Ham Steak and Cauliflower Mac n’Cheese

Forgotten Foods

How many cookbooks do you have?  How about tiny recipe cut-outs floating all over?  If we add them all up, we probably own thousands of recipes and yet why do we resort to the same 5 dinners over and over?  What would be really great is if we all had our 15-20 “tried and true” basic recipes that cover the gamut of vegetables, meats, and starches.  Imagine going an entire month without repeating the same dinner while exposing your kids to a variety of basic foods?!  Imagine going out for dinner and you all eat and share from the regular menu?!  Yeah baby, now I’m talkin’…..

HAM STEAK:  Ham steak with boiled carrots and sweet potatoes was one of the first dinners I gave Mac and Mia at 10 months old.  It’s an oldie but goody and certainly speedy!  Try to get a good ham steak from the butcher or Fresh Market if you can.  It’s already cooked so all you need to do is heat it up.  Simply lay it on a foil lined baking sheet, sprinkle a tiny bit of brown sugar on it and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  You can also heat it up in a frying pan with a little maple syrup and butter.

CAULIFLOWER MAC N’ CHEESE:  This is so good and if you over-cook the cauliflower a little bit, it has the same consistency as the pasta so it goes literally unnoticed.  

  • Cut cauliflower into small pieces and boil for 10 mins. or so.  Drain cauliflower out and boil pasta in same pot of salted water. Drain pasta.
  • Finely chop onion in a drop of EVOO and saute in pasta pot until soft (onion not required but does add flavor)
  • Simmer 1 1/2 cups of (low-fat) sour cream (1 cup of regular cream plus 1 TBS butter is o.k. too)
  • Stir in 1 TBS of Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 cups of (sharp) Cheddar cheese and
    1/2 cup of milk 
  • Add salt/pepper, take off heat and stir in cauliflower and macaroni
  • Pour mix into sprayed baking dish
  • Top with 1) italian breadcrumbs mixed with a little EVOO OR 2) sprinkle of Cheddar cheese
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes (with Ham steak) on 400.

This makes a huge portion.  Not bad to serve larger family group at Easter with spiral ham.

Keep a bag of frozen string beans, corn and peas from Fresh Market on hand at all times for a quick veggie side.  It tastes like they grow and freeze them in the back of the store!   

How the Kids Can Help:

Did You Know?

  • St. Patrick was actually italian?!  Born in Scotland, St. Patrick’s parents were both Romans so technically, yes it’s true, he was italian.
  • Green Eggs and Ham was published in 1960 and as of 2001 it was the 4th best-selling children’s book of all time.
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