I was inspired to make this when I received a link to a vegan version of the recipe via a website I subscribe to – www.mob.co.uk
I love that so many of the recipes are low cost and use store cupboard ingredients – however, their quantities are usually HUGE and they’re not particularly focussed on healthy foods or weight loss. They do have a section on Healthy Recipes and also many excellent “fakeaway” recipes which I often drool over!
I’m trying to introduce more vegetarian and vegan foods into my meal planning and to generally cut down on meat consumption. Something we should all be making an effort to do.
This recipe is a take on macaroni cheese but the creamy sauce is made by roasting and pureeing cauliflower and almonds with milk – the result is rather delicious! However, I was unable to resist the temptation of adding some cheese – as cauliflower cheese is one of my all time favourite meals.
So this is my version of the Mob recipe:
Cauliflower and Cashew Macaroni Bake – 385 calories
Cauliflower – 260g
Carrots, peeled – 100g
Cashew Nuts, Plain, Average – 50g
Milk, Whole – 300ml
Garlic – 1 whole bulb
Breadcrumbs, Panko – 50g
Thyme, Dried – 1 Tsp/1g
Rosemary, Dried – 1 Tsp/1g
Parsley, Fresh, chopped – 1 Tbsp/3.8g
Macaroni – 225g
Olive Oil – 4 Tsps/20ml
Cheese, Cheddar, Mature – 50g
Salt, Average – ¼ Tsp/1g
Pepper, Black, Freshly Ground – ½ Tsp/1g
Preparation: Grate the cheese.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Chunk up the cauliflower and dice the carrots. Toss with salt and a dash of oil and spread out onto a tray.
Roast the cauliflower and carrots at 220°C until tender, this will take roughly 25 mins. Roast the garlic in foil with salt and 1 tsp of olive oil for 25 mins until tender (this can be done alongside the vegetable roasting).
Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C.
Briefly toast the cashews in the oven in an oven proof dish or on a piece of foil. Once toasted, transfer to a blender jug and pour over 500ml of warmed milk. Add the roasted cauliflower and carrots and one of the cloves of garlic (popped out of its skin) blend until super smooth.
Season the creamy sauce with salt and pepper and set aside. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and save some of the oil.
Toast the breadcrumbs in some of the garlicky oil. Finely chop the thyme, rosemary and parsley and toss through the breadcrumbs. Pop the rest of the garlic cloves out of their skins, roughly chop and stir into breadcrumb mixture.
Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than the pack instructs. Stir through the sauce with a splash of pasta water (if required). You want it a bit wetter than you think. Add the grated cheese and gently stir through. Pour into an oven proof dish and top with the herby breadcrumbs.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Serve with a fresh, zingy green salad or green vegetables.
Nutrition Data Per Serving
Calories (kcal) 384.6
Protein (g) 14.8
Carbohydrate (g) 36.7
Fat (g) 19.8
Fibre (g) 3.2
Fruit & Veg 1.3