Monday, July 23, 2012

Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese Bento

Yes, it's the peak of summer and I made mac and cheese. It's TinySprite's favorite, and she's been asking for it, so how could I refuse? She ate two bowls for dinner, and requested another serving for lunch, packed in her Hello Kitty thermal jar. So here it is: my special version of ka-broc-mac and cheese. There's a side box of summer-ripe cherries, homegrown sunsugar orange cherry tomatoes, a homegrown yellow pear tomato, a cup o'blueberries, and a sweet lil' lychee. See how Korilakkuma looks like she's hugging it? That's just exactly how I feel about lychee too. ^_^

I've posted my ka-broc-cheese recipe before (here) but this time I've made it wheat-free and soy-free. The only changes are a substitution of brown rice flour in place of the whole wheat flour for making the roux, and the omission of the spicy soyrizo. Actually, I made this batch in parts, because I happen to love the soyrizo in here, so I just kept it separate to mix in later. I also had to make separate kinds of pasta (quinoa elbows for the gluten-free version and whole wheat elbows for everyone else). It was a bit complicated, but totally worth it. If you don't have any issues with wheat or soy, I would keep to the original recipe; it works and tastes just as good as this one. I know, I know, it is totally untraditional, and the cheese isn't smooth and creamy with everything I've thrown in. But it is substantial, and it fills you up, and you don't even have to worry about a side salad or something. Cuz the veggies are already IN THERE. Woot!

Wheat and Soy Free Mac and Ka-Broc-Cheese Method/Recipe

Cook 8oz (or more if you like) quinoa (or corn) elbow macaroni, 10-12 minutes or until just al dente. Drain.
Steam or microwave 5 slices kabocha (or more) and one small head of broccoli until softened.
Grate the kabocha and mince the broccoli.
Melt 3T butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.
Whisk in 3T brown rice flour, 1tsp dry mustard, a few pinches of pepper, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper until smooth, a few minutes.
Add 2 cups milk.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6-8 minutes, until milk comes to a boil.
Add: 2C (or 3C, or more) shredded cheddar, parmesan, or whatever cheese you happen to like. Stir to incorporate.
Add the grated kabocha and the minced broccoli. Stir.
Add more cheese if you like it cheesier.
Add pasta, stir to completely incorporate.
Is it more cheddar on top of my lovely creamy cheesy sauce? 
No.... muahahaha!!
It's shredded kabocha. Really.

Look: you can barely tell it's in there.
I'm serious. The cheesalicious flavor overpowers the kabocha.

Yeah, that's a lot of broccoli.

Okay, it's kind of lumpy now. 
If you don't like it, go ahead- add more cheese.
Go on, it's okay. It's cheese! It's all good.


  1. Shredding the vegetables are always the best way to fool our kids into eating them. I do that too with burgers, meat balls/loaf and the likes. The broccoli really looks delish on mac and cheese. I think I would have to try that out.

    1. Isn't it true? We're so accustomed to fortified versions now the plain versions don't look as good anymore, heh. Burgers and meatloaf are ones I bulk up too :D
      Thanks Marie!

  2. Aaa~ that looks so yummy...and healthy too ^^

  3. Thsmat looks so great! I love the secret broccoli and kanocga- will definitely be trying it this week! Thank you!

  4. Oh my that looks good! I think I might need more than two bowls, lol!