Who doesn’t like that ultimate comfort food favourite ‘Mac ‘n’ Cheese’? Chances are you did but have been avoiding it since WLS due to the high fat or tricky high-carb and hard-to-digest-sometimes pasta. Well now it can go back on the menu because here’s a great version that side-steps all the old problems with this classic dish.
We’ve re-formulated by using cauliflower instead of pasta (so it’s not quite ‘mac’) and made a great cheesy sauce with cottage cheese, yogurt and grated low-fat hard cheese that tastes just as good as the old original.
It makes a great vegetarian main meal (perhaps with a little salad) or side dish to accompany some meat, fish or poultry. Add some chopped cooked ham, bacon or other cooked vegetables to ring the changes and play around with your cheese choice too – cottage cheese comes in many flavours and there are low-fat variations of many traditional cheeses to add variety.
And while you’re at it make double quantities because it freezes beautifully – so you can enjoy it at a later date when time might well be at a premium.
WLS patients may well find they can also tolerate this at the ‘amber’ or soft food stage since the cauliflower florets do cook to a very tender consistency – but can also be fork mashed to the desired consistency.
BARIATRIC CAULI-MAC ‘N’ CHEESE
1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 450 g/1 lb)
1 x 300 g carton/1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
250 ml/1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
1 egg, beaten
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp wholegrain or English mustard
½ tsp turmeric
100 g/1 cup grated low-fat or regular strong hard cheese (I used mature Cheddar)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6.
- Cook the cauliflower in a pan of boiling water until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
- Mix the cottage cheese with the yogurt, egg, garlic, mustard, turmeric, three-quarters of the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Fold the cauliflower into the cheesy mixture then transfer to an ovenproof gratin or baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve hot.
WLS PORTION: ½
V suitable for Vegetarians
* suitable for Freezing
CALORIES PER PORTION: 195
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