Valentine’s Weekend: Healthy Comfort Food for the Heart

Let’s face it, we all know that Valentine’s Day really extends into Valentine’s Weekend. And, for all intensive purposes of this post, I had a hott dinner date with my DVR filled with Modern Family and the Mindy Project! Being Valentine’s weekend and all, I was really in the mood for something decadent and comforting…something like baked mac and cheese?? (Insert mischievous face here). However, the leftover cauliflower in the fridge got the best of me. And so, since I’m still trying to stick with this healthy cooking challenge, I attempted to make a healthy baked cauliflower mac and cheese. And boy, did it hit the spot…or should I say heart? 😉

I made this in an individual baking dish and it turned out perfectly. I’m proud to say the picture (and recipe) is actually mine this time! 🙂 This is so simple and easy to make, it’s going to be addicting. Thankfully, you can indulge in this dish guilt-free!

Single Serve Baked Cauliflower Mac-and-Cheese

Disclaimer: the listed ingredient measurements are approximate, because I just threw together what I had. Also, this recipe makes quite a bit. I couldn’t finish all of it, even though I wanted to!

  • 1.5 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic skim milk
  • 2 strips organic reduced fat turkey bacon
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp flour
  • Dash of ground mustard (or dijon mustard)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add chopped cauliflower and cook for 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is soft.

2. While cauliflower is cooking, in a separate skillet, cook the two strips of turkey bacon over medium heat. Remove cooked bacon from the skillet and set aside to cool. When the bacon is cooled, chop it into tiny pieces.

3. In the same skillet that the bacon was cooked, heat the milk over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the butter and let it melt, constantly mixing. Add the dashes of nutmeg and ground mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste! Finally, mix in the flour and stir for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese to the sauce and let it melt until is forms a thick gooey deliciousness (you’ll know what I mean)!

4. Drain cauliflower and return to pot. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and mix to combine. Stir in bacon bits, and mix everything together breaking up cauliflower into bite sized chunks. I like to give it a quick taste here to make sure everything is yummyyy.

5. Pour mixture into a single serve oven proof dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese and bake at 350°F for 7-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

For a total of 355 calories, there is no way you can’t enjoy this dish! Seriously, your tummy is going to be so happy. Wishing everyone a Happy Healthy Valentine’s Weekend! ❤

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day/Weekend? Did anyone try out some new recipes with their significant other? Share your adventures in the comments below 🙂

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Fitness on the Go!

As I mentioned, I’ve been away from home for the past few months so I wanted to share a few fitness tips that have helped me stay in (somewhat decent) shape without joining a gym!

1. Map My Run: I’m not a big runner, but this app actually makes it somewhat fun! You can connect with friends and/or link it to your social media! It tracks your distance, time, and average speed. It surprisingly proved to be a fun workout tool!

2. Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 DVD: Okay, if you have never used a Jillian DVD, I highly recommend you order one TODAY! When I first started my fitness journey (at 180 pounds), I used her “30 Day Shred” DVD and it really helped jumpstart my weightloss. Her DVD’s are intense, but they’re only 25 minute workouts and she keeps you motivated the entire time. You will need a set of hand weights (I started with 5 pounds) and to this day, it’s one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. You can really see a change in your body and everyone can find 25 minutes a day to squeeze in this workout–no gym required! I bought the “Ripped in 30” DVD off of amazon and am loving this workout even more than the “30 Day Shred!” You can also find a wide array of her other DVD’s on amazon as well–I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them.

3. Bikram Yoga: I got into Bikram Yoga last year when Bikram Yoga Rochester became a sponsor for the Miss Greater Rochester Organization. I was so happy when my cousin mentioned there was a great studio in Raleigh! It’s not only a great stress reliever, but also helps my strength and flexibility. Plus, as a new customer, I was able to score a free week of classes, and I even received a student discount on their 10 class package! This was an investment I was willing to make because I love doing Bikram Yoga not only for my physical fitness but mental health as well.

4. My Fitness Pal: This is an amazing app I’ve used for over a year now! You can track all your meals and workouts in one place! I’ve tried a few others and this one is by far the best. It summarizes everything daily, weekly, and monthly. It definitely keeps me on track and makes me think twice about eating something!

Hope you find these tips helpful in your journey to fitness!