Cheesy Basil Cauliflower Rice

One benefit of making a lot of sauces/dressings/spreads is that you have endless combinations of things to add to your meals throughout the week.  The top shelf of my fridge is usually dominated by mason jars filled with random concoctions along with tried and true recipes.  I like coming up with fun ways to add flavor to my meal during the week.  By changing up the flavor, I can still make my staple foods taste new and interesting. Cheesy Basil Cauliflower Rice | Life Healthfully Lived Continue reading

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Pesto Mac N’ Cheese

I’m having a bit of a thing with cauliflower right now.  I buy at least three big heads of it per week and have been experimenting putting it into different dishes.  I pretty much look at any recipe and wonder, “Could I do this with cauliflower instead?”  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s kind of how life goes right?

Look, life lessons while making yummy food.  Can’t get any better than that.Slow Cooker Cauliflower Pesto Mac N' Cheese | Life Healthfully Lived

Last week I had delicious taquitos (which you should definitely make immediately… after today’s recipe) that had a cauliflower filling and this week I’m doing a little bit of a twist on macaroni and cheese.  Spoiler alert: there is no macaroni.  Or cheese.  There is, however, cauliflower, a delicious cheese-esque sauce, and a slow cooker.

Now, before you Mac N’ Cheese purists come at me with pitchforks and torches this recipe isn’t meant to taste exactly like Mc N’ Cheese it just uses a similar process.  And if we’re on the subject of tasting like Mac N’ Cheese, apparently Kraft rolled out it’s new less artificial Mac N’ Cheese and told NO ONE and there were literally no complaints about it.  So if we want to get technical, no one really knows what Mac N’ Cheese tastes like so who’s to say my version isn’t right?

Ok, that took a weird little turn but back to this recipe.  I love the pesto-cheesy sauce on this and I like that I made it in my slow-cooker so there was minimal effort.  You could easily prepare the sauce stuff before hand and then throw everything together in the slow cooker when it’s time to make dinner.  It all tastes rich, creamy, and decadent yet you’re still getting a lot of nutrients and a big dose of vegetables.  Talk about a win!

Cauliflower Pesto Mac N’ CheeseSlow Cooker Cauliflower Pesto Mac N' Cheese | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, about 5 to 6 cups, cut into florets
  • 1 batch of No Mozzarella Mozzarella
  • 1 batch of Spinach Pesto
  • 3/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk or any other non-dairy milk you like
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp smoked paprika
  1. Cut up your cauliflower and set aside.  Make the No Mozzarella Mozzarella and the Spinach Pesto.  You can do this the night before if you want or right before.
  2. Lightly oil your slow cooker with a little olive oil and place cauliflower florets into your slow cooker.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the mozzarella and pesto.  It will be really thick but don’t worry.
  4. Add the coconut milk slowly and keep whisking until you have a smooth and pourable sauce.  You might not use all the milk and you might need a little more just adjust until you have the right consistency.
  5. Pour the pesto sauce over the cauliflower, making sure to coat everything.  Sprinkle the top with smoked paprika, cover, and cook on high for 3 hours or a little longer if you want super soft cauliflower.

Serve up and enjoy the goodness!Slow Cooker Cauliflower Pesto Mac N' Cheese | Life Healthfully Lived

DIY Wednesday: Cheesy Garlic Spread

Cheese and garlic are two words that need to be put together as often as possible.  Who doesn’t want something cheesy and garlicky?DIY Wednesday: Cheesy Garlic Spread | Life Healthfully Lived

People who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or a vampire.  While I can’t make a cheesy garlic spread that would be suitable for a vampire, I can make one for those people who don’t or can’t do dairy.

This spread could not be easier to put together, especially if you already have roasted garlic on hand (which you should ALWAYS have roasted garlic on hand), and it goes with everything.  On top of soup or stew, in tacos, as a salad dressing, on crackers, as a vegetable dip.  The possibilities are endless! Heck, eat it with your finger.  I won’t judge.

Make sure you have a batch of this on hand for Friday’s recipe because you aren’t going to want to miss that one.  It’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

Cheesy Garlic SpreadDIY Wednesday: Cheesy Garlic Spread | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight or very hot water for 4 hours
  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic
  • 3 to 4 tbsp nutritional yeast, depending on how cheesy you want it
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Drain and rinse the cashews and place everything into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend for 3 to 4 minutes until everything is completely smooth.  It will probably take less time if you have a high-speed blender.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

That’s it!  Now go put this on everything and save a little bit for later in the week! DIY Wednesday: Cheesy Garlic Spread | Life Healthfully Lived

Italian Pasta Bake

MozzarellaItalian Pasta Bake | Life Healthfully Lived that isn’t really mozzarella.  Confusing I know, but totally awesome.  There are tons of recipes out there for fake cheese as well as plenty of products that you can buy.  My issue with store bought “cheese” is that it’s usually full of ingredients that I would rather not ingest.

I’ve made cheese sauce before for my Fusilli N’ Cheeze, but I wanted to make a cheese that was a little thicker.  My goal?  To try and recreate the mostaccioli that Adam made for me when we first started dating.Italian Pasta Bake | Life Healthfully Lived

About a month or so into our relationship, Adam decided he was going to cook for me.  He made me his mom’s mostaccioli and it was delicious.  It was super simple, but watching him make that meal for me was one of the first times that I started to fall in love with him.  When I stopped eating gluten and dairy, mostaccioli kind of went out the window. But not anymore!

Don’t be freaked out by making “cheese” that isn’t really cheese.  It isn’t difficult and there really aren’t any weird ingredients unless you think tapioca starch is weird. It isn’t.  It’s just a thickener and helps make this cheese stretchy.  You could also use potato starch, but I like tapioca better.  Once you make the cheese, this is a really fast meal and a great one to prep early and pull out for a quick weeknight meal.

Not-Mozzarella, Mozzarella Italian Pasta Bake | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water overnight
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch (or potato starch)
  • 1 cup hot water
  1. Add everything to a blender and blend for 2 to 3 minutes until it is completely smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.  Cook while constantly stirring.  After a few minutes, the mixture will start to thicken.
  3. Turn the heat to low and keep stirring it until it is very thick and stretchy.  You can use it right away or keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Italian Pasta BakeItalian Pasta Bake | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 batch of Not-Mozzarella, Mozzarella
  • 1 batch of my tomato sauce
  • 1 package of gluten-free pasta, I used brown rice shells
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Get a 9 x 13 casserole dish and spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.  Next, put a layer of pasta and then top with tomato sauce.  Spread some of the cheese on top of that.
  3. Keep layering the pasta, sauce, and cheese until it’s gone.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and take off the foil.  Cook for another 5 minutes until the cheese on top is starting to brown on the edges.
  5. Take out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before you serve it.Italian Pasta Bake | Life Healthfully Lived