Hidden Cauliflower Cheese Pasta Sauce

Hidden Cauliflower Cheese Pasta Sauce

DD is going through a pasta and cheese sauce phase just now. Every time I ask her what she wants for dinner I get the same reply: “Macaroni with cheese sauce, please.”  She likes her pasta and cheese with olives, chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh parsley scattered over the top, so at least there’s some veg in that meal.

However, this is not to every child’s liking. Both my boys would kick up a massive fuss if I dared scatter fresh tomatoes over the top of their pasta.

in-my-veg-box-cauliflower1Cauliflower is not a vegetable I ever think to buy, but it’s been making a regular appearance in our house via our Turriefield Vegetable Box. That’s one of the many things I love about our veg box, it forces me to get creative with ingredients I normally wouldn’t think to use. Like cauliflower (and cabbage!). They are expanding my vegetable horizons!

There’d been a paper bag of cauliflower sitting in the fridge for over a week, silently waiting (nagging) to be made into something before it went to waste. I’d no idea what I was going to do with it until DD asked for macaroni cheese for dinner again, and while I was hanging out the laundry I had a brainwave: purée it and hide it in the sauce!

It worked! DD had a massive bowl and it wasn’t until she was nearly finished when she commented, “There’s something different about this.” But she was none the wiser that she’d just eaten a generous helping of cauliflower.

cheesepleaseThis recipe is the usual cheese sauce I make for DD, slightly adapted to include the hidden cauliflower. If you don’t fancy the cauliflower bit you could always use extra milk to make a regular cheese sauce. Leftovers freeze really well, so I always make a big batch of sauce and freeze the rest in DD sized portions for a quick mid-week meal.

I’m linking this quick and easy recipe up with a few food blogging challenges. First, In My Veg Box, co-hosted by Manjirichitnis over at Slice Off Me and Nanya over at Citrus Spice UK, is all about cooking vegetarian with cauliflower this month.

simpleandinseason

This month’s Simple & In Season over at Ren Behan’s beautiful food blog is all about seasonal recipes. I’m just learning about seasonal produce now and I’m going to assume that if it’s arrived in my veg box it is seasonal! Cheese, please! over at Fromage Homage has a theme of Cheesonal and Seasonal this month, combining cheese with at least one seasonal ingredient.

pasta pleasePasta Please, the brain child of Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes, and guest hosted by Nazima over at Franglais Kitchen is also about cooking seasonally this month.

Lastly, I’m linking up with Extra Veg, a challenge designed to get us eating more vegetables. Co-founded by Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle at Utterly Scrummy, this month’s challenge is guest hosted by Shaheen over at Allotment 2 Kitchen. This challenge is a blog hop, so scroll down to see what other foodies have been sneaking extra veg into!

Hidden Cauliflower Cheese Pasta Sauce
A deliciously creamy cheese sauce with hidden vegetables! Ideal for picky children.
Hidden Cauliflower Cheese Pasta Sauce
A deliciously creamy cheese sauce with hidden vegetables! Ideal for picky children.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4people 10minutes 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place cauliflower in a medium sized saucepan and cover in water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large saucepan until it starts to bubble.
  3. Stir in flour and cook, while stirring, for one minute.
  4. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the milk.
  5. Return pan to heat and stir until the sauce thickens. It will be quite thick at this stage. Remove pan from heat.
  6. When the cauliflower is tender, drain and purée.
  7. Stir cauliflower purée, mature cheddar, mustard and cayenne into the sauce.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve sauce with pasta.
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes enough sauce to feed four adults, however, if you are just feeding small children with it leftovers freeze very well. Freeze in individual child-sized portions for a quick mid-week meal.

Made with Love Mondays, hosted by Javelin Warrior

Comments

    • says

      Thanks Mark. I was really pleased it worked so well – sometimes it can be difficult to get the kids to eat their veggies. Fruit isn’t a problem as they’d live off that if they could, but vegetables are an entirely different story!

  1. says

    This looks so very good!!

    I had a renaissance moment with cauliflower too – like you, I had a lovey cauliflower in the fridge waiting to be used and I had no idea what to make apart from cauliflower cheese. I happened to be listening to the Food Programme on Radio 4 and they were talking about cauliflower recipes. I cooked up one of their suggested recipes and haven’t looked back! Cauliflowers are fab vegetables and so cheap. This is the recipe I did; http://www.flavourforbaby.com/#!Cauliflower-with-chorizo-olives-capers-garlic-and-extra-virgin-olive-oil/c1mlq/3117910B-26F2-4D0A-B922-4032C0BEAFE3

    • says

      I agree, I think my family has been missing out all these years! It is a very inexpensive vegetable, and so good for you too! Will pop over just now to check out your recipe! Thanks for your lovely comment x

  2. says

    Off to pin, thank you. I wonder if I can get my husband to eat it. I am setting myself a challenge later in the year which will involve using seasonal produce so thank you for pointing me towards some help.

    Well done on making it to the BiBs Finals.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Homeless at SixteenMy Profile

  3. says

    looks great – I tried chopping up some cooked cauliflower with grated cheese in pastry for my little sylvia yesterday and it was an ugly scene when she could taste cauliflower – I wonder if pureeing it in a cheese sauce would work better – and I love what DD has on her pasta – if only sylvia had such variety on hers
    Johanna GGG recently posted…In My Kitchen June 2014My Profile

    • says

      Oh no! Try hiding it in a strongly flavoured cheese sauce? DD did notice after awhile something was different, but she ate most of it before she noticed!

  4. says

    Clever Idea Elizabeth – So simple but genius and cooked cauli is nice. I am thinking if you were to roast the vegetable first it might give a lovely slightly sweeter flavour too (I love roasted Cauliflower). In any case my daughter is a cheese sauce fan too so this is something she will be eating too!!

    • says

      ps. apologies for accidentally deleting your Comment Luv! My big clumsy fingers hit the wrong button on the iPad. Lesson learned – turn iPad sideways so Approve comment and delete CommentLuv are nowhere near each other!

  5. KATE SARSFIELD says

    Try making cauliflower rice for something a bit different. Use spices etc. if you need to hide the taste.

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