Adapted from Ina Garten
I adore cauliflower, and anything that’s baked until cheesy & bubbly, so it made perfect sense that I would make this. It was so comforting & loaded with crunchy bits of cauliflower. This would be a perfect side dish to any meal. It’s rich, but not too rich, and I’ve lightened it up from the original recipe. Ina used gruyere cheese, but I opted for fontina & also roasted the cauliflower first. You can skip roasting the cauliflower, but I find that it gives it a much deeper taste when you roast it. Try it both ways!
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
Servings: 6 ● Points Plus: 6
- 3 lb head of cauliflower
- 2 TB Smart Balance or butter substitute
- 3 TB all purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% milk, warmed
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 TB fresh thyme
- 1 TB paprika
1) Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Spread out on a baking sheet & spray with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Roast 30 minutes, or until it begins to brown, tossing halfway through.
2) Once the cauliflower is roasted, melt the Smart Balance. Add the flour and whisk together until a blonde paste forms. Slowly add the warm milk & whisk like crazy. Keep whisking until it begins to boil. Let it boil until it begins to thicken. Turn off heat, add 3/4 cup of the fontina, the parmesan, and a dash more salt & pepper.
3) Layer the cauliflower in a casserole dish & pour the cheese mixture over the top. Toss together. Add the breadcrumbs & remaining fontina on top. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbling & the breadcrumbs are brown. If you want, you can broil for 5 minutes to make the breadcrumbs extra crispy.
I have been craving a creamy & cheesy casserole for days. Yesterday was the perfect day to make one, especially since I needed a big bowl of comfort food to eat while catching up on Private Practice. I had no idea how this was going to come out because I kinda made it up as I went along, but it came out exactly how I wanted it to. Next time you want a creamy casserole with a crunchy top you should make this.
Crunchy Cheezy Casserole
Servings: 6 ● Points Plus: 7
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 3 TB Light Smart Balance
- 2 TB flour
- 3 TB nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 cup Daiya shreds (I used pepper jack)
- 1 bag frozen broccoli & cauliflower
- 1 bag frozen carrot slices
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees & cook the rice.
2) Melt the Smart Balance in a sauce pan. Once melted whisk in the flour to form a blonde roux. Slowly whisk in the soy milk & bring to a boil then simmer. When it begins to bubble add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk in the nutritional yeast & Daiya. Let simmer a few minutes, whisking every once in a while.
3) Place the brown rice on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish & pour the frozen vegetables on top. Pour the cheeze sauce over the vegetables & toss everything together with the sauce. You don’t want layers. You want a creamy mix of everything.
4) Pour the panko bread crumbs over the top & bake on the middle rack of your oven for 30 minutes. If you want, season the panko crumbs with a little salt, pepper, and garlic before using them.
This was a really great cold weather dinner. It would also be great in the summertime with a salad on the side. As usual, I deviated from the original recipe & added way more chili powder than it called for, and I added sauteed onions & green peppers. I also made homemade tortilla chips to eat this with.
These servings were HUGE. I topped each serving with a 1/4 cup of low fat sour cream & a few dashes of hot sauce. (the sour cream will add points)
Mexican Brown Rice Casserole
Servings: 6 ● Points Plus: 8
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 1/4 cup salsa
- 1 TB cumin
- 15 oz can of refried beans
- 10 oz frozen corn kernels
- 4 oz can mild green chili peppers, chopped
- 2 TB chili powder (1 TB if you don’t like it too spicy)
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
- 3/4 cup low fat shredded cheese
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13” (or 2 quart) baking pan with non-stick spray. Saute onions & peppers in a pan until they’re semi-soft, about 4 minutes.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine rice, salsa, onion & peppers.
3. In a second bowl, combine beans, corn, green chili peppers, chili powder & cumin.
4. Spoon 2 cups of the rice mixture on the bottom of the baking pan. Scoop bean mixture on top. Drain all of the water out of the spinach & layer on top of the bean mixture. Sprinkle with 6 TB of cheese. Top with the remaining rice mixture & sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
5. Bake until casserole is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Top with cilantro before serving.