Heart-Healthy Mac-and-Cheese Recipe

Kick off 2014 right with this tasty eight-bean chili, plus a 24/7 gym in Hockessin and a roundup of must-do events.

Recipe: Mac-and-Cheese-Style Cauliflower

As a mom, I have become sneaky. I have snuck vegetables into so many things, Jessica Seinfeld would be so proud of me. I often have to show great discipline when preparing mac-and-cheese for my son because I inevitably want the entire bowl, but with this recipe I get two for the price of one: I get to sneak cauliflower into his food under the bread crumbs and feel better eating some of this myself because it’s less starch from the pasta. Now it’s your turn to be sneaky. Enjoy!

Brought to us by our friends at Newark Natural Foods and Vegetarian Times.

Mac-and-Cheese-Style Cauliflower
(Serves 8)

1 large head cauliflower (1 ½ lb.), cut into medium florets (8 cups)
2 tbs. butter or margarine
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 egg yolks
1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets, and boil 5 to 7 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid, and set aside.

Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk, garlic, and reserved cooking liquid, and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and egg yolks until cheese is melted. Fold in cauliflower.

Coat 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread cauliflower mixture in baking dish, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Spray breadcrumbs with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly and breadcrumbs are crisp and brown.

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Recipe: Vegan Eight-Bean Chili

“Veganism forced me to become more creative in the kitchen,” says Nicole Karam of Elsmere, who writes the vegan blog yaynomz.com. “There’s a misconception out there that vegan diets are very restrictive, but with veganism, your diet actually becomes more varied. It opens you up to a whole new world of foods, including legumes and grains.” Whether you’re a vegan making a meal for non-vegan guests or a non-vegan looking to expand your cooking repertoire beyond meat-centered fare, here’s a recipe to get you started. (more)

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Hitting the Gym—Anytime

I’ve never been a morning person. I can safely assure you that I will never become a morning person. So when my friends and colleagues tell me about their consistent 5 a.m. exercise routines, I ask them if they miss their home planet.

There are multiple benefits to morning fitness programs—increased energy throughout the day and a spiked metabolism—but the truth is, the best time to work out is the time you can make it a habit.

For many, finding that time to work out is the biggest barrier to getting enough exercise. Fortunately, new opportunities to overcome this challenge are popping up locally: a chain of fitness centers that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Everyone has his or her ideal fitness environment. While some may prefer the elliptical in their home, others feel empowered by the energy in Zumba classes or running clubs. These 24-hour gyms may be the perfect workout environments for those seeking flexibility when finding that “best time” and the best length of time.

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“The people who become members here want flexibility in two areas,” says Jeffrey Koff, owner of SNAP Fitness in Hockessin. “They want to have access to great gym equipment according to their schedule and they don’t have to be locked into a long contract.”

Fitness centers like SNAP have secure access for members and certified trainers on staff who offer assistance and personal training sessions. While some of the bigger fitness centers offer other wellness components such as nutrition counseling or aerobic classes, these centers are ideal for those who just want to use the equipment in a clean, safe environment at the time that best works for their schedule.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 64.3 percent of Delawareans report being physically active. I wonder how many of them are morning people. Good news for the other 35.7 percent: They can even be late-evening people and still be in shape.

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Healthy Events

Thursday, Jan. 16
Christiana Care Women’s Health Lecture Series: Eating Right, Cooking Lite
Location  John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital campus, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark
Time 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
More info.  800-693-2273

Thursday Jan. 16
After Ringing the Bell, A Cancer Survivorship Conference, hosted by the Sussex County Survivorship Coalition
Location  Rehoboth Beach Country Club, 221 West Side Drive, Rehoboth Beach
Time 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
More info. (302) 645-9150

Saturday, Jan. 18
25th Road to the Superbowl 5K
Location  Kelly’s Logan House, 1701 Delaware Ave., Wilmington
Time  11:30 a.m. registration, 12:30 start
More info. barb@races2run.com or 654-6400

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