramekin • Calories: 335 • Fat: 10 g • Carbs: 49 g • Fiber: 6 g • Protein: 16.6 g • WW Points+: 9 pts

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2012/02/lightened-up-mac-cheese-with-cauliflower.html
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Hope y’all enjoy this healthier twist on your favorite comfort food!  And just so you know, the boyfriend gave it two thumbs up.
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