This is such a comforting meal to make, it always pleases the eye and I just love it! Over the years I’ve found some interesting ways to work with the sauce, to help make it healthier and super tasty, so please keep reading!
I start by making a good thick cheese sauce. I know not everyone has the time to do this, but I make a large batch and freeze the leftover sauce for other meals. This makes a quick macaroni cheese a doddle!
I’m also one for saving money, so I buy good strong cheeses off the deli counter when they are reduced in price and freeze them for when I need to make more sauce! Frugal ehh?!
Some good tips for your cheese sauce, which will actually help to make it healthier and therefore you can have this indulgent treat a little more often than you think!
- Buy strong flavoured cheddars. You may not want to have that sort of cheese in a sandwich, but when you cook cheese it usually starts to lose it’s flavour. If you therefore start with a strong one, you’re ahead of the game and will need to use less cheese in your sauce.
- Use some mustard powder in with your flour when you start your sauce about 1/2 a tsp of mustard powder to 1 heaped tbsp of plain flour. This boosts the flavour of the cheese, so again you need less.
- Make the sauce thick, this sticks to the vegetables easily so you don’t need to over-fill the bowl. (This also means it takes up less room in your freezer!)
- Sprinkle just a little Parmesan (or another hard cheese) cheese on the top, instead of yet more grated cheddar. This still gives you a delightful look, but you use less cheese again to get the effect you are after.
For this meal, start with a good layer of chopped tomatoes on the bottom of the dish. I used tinned, but you can also use fresh if you prefer.
For the next layer, I added some steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets.
Drizzle over the super thick cheese sauce…
Then because I like them, a few chillies were sliced up and added on top and the grated Parmesan.
In the oven at 200 c for 25 minutes and you have it ready!
I served mine with a peppery rocket salad! I hope you enjoy trying this recipe, please let me know if you have any questions or feedback!