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Gnocchi Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (with Chicken, Peas and Bacon)

November 4, 2014

Holy Yum Yum! Cauliflower has come into the spot light with all kind of healthy substitutions. It can be pureed and used as a cream base for almost anything... 50 calories a serving "alfredo", a soup base. It can be kept whole and covered in buffalo sauce to substitute chicken wings. I love using it for all of these things. BUT, this is not a low calorie dish. I still used plenty of cheese in this gnocchi mac and cheese and it was amazing. The cauliflower actually added more flavor than the typical heavy whipping cream would have. So in a sense, it is "better". But I wouldn’t exactly file this under your low calorie dishes.

It would be easy to reduce the calories. Use half the cheese, pour it over broccoli, spaghetti squash or roasted cauliflower. Take out the bacon. These are all options that you have. But for the purposes of this dish, the cauliflower was used to add flavor, not to subtract calories. 

 

Ingredients:

2 16oz packages of gnocchi

2 chicken breasts

4 strips of bacon

1 head of cauliflower

6-8 garlic cloves

8 oz of shredded guyere

4 oz of shredded extra sharp cheddar (a few more oz optional for topping)

15 oz can of peas

1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock

2 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

(bread crumbs optional)

 

Instructions:

1. Cook the chicken the easiest way possible. I cooked mine on the stove top about (5 min per side). You can bake it at 350 for 20-25 minutes, boil it, etc...

2. Dice you chicken into 1/4- 1/2 inch cubes and toss into a bowl. 

3. Boil the gnocchi, roughly 2-3 minutes or until it floats. Drain and dump into the bowl with the chicken.

4. Cut your cauliflower up into flourettes and boil for 10-15 minutes. Add it into a Vitamix 5200 Series Blender, BlackVitamix 5200 Series Blender, BlackVitamix blender with the garlic and the chicken stock. Puree until smooth.

5. Grate your cheese (8 oz guyere and 4 oz cheddar) and put onto op the chicken and gnocchi. 

6. Pour your cauliflower puree over the mixing bowl and stir until the cheese is melted. 

7. Dice up the bacon and cook until crispy. Drain all of the fat. 

8. Open and drain your peas. Add them to the bowl, along with the cooled bacon. 

9. Stir all of the ingredients together.

10. Transfer into a baking dish. You can grate more cheese and sprinkle some bread crumbs if you desire. 

11. Cook at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

Let cool, serve and enjoy!

 

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