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Your Taste Buds Will Not Believe This Keto 'Mac & Cheese' Is Healthy

Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
By Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
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November 23, 2020

Your favorite, kid-approved side dish just got immensely healthier. Macaroni & cheese is a staple of comfort food, and it's especially a huge hit around the holidays. This keto version from Tasha Metcalf's Keto: A Woman's Guide & Cookbook uses cauliflower and cashews to create a dish that's neither macaroni nor cheese but is oh-so-delicious.

Feel free to tweak the recipe however you like, leaving out the ham for a cheesy, vegetarian option (I personally love adding chili powder or paprika to my Mac for a bit of heat). No matter how creative you get, the result is so tasty, your taste buds won't believe all the ingredients are actually healthy.

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Keto "Macaroni & Cheese"

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (70 g) cashews 
  • ¼ cup (8 g) nutritional yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder 
  • 1½ cups (355 ml) unflavored, unsweetened almond, macadamia, or hemp seed, or other nut milk of choice 
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped 
  • 1 pound (455 g) uncured ham, chopped (optional, leave out for a vegan/vegetarian dish)
  • Salt to taste
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Method:

  1. Soak cashews in water overnight. Discard water.
  2. Place soaked cashews in food processor with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, mustard powder, and milk. Blend.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C or gas mark 6).
  4. Arrange cauliflower and ham on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Heat cashew mixture in a large saucepan or stockpot over low heat to thicken, whisking occasionally.
  6. Stir baked cauliflower and ham into the cashew mixture. Salt to taste, and serve.

Note: This recipe describes how to make a dairy-free "cheese" sauce; however, if dairy is well tolerated, you can use a more traditional cheese sauce recipe if you prefer!

Recipe excerpted from Keto: A Woman's Guide & Cookbook by Tasha Metcalf. Reprinted with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, 2019. This story was originally published November 21, 2019.

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Jamie Schneider
Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.