Cheesy Cauliflower with Chicken and Green Beans {mini-meals #1}

It’s funny how limited options can spark needed creativity! There has been recent discussions on the Facebook groups about how expensive managing the CSID diet can be. I want to offer some encouragement to those of you with limited resources in the areas of time and money. One thing I have learned over the years is to keep it simple! Kids can be very picky, and it can be discouraging to spend time and money on preparing food they refuse to eat. From my own experience, my recipes come from blending what is familiar while exchanging foods that typically contain sugar or starch for those that do not.

One of the foods I have recently been using a lot of is cauliflower. Although some people find cauliflower may cause gas, I have learned that if you chop up fresh cauliflower and let it sit for about 10 minutes, the enzymes that cause gas are released. Ever since I started using fresh cauliflower, everyone in my family has been able to eat it without issues.

I am working on several recipes which include the combinations of cauliflower and ground/minced turkey for my “mini-meals” guide to inexpensive and simple meals. But for today, I wanted to share my most recent creation (picture to come soon) made in my attempt to create a macaroni and cheese type side dish. Keep in mind I am still experimenting with ingredient portions, but this is a rough version of the recipe in progress. If you find alternative ingredients or portions to work better for you, please share them by commenting.

To make the entire meal, begin with frying 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders or about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in butter or olive oil. Place 2 cups of frozen green beans in a small pot with  1 cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until water boils. Turn off heat, and let green beans finish cooking in the heated water, without overcooking. (Hint: Chop up cauliflower and let it sit to release the enzymes while preparing the chicken and green beans if you are concerned about irritation.)

For the Cheesy Cauliflower you will need:

1 head fresh cauliflower (organic if possible).

1/2 cup (4 ounces) pure sour cream (I use Daisy brand since it does not contain food starch or maltodextrin)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) grated sharp or medium cheddar cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated parmesean cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

1) Cut off base of cauliflower and discard. Chop cauliflower into 1-inch pieces. Let sit for 10 minutes. Place in a vegetable steamer. Steam for 15 minutes or until a butter knife easily cut through cauliflower florets.

2) Set steamed cauliflower aside and drain the water from the bottom half of the steamer pot. Add sour cream, cheese, parmesean cheese, butter and salt to the pot and return to stove on medium-low heat. Using a whisk, stir mixture until cheese melts.

3) Add steamed cauliflower and mash and blend it into the cheese sauce. Add sea salt and a dash of black pepper if desired.

4) Serve either over chicken and green beans casserole-style, or serve separately depending on personal preference.

When I served this to my family last week, I cut up the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces and stirred the chicken and green beans into the cauliflower. The blend of flavors was amazing and it tasted very much like a  pasta and cheese casserole.

Estimated Cost and Servings:

6 servings

cauliflower $1.50

cheese $3.00

parmesean cheese $1.00

green beans $1.50

chicken $4.00

Total Cost: About $11 or less than $2 per person

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