Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss Surgery

Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese


Mac and cheese is a staple for kids and adults alike. For many, it’s the ultimate comfort food. With all that high-fat cheese sauce and high-carb pasta, traditional versions are out of the question after bariatric surgery, but this recipe serves up a fantastic meal that’s sure to please kids of all ages. Enjoy this tasty dish as a side or the main event. Cauliflower has the look and feel of pasta but with virtually no carbs. This can easily be made ahead of time to enjoy at a later date, and it freezes well.

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 egg

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2 ounces (½ cup) shredded aged white Cheddar cheese

2 ounces (½ cup) shredded Cheddar cheese

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Fill a medium pot one-third full with water, and place a steamer basket inside. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

3 Add the cauliflower to the steamer basket, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Steam the cauliflower for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the florets are soft. Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in the microwave for about 7 minutes.

4 While the cauliflower steams, in a medium bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, yogurt, egg, turmeric, mustard, and garlic powder.

5 Drain the cauliflower in a large colander, and gently mash it with a potato masher to drain out excess water.

6 Stir the cauliflower pieces into the cottage cheese mixture. Add the Cheddar cheeses and mix well.

7 Transfer the cauliflower mixture to an 8-by- 8-inch or 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes. The cauliflower “mac” and cheese is finished when the edges begin to brown.

8 Serve immediately.

Ingredient tip: Instead of your traditional Cheddar cheese, try something with a bit more flavor—Gruyère, aged Cheddar, smoked Gouda, or Havarti. By using a more flavorful cheese, you may find yourself satisfied with a smaller portion of the finished recipe.

Per Serving (½ cup): Calories: 147 Total fat: 7g Sodium: 263mg Total carbs: 8g Sugar: 4g Fiber: 2g Protein: 13g

Post-Op Servings

image ½ cup image ½ to 1 cup