Upgraded Mac & Cheese

Years ago when my kiddo was just a toddler, a dear client of mine gifted me a cookbook filled with recipes for traditional kid foods that are MUCH healthier than traditional preparations/ingredients.

One of the recipes the whole family (and many of our friends) loved was using hearts of palm instead of grain-based macaroni for mac & cheese.

Here’s the recipe (thank you Maria Emmerich for your amazing creativity and cookbooks!):

2 jars of Hearts of Palm
Water or chicken broth

Cheesy Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
3 TBS Cream Cheese
1/4 cup beef/chicken broth
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar (for topping)

Crunchy Topping:
2 TBS butter
1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Now when I have made this recipe, I often don’t do the crunchy topping–not because it’s not delicious because it is–but because I think it’s great without it and I love being able to throw it together quickly on my stove! So if you are time/energy crunched, bear that in mind.

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut hearts of palm in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cook the hearts of palm for about 5 minutes in boiling broth or water until tender. From here, mix all the cheese sauce ingredients in a saucepan or large skillet on medium heat until everything is well combined.

Now, you can just stir in the hearts of palm and enjoy OR you can put everything into a baking dish and get started on your crunchy topping.

To make the topping, mix butter and almond flour up in a small bowl and then crumble over the top of the mac and cheese and add some extra cheese to the top (1/2 cup grated). Bake for about 15 mins until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Makes 6 servings.


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