Broccoli & Cauliflower Mac & Cheese for two

Tuesday 25 February 2020

I don't know about you, but I consider Macaroni and Cheese to be the ultimate in comfort foods. 

My husband would disagree, as he is not overly fond of pasta of any kind, but the carb lover in me just needs to have some pasta every now and then, and of all the pastas on the earth Macaroni and Cheese is my favourite indulgence.

Interestingly enough, it wasn't something that I really remember my mother making when I was growing up. 

Occasionally we might have Kraft Dinner Mac & Cheese, but that was considered a treat.  If mom cooked pasta at all it was spaghetti, which my father love, LOVED and still does.

She would brown a pound of ground beef in a skillet and add a can of Catelli spaghetti sauce and call it Italian Spaghetti.  

Served with the plastic green can of  grated cheese that was about as foreign as my family got when it came to dinner cuisine!

My children always loved it when I made them Macaroni and Cheese.  Its a pretty economical way to feed a large family, depending on the cheese you use for it.  

When I first moved over here to Chester, there was a cheese monger at the Indoor Market in town who sold bags of cheese crumbs for 50p.  I used to buy two or three each time I went in, specifically for use in cooking.

You were never quite sure what kind they were, but they always went great in a cheese sauce!    

I will be honest and up front here . . .  I never stint on the amount of cheese I put in a cheese sauce.  

I think you should be able to full on taste it . . .  not just hint at it.  That's me . . . full on everything.

I also love cauliflower cheese and broccoli cheese. 

Yes I confess when my children were growing up, I was one of those moms who spooned heated Cheese Whiz over their broccoli to get them to eat it. 

Nobody complained.  It was simple and it was easy.

Adding broccoli and cauliflower to macaroni and cheese is a great way to cut back on the carbs and to increase your intake of your five a day, and its incredibly delicious to boot! 

Its like three of your favourite things all rolled up together in one.

It doesn't really involve any extra work, or more work than making ordinary mac and cheese and its a bit healthier.  

At least I think it is. Don't burst my bubble if you disagree.

I just throw the vegetable in with the macaroni during the last few minutes of its cook time. 

I cut them into rather smallish florets, about 1 inch in size, and they don't need much more than a few minutes to become crispy tender.

They add lots of interest to the dish, plenty of flavour and additional colour and texture.

Not to mention fiber as well as being some of your five a day!

Actually there are quite a few vegetables that go well in macaroni and cheese.  

Leeks (I sauté them for a few minutes first), cooked peas and carrots, shredded cabbage or brussels sprouts (again lightly sautéed or blanched),  Kale (once again, blanche first), Swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, etc. 

All are very tasty and I can honestly say I have never had anyone turn their nose up at any of them. 

In fact,  most people ask for seconds  . . . 

I like to use a strong cheddar for flavour and of course some mustard also adds a bit of a punch to the sauce.  

You could use hot sauce in its place if you wanted to.  I am particularly fond of the Green Tabasco sauce.  I could eat that up with a spoon.

And of course I always top with some bread crumbs, crushed crackers, crushed cereal or stale chips and cheese.  Casseroles with crunchy toppings are one of my favourite things!! You don't need much on the side with this. I like to serve it with pickled beetroot and some buttered brown bread. Yummy!

Yield: 2

Broccoli & Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Broccoli & Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Rich and delicious, filled with several of your five a day and perfectly sized for two. I like to serve this with pickled beets and some buttered fresh brown bread.


For the cheese sauce:
  • 250g whole milk (1 generous cup)
  • 1 whole dried clove
  • 1 dried bay leaf, broken in two
  • 1 1/2 TBS butter
  • 1 1/2 TBS flour
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 60ml double cream (1/4 cup)
  • 75g grated strong cheddar cheese (2/3 cup)
  • 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
You will also need:
  • 115g dry macaroni (1 cup or 4 ounces)
  • 325g cauliflower florets (1 cup)
  • 325g broccoli florets (1 cup)
  • 60g grated strong cheddar cheese (1/2 cup)
  • a couple TBS of either cracker crumbs or potato chip crumbs


How to cook Broccoli & Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

  1. First make the sauce. Add the clove and bayleaf to the milk. Bring just to the boil, then set aside to infuse for about 15 minutes. Remove the clove and bay leaf and discard.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan until it begins to foam. Whisk in the flour and allow it to cook for a vew minutes until it starts to smell a bit nutty. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking continuously until the mixure has thickened nicely. Whisk in the cheese and allow it to melt. Whisk in the cream and Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Set aside. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter a shallow casserole dish about 7 by 11 inches in size.
  4. Cook the dry macaroni in a pot of lightly salted water according to the package directions, adding the broccoli and cauliflower florets for the last 2 to 3 minutes of cook time.  Drain everything well, then stir into the cheese sauce.  Pour the whole lot into the prepared casserole dish. 
  5. Mix together the cheeses and crumbs/chips for the topping and sprinkle evenly over top of the macaroni and cheese.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

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I dare say I love this even more than regular mac and cheese.  Its fabulously delicious!  I have simple tastes . . .  A simple salad also goes very well on the side.

I am fed up to the eyeballs with rain.  Its that time of year!  Not really cold, except for the wind, but the rain . . .  its starting to get to me. 

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  1. A perfect , comforting and nutritious meal to warm us up during this chilly weather !

    1. Thanks Debs, it is really tasty! Brrr . . . I am quite tired of the rain and wind and cold!xoxo

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I wanted to make a healthier mac and cheese and this turned out just great. Take care and stay safe!

    1. So pleased it was enjoyed Maddy! Thank YOU for taking the time to let us know about your results! Take care and stay healthy! xoxo

  3. This is baking as I type. I doubled everything and made it in a 13x9..tried a bit before baking and ..YUM!! CANT WAIT TO EAT!!


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