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Photo: The Bitten Word

We visited the Camarillo Farmer’s Market last weekend and picked up some purple cauliflower, because who can resist purple cauliflower?  I decided to try making a gourmet PURPLE mac and cheese dish.  Kula Baby wasn’t as impressed as I thought he would be, but he ate the mac and cheese right up anyway.  The good news?  He didn’t spit out any of the veggies.  That means this recipe is a winner.

Mac and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta (Gluten-Free)
  • 1 cup quinoa pasta (spiral or elbow shapes work great)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup flour (for GF use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour, Gluten Free)
  • ½ - ¾ cup cheddar cheese  (depending on how cheesy your kids like things)
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup peas
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped purple cauliflower (yup, regular will work too)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cook the pasta according to the directions (don’t overcook), drain and set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat butter until melted.  Whisk in flour until combined and then whisk in milk.  Keep stirring to keep things from getting clumpy (mine got clumpy so I added a little more milk--the flavor didn't suffer in the end).  Keep stirring the sauce while it gets thicker—probably 3-5 minutes.  Add half of the cheese, the onion, peas, garlic and cauliflower and stir to combine.
  4. Pour mixture into an oven proof dish and top with the remaining cheese.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Variations:  Add ¾ cup of chopped spinach to make this GREEN Mac and Cheese!


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