++ This can be prepared GLUTEN FREE !!
++ UPDATE – – EVEN BETTER WHEN MADE A DAY AHEAD !! I just discovered that the next day the flavor of the roasted red peppers and cheddar cheese is infused throughout and the cauliflower is lovely & creamy !! It tastes a lot like a very special version of Mac & Cheese.
It amazes me, now that I’m actually paying attention, how many fabulous recipes can be found which are healthy AND delicious. Not only am I losing weight in my effort to eat healthy, I also have a lot more energy. LOOK OUT WORLD !!
If you think you don’t like cauliflower, this may be the recipe to change your mind ! This is NOT your mother’s (or grandmother’s) ‘boiled all to hell’ cauliflower. A light cheese sauce graces the roasted cauliflower with loads of flavor and there’s a tiny bit of heat from the cayenne pepper. And, except for garlic salt with herbs, there’s no salt in this recipe. (This was my dinner last night, that’s how much I enjoyed this dish.)
- 7 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces 2″ ++ Uses 1 head of cauliflower, with perhaps a bit leftover
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4′ strips
- 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. flour ++ For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley ++ Or garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning ++ I like ‘Mrs. Dash – Garlic & Herb’
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 14 – 1/3 cup pine nuts ++ a.k.a. pinola nuts ++ You could also use walnuts or pecans
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk ++ I used 1% & that worked fine!
- 1 1/4 grated Cheddar cheese
SET OVEN AT 425 (F) TOTAL COOKING TIME – 25 MINUTES (10 MINS, THEN 15 MINS.)
Mix together cauliflower pieces, red pepper strips and 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil.
Spread vegetables evenly on baking sheet with sides.
Roast veggies in a 425 (F) oven for 10 minutes. While cauliflower is roasting, toast pine nuts and prepare cheese sauce.
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper – After 10 Minutes
TOASTED PINE NUTS
In a small (ungreased) frying pan over medium heat toast pine nuts, shaking pan occasionally, until nuts become lightly browned.
In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbs. flour (For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch), 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add the flour and spices. Whisk together and cook, stirring with whisk, for about a minute.
Slowly add 1 1/4 cup milk and continue whisking until mixture is well blended. Continue to simmer sauce for 4 – 5 minutes if using flour, whisking occasionally. ++ If using cornstarch, the simmering time will be less. ++ If sauce becomes too thick when using cornstarch, add a bit more milk.
REMOVE SAUCEPAN FROM HEAT. Add 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese and whisk until cheese sauce is smooth. Add toasted pine nuts.
Remove baking sheet from oven after 10 minutes. Using a spatula, gently turn the partially cooked cauliflower and red pepper strips. Drizzle cheese sauce slowly over veggies.
Return baking sheet to oven and roast for another 15 minutes, or until tops of cauliflower are nicely browned. Serve & Enjoy !!