Riley’s Mac and Cheese

So I made a very large ham last weekend and I’m trying to find different ways of incorporating it into various recipes. Riley’s been picky when it comes to eating, particularly veggies and meat, so I figured I’d make her a favorite of hers, Mac and Cheese, and jazz it up with some ham and veggies. (Did I just say jazz it up? Yes I did) She liked it too. Dogged half the serving I gave here. Nice.

Ingredients

12 oz. whole wheat pasta, elbows or penne work well
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk, any kind will do fine
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups shredded cheese, cheddar is a classic or add in a mix, Monterey jack or Gruyère
1/2 cup cauliflower mash (see below)
salt and pepper
3/4 cup chopped ham (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
corn flakes, special K, or rice crispies for topping

Directions:

Cauliflower mash: Steam 1 cup cauliflower florets till tender. Drain well. Puree in food processor or blender till smooth.

Preheat oven to 350. Boil pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan on medium heat, add flour and mix for 2 minutes. Add milk and nutmeg and mix till thick, about 7 minutes. Pull off heat and add cauliflower mash and cheese. Mix till cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper. When pasta is cooked and drained mix in cheese sauce, ham and peas. Mix well so everything is coated. Grease or butter eight 6 oz. ramekins. Fill each ramekin to the top with mac and cheese mix. Top with cereal. Bake in oven for 15-20 or until heated through. Give her a fork, she’ll love it. Ps: If you want to freeze some for later, don’t cook them in the oven. Cover with plastic, then foil, then pop them in the freezer.

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