Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

I’ve really been loving cauliflower lately.  When I saw it was on sale last week at my local grocery store, I was all over that!  I debated making a batch of my favorite cheesy cauliflower soup, but knew I should crawl out of my comfort zone and come up with something new.  I decided on a cheesy cauliflower bake.  I wanted it to be super cheesy and creamy in the center with a crispy panko topping.  That is exactly what I got; it was perfect!

Cheesy Cauliflower BakeCheesy Cauliflower Bake

After browsing quite a few recipes for inspiration (on pinterest, of course), I settled on a recipe to use as a template for my delicious creation.  I started with this cheesy cauliflower bake recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe, added onions, changed out the topping, and made a few other adjustments.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

I like to use sharper cheeses for dishes like this or homemade mac and cheese; I absolutely love that sharp taste when the cheese is melted.  I used a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella (about 1 1/2 c cheddar and 1/2 c mozzarella), because it was what I had in my fridge, but of course, you could use any cheese you like.   I wanted to cut some calories so I stuck with 1% milk for this dish.  You can substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth as Mel did) for the milk, and it might turn out thicker/creamier.  Don’t get me wrong, this cauliflower bake was creamy; but it wasn’t terribly thick.  Overall, I’m super happy with this side dish and will definitely make it again!  It will be perfect for family get-togethers over the holidays or an easy potluck dish!

Cheesy Cauliflower BakeCheesy Cauliflower Bake

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9x13 pan, 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, slightly warm
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used sharp cheddar + mozzarella)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook until golden and fragrant.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add cauliflower, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and all of the grated parmesan.
  6. Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake an additional 10 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Notes

You may substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth) for the milk to make it thicker.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/04/09/cheesy-cauliflower-bake/

Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli

Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli via elisebakesI love orzo.  I love it even more when it’s smothered in cheese.  This was an easy and delicious dish that I see reappearing on my table in my future, maybe with some more vegetables thrown in.

Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli via elisebakesCheesy Orzo with Broccoli (serves ~3)

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ~1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a pot of water and sea salt to boiling.  Add orzo and cook for 5 minutes.  Add broccoli cuts and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until orzo is tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly.
  3. To the now empty pot, add butter and heavy cream.  When butter is melted, add cheeses and orzo/broccoli mixture and mix well.  Add salt and pepper to taste and additional cream (or milk) if necessary.Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli via elisebakes

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Cheese Bread

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Cheese Bread via elisebakesThis stuffed bread was fantastic!  I love the combined flavor of fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella!  Definitely something I will make again because it was super easy to whip up.  I used a loaf of homemade crusty bread, but you could obviously use any type of bread if you don’t like a hard crust.  The one thing I would change would be to use freshly shredded cheese as opposed to pre-shredded, it just doesn’t melt quite as nicely.  Otherwise, perfect!

Stuffed Bread

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Cheese Bread via elisebakes

  • Round loaf of bread (I used a loaf of mozzarella-basil crusty bread)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp green onions, diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Cut the loaf in half and hollow it out just a little bit.
  2. In a bowl, combine garlic, basil, green onions and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Spread the tomatoes over the bread in a layer.
  4. Cover it with the cheese mixture.
  5. Place the top of the loaf on top and cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

I’ve only recently discovered the wonder that is a slow cooker.  It is the easiest way to make anything…ever!  It only gets better now that it’s cold out, and soup seems like an acceptable meal seven days a week.  I had two heads of cauliflower that I wanted to use up, and as soon as I started thinking about it, I decided cheesy cauliflower soup would be perfect.  I  looked at a couple recipes to get an idea of what I wanted, and ad-libbed the rest.  It turned out really great, and you could easily adjust the ingredients to fit your taste or the vegetables you have on hand.

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 med potatoes, chopped (2 c)
  • 2 med carrots, chopped (1 c)
  • 1 med onion, chopped (2 c)
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2  cans of vegetable broth (4 c)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 8 0z sharp cheddar, shredded
  1. Place all of the vegetables in a crock pot.
  2. Pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables, and add salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix it up a little bit.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  4. In a blender, food processer, or magic bullet, process soup in batches until smooth (I left mine a little chunky).
  5. Return it to the slow cooker and stir in cheese and butter.
  6. Cook on high for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To make a breadbowl:

  1. Start with a round loaf of bread.  Cut a circle into the top of a round loaf of bread, angled in.
  2. Remove the piece that you just cut.
  3. Scoop out as much as you want from the inside of the loaf, just be sure not to go too deep or you risk the soup leaking out.
  4. Fill with soup!

Crockpot Vegetable Casserole

Crockpots are the greatest thing.  Nothing beats coming home to a prepared meal, still warm, after a long day!

I had a bunch of produce from the farmer’s market that I wanted to use before it started to go bad, so I threw it all in a crockpot and added some tomato sauce, more or less.  My husband said it was one of the best things I had ever made – quite the compliment!  He had devoured most of it before I got home from working a night shift, and we packaged the rest for him to take to work for lunch.  So unfortunately, there are no pictures of it after it was cooked.

Crockpot Vegetable Casserole

  • 1 24 oz  jar tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 large carrots, sliced (~2 1/2 – 3 cups)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (~2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (~1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen beans, thawed
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a blend of mild cheddar and white cheddar)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  2. Spray the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread the potatoes on the bottom; they can overlap (if you use a smaller crockpot, you could use half of the potatoes and add another layer of potatoes later).
  3. Do the same with the onions and half of the carrots.
  4. Pour half of sauce over the veggies and top with half of the cheese.
  5. Layer the broccoli, beans and the remaining carrots.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. Program crockpot to cook on high for 3 1/2-4 hours.