Little is more classic than mashed potatoes as a side dish for a nice hearty meal. No doubt, they are amazing and versatile, but they are also generally so heavy. For a while now, my wife and I have been experimenting with various mashed vegetables to replace potatoes, reduce the calories, and add a little different flavour pizzazz to our meals. We’ve used parsnips, turnips, pumpkins, celery root, and a host of others (which will appear on the blog in the future). Today, I’d like to offer a recipe for the first one that we tried…mashed cauliflower. As a member of the cabbage family, it is full of vitamins and nutrients, extremely low in carbs, and we find it to be a tremendous substitute for mashed potatoes. Oh, and it’s so easy to make! Sidenote for any devious parents out there: You can also mix half mashed cauliflower/half mashed potato together to trick your kids into eating some gloriously hidden vegetables.
This version plays a lot on the flavours of Thanksgiving, so a natural pairing I’d suggest is Cranberry Sage Glazed Turkey Legs.
Time: 30 Minutes
- Cauliflower (1/2 of a medium-large one is good for two servings)
- A little butter
- A creamy component as needed. Depending on how cooked the cauliflower is, you may or may not need.
- Sour Cream (great taste, perfect consistency)
- Greek Yogurt (this will give a thicker/tangier taste)
- Milk (If you use too much, the mash will become a bit runny since Cauliflower doesn’t absorb moisture like potatoes do. I’m using milk in this recipe, and if you do as well, add it little bits at a time)
- Sage (but swap it out if you prefer other flavours)
- Any other seasonings you want…I like to grind some white peppercorns in to enhance the earthiness
- Any cheeses you want that would melt nicely in…Cheddar is a great bet, but if you’re skipping the sage and want something funky, gorgonzola.
- Start boiling water in a good sized pot or deep bottomed pan
- Cut cauliflower into large chunks, and boil until they become soft, and you can stab into them with a fork pretty easily
- Drain the cauliflower, and put it into a food processor with your seasonings, a little butter, and process.
- If your mix is not pureed after that, add a little of your creamy component, and process again. Repeat until you have a mash that is smooth but not too runny.
- Pour the mash back into a pan, and simmer to heat and to evaporate any excess liquid (5-15 minutes…so it’s good to start the simmer when your protein is nearly done)
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!