Mac Cheese with Cauliflower and Beans
4 oz small or medium whole wheat pasta shells (about 1 c)
2 c small cauliflower florets (8 oz)
1 can (15.5 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 c 1% or fat-free milk
3 Tbsp chickpea flour (see tip below)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 c shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
2. Add the cauliflower for last 5 minutes of cooking time.
3. Drain the pasta and cauliflower well and transfer to a serving bowl. Stir in the beans.
4. Start the Cheddar cheese sauce as soon as you add the pasta to the boiling water: In a small saucepan, stir 1/4 cup of the milk into the chickpea flour. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup milk and the mustard. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often. Add the cheese in handfuls, stirring to melt each batch.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh chives if you like.