One Pot Cauliflower Mac N Cheese

I spent ten minutes yesterday on the train planning my day – journaling always keeps me focused, and if I steer away from it, my healthy vision starts to get blurry.

I had another picky plate for breakfast.  Hard boiled egg (2), deli ham (2) and 3/4 ounce Cabot cheese (3) and fruit.

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My sister is out of the office the rest of this week, so I was on my own.  It looked like it might rain, but I made it back to my office just in time.  I decided to walk north on Clark because I knew I’d pass by Xoco to accessorize my breakfast. 

My new office is close to the Merchandise Mart – I need to go there for Taco Tuesdays!  A chef makes tacos for lunch, giving cooking tips and you get to eat – all for $20.  Here are some upcoming dates:  Um, pretty sure I should go to the buffalo chicken taco one!

Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo Tuesday, May 16 12pm-12:45pm

Buffalo Chicken Tacos Tuesday, May 30 12pm-12:45pm

Chicken Tinga Tacos Tuesday, June 6 12pm-12:45pm

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While I am walking for exercise, it it wrong that I am scoping out places for me and my sister to eat on Fridays?  I am going to suggest this one to Jenn – the menu looks interesting!   They also have Art Smith’s “unfried” chicken there – yum!

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If I feel like getting fancy, I want to try this place out – Bottlefork.  It’s only open for dinner, but it might be worth it to head there after work one day and get a glass of wine and salad.  Or the grilled octopus with homemade spam.  That one sounds interesting!

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But Xoco was my true destination.  It’s the fast casual restaurant around the corner from Rick Bayless’ other restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.  While I was tempted to order my whole lunch there, I knew I was only accessorizing my leftover taco fixings from the night before, I only spent $3 on chips and salsa.

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As I was walking back to my office with chips in hand, I had to laugh at this license plate on this motorcycle.  Um, why haven’t I thought of this vanity plate before?!

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Here is how my lunch turned out.  12 chips (4) topped with three ounces leftover ground beef taco meat (4), red cabbage, carrots and 1/2 an ounce of cheddar cheese (2).  10 delicious points – I am kicking myself for not asking if they sold this salsa in bigger containers.  They are both slightly spicy, but SO flavorful – the red one has a depth of smokiness – I could have just done shots of those salsas for lunch all by themselves they are so good.

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Non-scale victory right here peeps – I put the rest of my chips in the lunch room for someone else to eat – I knew if they were still on my desk I would have eaten them all.  They almost taste like they have a lime salt on them?  I need to see if I can make lime salt.

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By the time I left the office after being night secretary, it was a bit cold, rainy and just gross.  I remembered I bought a bag of cauliflower rice at Trader Joe’s last weekend, and the idea of making a one pot mac n cheese sparked my dinner.

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The secret to this mac n cheese is the Laughing Cow cheese, using pasta water instead of butter to make the roux.  I know, I wasn’t sure it would work either, but the water is already starchy so I thought it would bind together nicely, and it was so creamy, you wouldn’t even know there is no butter in the dish.

I used this spiral pasta from Trader Joe’s as well – love the colors!

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  • 1/2 cup cooked pasta (3)
  • 1.25 cups cauliflower rice (0)
  • 2 tablespoons pasta water (0)
  • 1 tablespoon flour (1)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (0)
  • 1/8 cup cheddar cheese (2)
  • 1 laughing cow cheese (1)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced (0)
  • one chicken sausauge (I used Kirkwood brand tomato basil) (5)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.  I used just 2 tablespoons, but you may need to use more depending on your pasta used.   Drain pasta, and in the same pot, cook the sliced chicken sausage for about 6-7 minutes, add to drained pasta.  Spray the pan with Pam, and add the cauliflower and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in the 2 tablespoons of pasta water and flour and cook for one minute.  Slowly stir in the almond milk and continue to stir until the milk thickens and gets incorporated.  Remove from the heat, add in the laughing cow cheese, the cheddar cheese, cooked pasta and sausage and stir for a minute until the cheese melts.  This could have easily been two servings, but I was hungry and it was delicious – so I ate it all!  Pure healthy comfort food on a dreary night.  The cauliflower really bulked up this dish – so cheesy good!

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I am on my own for WW today since Jenn is off work.  I am on my way to WI, but I am having lunch with my friend Jacky.  I’ve already planned on going to my old meeting on Saturday, so it’s all good!  

Jacky and I are going to the Daley Center farmers market, which is now just across the street from my office – hopefully the rain will stay away.  

With my two cups of coffee with a bit of creamer, I had exactly 30 points yesterday.  I was focused and while there were temptations, I thought consciously about my food decisions for the day and am happy that it feels like I am back in control.

Now I will just have to give the Amish bakers in the train station this morning the stink eye when I walk past them this morning – they have cinnamon rolls, granola, pies – it smells like the most amazing bakery when you walk by.  Be strong Biz – be strong! 😀

Make it a great day!

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