Cauliflower + Brussels Sprout Gratin

I’m making a pretty hefty claim here, but bear with me.  Who needs Mac and Cheese when you can have Veggies and Cheese?  Think about it!  What better way to pile up a few servings of your daily veggies in one fell swoop and save the carb-loading for the delicious crusty bread you scored from the bakery.  

I’m not knocking pasta, (because I sure do love a good spaghetti night) or even demeaning the fabulousness that is Mac and Cheese. I’m just saying to mayyyybe serve your family and friends Veggies and Cheese instead!  We certainly don’t need more grains in our diet, and veggies are beyond essential for life and happiness. Yup! I said it! Vegetables are ESSENTIAL for happiness.  You believe me right?  It’s an ultimate truth <3


Because my favorite challenge as a Nutrition Educator was to help parents get their children to eat (and even LOVE) vegetables, I will continue to make and post as many fun combinations of veggies and cheese that I can.  Because covering perfectly blanched and baked veggies with a light layer of cheese (or “cheeze” for the sassy vegans out there!) is a fabulous gateway drug into the wonderful world of vegetables. 

Are ya with me?  Let’s do this!

cauliflower brussels sprout au gratin
[A Fab Ina Garten Recipe adapted by A Cozy Kitchen + then further adapted by Moi]
As with most recipes, I upped the veggie content and decreased the butter.

Cauliflower & Brussels Sprout Gratin

What’s in it?
1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets 
3/4 or 1/2 lb of brussels sprouts, trimmed, + quartered lengthwise through core

1 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter [The recipe called for 4Tbsp… yikes!]
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a teeny pinch of grated nutmeg 
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided [I had to sub Sharp Cheddar]
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs [I used Crushed Ritz Crackers. YUM!]

Plus, I couldn’t resist adding a little garlic powder and cayenne. Optional! <3

Brontosaurus chefs enjoy! it’s vegetarian!
T-rex chefs you could easily sneak some crumbly bacon on top ;)

Get Cooking!
Preheat oven to 375F.  Set aside a bowl of water and ice to shock your veggies post-blanching.  Cook the cauliflower florets in a pot of boiling, lightly salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm!  Drain.  Remove the cauliflower with a large spoon and toss into the ice bath to stop them from overcooking.  Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add your brussels sprouts to took for 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove your cauliflower from the ice bath and set aside in a baking dish.  Add your sprouts to the ice bath and allow them to cool . Once cooled, drain and set aside.


Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sized saucepan over low heat.  Add the 3 tablespoons of flower in, slowly, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Pour heated milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil.  Boil, whisking constantly for 1 minute or until the mixture is thickened.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, 1/2 cup of Guyere or Cheddar, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan.  You can add a little sprinkle of garlic powder like I did or skip this entirely.

Now, place your drained + cooled cauliflower and brussels sprouts in a baking dish.  Pour the sauce on top and top with 1/4 cup of Guyere or Cheddar cheese and crushed Ritz crackers.  Season, if needed and to taste. [I added a little more black pepper on top along with cayenne pepper] Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown =)

So, How was it?
I had seconds, Paul had seconds… it was good times all around! =) Another amazing veggie dish to add to my collection!

Comments

  1. says

    I agree with you 100%! Vegetables are essential to happiness and nothing makes me happier than cheese and veggies :-) I totally wrote down I needed to make this when I saw it in one of Ina’s books. This is a sure sign that it needs to be made asap!

  2. says

    I don’t know if the husband would let me do that, but I do that for myself all of the time. In my opinion the more veggies the better! I love adding broccoli to make and cheese. I’ll have to try brussel sprouts and cheese.

  3. says

    Great idea and thanks for the recipe!

    I definitely think it’s possible to sub in veggies :)
    I tend to douse lots of my veggies with nutritional yeast to make them cheezy. It’s close enough for me…but for my clients, we usually have to ease into things a bit :)

  4. says

    gawsh girl! you are the best!!! i know the bf will think i’m crazytown for trying to make this for us, but i think it looks pretty damn wonderful!

    thanks a million gazillion!

    -squirrel

  5. says

    Yummy! I just posted about bussels sprouts and I have been on a serious cauliflower craze lately! Never thought of combining the two tho! Great idea, as always :)

  6. says

    I would totally eat that…with a side of pasta. :) I do need to come up with more ways to get my husband to eat veggies, he’s such a little kid about eating healthy stuff!

  7. says

    I always loved brocolli and cheese when I was younger,and I could definitely do without the mac. I rarely eat pasta now. This looks delicious! But I’m too lazy to get my sassy vegan butt to make cheeze so I’ll just eat the veggies alone :)

  8. says

    how timely! i just had mac and cheese last night! i was disapointed bc i didnt have too much mac left so i added in a bunch of cauliflower and it was DELICIOUS. ive decided not to eat mac anymore unless i add a large helping of veggies (i want to try zucchini next!) lovely post. xoxo jcd

  9. says

    Mmmm but bacon makes every better (just kidding….kinda)

    That looks delicious! I made a mac and cheese a few weeks ago that had some cheese and pasta but also lots of fresh spinach which kept the calories low but the tasty factor high :)

    P.S. Woods tried to send Madison a message again last night–I have pictures I need to upload and email to you as proof this time!

  10. says

    That sounds delicious and I’m definitely going to have to try it!
    I’d probably sub sharp cheddar too, cause that’s what I have currently, but I bet the gruyere would be fabulous. If you’ve never had gruyere, you HAVE TO. One of my favorite cheeses!

  11. says

    you are tooo amazing jennifer! I love all your photos. and your editing skills. ;) I actually can’t stand vegetables with cheese, one of my least favorite foods! ;)

    xoxo

  12. says

    AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS LOOKING! Seriously what kid or adult for that matter wouldn’t glady scarf down this meal. In fact, you would have to tear me away from it! Perfect combo- perfection

  13. says

    That looks good–I’m only newly liking brussel sprouts and so far just roasted so I’ll have to try this one out. My kids love Mac & Trees (broccoli florets)–I sneak pureed squash, white beans, or cauliflower into the mac and cheese too…

  14. says

    I will definitely try this out, it sounds yum, but I will keep my normal mac and cheese too. It’s like, my favorite food. Haha! I love that you made your food into art! <3

  15. says

    I’m not gonna lie, Jenn. I hate brussels sprouts. But you make this dish look suspiciously good…hmmm…

    Hehe. ;)

    And I am totally making that chickpea dish you have in your previous, previous post. Holy yumminess!! xoxo

  16. says

    Though I do love veggies, I haven’t had cauliflower in about 5 yrs! I *might* try it :-) And I’ll be coming to you for advice on adding more veggies to my diet – I signed up for my company’s biggest loser contest today and my team and I want to win.

  17. says

    I love that you put a background on the pic of your food hahahaha, thats awesome. It made me smile :)

    I wish I could be down with brussels but I had a bad experience with them last yr and just can’t bare to cook them again.

  18. says

    I Absolutely love that you do this! Im not a huge vegetable eater, but your short cuts and ability to make veggies sound and look like mac and cheese, make me want to try all of it! Im really excited because Landon will try anything with cheese on it! What a great way to get his to eat more veggies! Is it awful that I have never had a Brussels sprout? What do they taste like!?

  19. says

    Um, tha tlooks absolutely fantastic! I love cauliflower & i love brussels sprouts and topping them with cheese just can’t be wrong.

    I used to make boxed annie’s mac & cheese and just make it stretch farther with some broccoli… So it was less super-carby and less calories but you still get pasta ;)

    <3
    n

  20. says

    I would definitely sub mac and cheese for veggies and cheese! Just as long as it tasted phenomenal haha! This looks so good! I just starting eating cauliflower, and I’m still kind of getting used to the flavor (and the fact that it looks like a brain!) haha!!

  21. says

    i’e got both these in my fridge (although I just went to town on the cauliflower and hummus last night) but i’ve always got brussel sprouts-yum! Sometimes I make ‘em out of spite if W gets out of hand…it’s how I roll.

  22. says

    I want to make this, but I want to put some pasta in there too. Does that make me a terrible person? ;-)

    Oh hey, I’ve never tried brussels sprouts blanched before. Only roasted. Does blanching them get rid of the bitterness? Or does the cheese just hide it?

  23. says

    I love love love this post. My kids would probably love this (depending on which veggies I chose) I could toss in every veggie and make it like this and gobble it up daily. Veggies = happiness. LOVE that. :)

  24. vincent says

    Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on “Add your site”

    Best regards,

    Vincent
    petitchef.com

  25. vincent says

    Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on “Add your site”

    Best regards,

    Vincent
    petitchef.com

  26. says

    Mmmmm!!! That looks CRAZY good! My son came up with the idea for a “Favorite Veggie Night” in which we had nothing but veggies- baked potato wedges (yes, that was a stretch), green beans, spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli, and cucumber and tomato slices. What an awesome dinner! I’m on a low-calorie diet training for a 10k and it was nice for ONCE to be able to eat quite a lot and enjoy every last bit without feeling guilty. I am definitely adding this casserole to my list of things to try this week! :-)

  27. says

    Mmmmm!!! That looks CRAZY good! My son came up with the idea for a “Favorite Veggie Night” in which we had nothing but veggies- baked potato wedges (yes, that was a stretch), green beans, spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli, and cucumber and tomato slices. What an awesome dinner! I’m on a low-calorie diet training for a 10k and it was nice for ONCE to be able to eat quite a lot and enjoy every last bit without feeling guilty. I am definitely adding this casserole to my list of things to try this week! :-)

  28. says

    I want to make this, but I want to put some pasta in there too. Does that make me a terrible person? ;-)

    Oh hey, I’ve never tried brussels sprouts blanched before. Only roasted. Does blanching them get rid of the bitterness? Or does the cheese just hide it?

  29. says

    how timely! i just had mac and cheese last night! i was disapointed bc i didnt have too much mac left so i added in a bunch of cauliflower and it was DELICIOUS. ive decided not to eat mac anymore unless i add a large helping of veggies (i want to try zucchini next!) lovely post. xoxo jcd

  30. says

    Mmmm but bacon makes every better (just kidding….kinda)

    That looks delicious! I made a mac and cheese a few weeks ago that had some cheese and pasta but also lots of fresh spinach which kept the calories low but the tasty factor high :)

    P.S. Woods tried to send Madison a message again last night–I have pictures I need to upload and email to you as proof this time!

  31. says

    I don’t know if the husband would let me do that, but I do that for myself all of the time. In my opinion the more veggies the better! I love adding broccoli to make and cheese. I’ll have to try brussel sprouts and cheese.

  32. says

    gawsh girl! you are the best!!! i know the bf will think i’m crazytown for trying to make this for us, but i think it looks pretty damn wonderful!

    thanks a million gazillion!

    -squirrel

  33. says

    I agree with you 100%! Vegetables are essential to happiness and nothing makes me happier than cheese and veggies :-) I totally wrote down I needed to make this when I saw it in one of Ina’s books. This is a sure sign that it needs to be made asap!

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