mac n cheese

Restaurant Redo: Mac & Cheese

Hey everyone! I'm Alix, Jessi's (former) intern. Let me just say that it has been an AWESOME experience working with Jessi. I can only hope that my first post in first person will even slightly rival her on point weekly posts.

(Jessi here - I swear I'm not paying her to say this).

My direct inspiration for this Restaurant Redo? A combination of three things:

  1. My and my roommates’ love for late night snacking
  2. The cauliflower craze (ever heard cauliflower is the new kale?)
  3. The BOWLS and BOWLS of Mac ‘N Cheese I sell to guests every shift at Cafeteria Boston (the restaurant I work at as I finish up my senior year at Boston University). 
cauliflower

The great (and not so great) thing about this menu option is that you can order it all kinds of ways... lobster, chicken, or shrimp; lobster, chicken and shrimp; scallops, peas and carrots... you get the picture.

I have learned by now that the guest looking up at me has either ordered the same dish 100 times over, or they have newly discovered the pot of gold on the menu. In the second case, I ALWAYS tell them that they won’t finish the whole bowl. They usually challenge me, but I win every single time.

Bottom line? The unbelievable gooey, noodley goodness is worth of salivation from just walking by it. But, how do you think they get it that way? Yup, lot's of pasta, heavy cream, and four kinds of cheeses. It's worth every bite, but definitely not something to indulge in on a daily basis.

I couldn’t live without being able to come home and satisfy a craving that had been building up for hours at work, but I wanted to do it the right way. So, here we have it: Chicks & Cheese. Instead of refined pasta noodles, heavy cream, and 4 kinds of cheeses, we have a complete meal made without any refined carbohydrates, but still loaded with hearty flavors and a creamy texture.  

cauliflower-mac-and-cheese

Chicks & Cheese

  • 1 head (or 1 lb) cauliflower, use different colors to liven up the dish!
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • ½ cup shredded fresh mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ cup almond flour (you can make this my pulsing ½ cup of almonds in a food processor).

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and let simmer. 

While the quinoa is cooking, cut the head of cauliflower in half, cut the stem off, and chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbs of coconut oil. Add the cauliflower, chickpeas, oregano, salt, and pepper. Saute until tender and light brown on the surface.

Once the quinoa is done cooking, pour the contents of the saucepan into the pot. Break up the goat cheese and stir it into the mixture. Add additional salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.

Scoop out the mixture and place in an oven-safe container. Sprinkle the cheese and the almond flour . Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on how crispy you like it). Remove from heat and serve warm. You can also add chicken, or shrimp for extra protein.