With the weather dipping down to a cool 13 celsius (55F) over the weekend, I’ve been craving me some comfort food. I’m not sure if the weather is entirely to blame or if being in the last trimester has something to do with it too. I am gravitating towards oatmeal, baked potatoes, and brown rice pasta. Don’t worry, I’m getting my veggie intake – but if I could live off of three bowls of oatmeal, I probably would. On Saturday evening, I had an out-of-the-blue desire for macaroni and cheese.
This is strange for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of mac & cheese to begin with; secondly, we are a mostly dairy-free household and don’t usually have cheese in our fridge. My husband recognized that my desire was growing into a BIG craving and so he and Little A. made a trip to the store for me. He was looking for Daiya dairy-free cheese to use, however our local grocery store didn’t have it in stock, so he got some good old homegrown Canadian Cheddar.
I looked up a few recipes and was a tad overwhelmed at the variations and quantity of cheese they called for. I decided to adapt Martha’s and hope for the best! I wasn’t disappointed with the results and boy, did it ever hit the spot. All that comfort food goodness that my body (and baby?) was craving got satisfied after a few yummy bites. The boys sure didn’t mind that Mama wanted a rich and creamy dinner and Mr. Smith said that he was transported back to his Southern roots with each mouthful. I guess that’s the power of a delicious bowl of Mac & Cheese. Enjoy!
- 2 Tablespoons light virgin olive oil, plus more for dish
- 2 tablespoons of quinoa flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, warmed
- 2 1/4 cups of grated Cheddar cheese + 1 cup if you prefer it cheesier (or Daiya Dairy-Free cheese)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 pound gluten-free penne, cooked until al dente and drained
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Optional: 4 small tops of broccoli, roughly chopped and cooked with the pasta (just add to boiling water, cook for same time and drain with the pasta)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add in quinoa flour and stir for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in almond milk and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of cheddar (or Daiya Dairy-Free cheese) and mustard until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
- Add pasta (and broccoli) and stir to coat; transfer to baking dish.
- Top with 1/4 cup of grated cheddar.
- Bake until sauce is bubbling,15 to 20 minutes.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes to get crunchy top.
- Serve hot, top with a little paprika, rosemary, salt and pepper or your preference.
- I made this dish with 2 1/4 cups of cheese and felt it was plenty. Many recipes call for 3-6 cups of grated cheese - I felt that was too much. Add extra grated cheese according to your cheese preferences!