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Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
G'morning ....

I'd like to try making some mashed cauliflower to take the place of regular mashed potatoes. Checking around on the web has resulted in some insipid recipes or recipes loaded with cream, cream cheese, and excessive amounts of fat. Does anyone have a suggestion for something that's tasty and neither too fat-laden nor bland?

Thanks!
post #2 of 22
Hi Shel! We love it. The way I do it is to break it up into medium-sized to smaller but not tiny, florets and toss lightly with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Then I roast it along with some loose (large) garlic cloves in their skins (also tossed in olive oil) at 450 degrees until browned. I stir occassionally. That takes about 20-30 minutes or a tad longer, I admit, I've never timed it. I just check every 5-8 minutes after the first 15.

Then I just put in the robot coupe or else use my stick blender and puree it while it's still hot along with the garlic (I remove the garlic skin first). Season to taste and add a tbsp of butter at the end. It's delicious. Maybe 2tbsp of fat for a whole head of cauliflower (1tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter) and you could probably do it with less actually. If it's too dry, you can add a bit of yogurt or buttermilk or cream or cream cheese lol! I have found that roasting adds a beautiful brown nuttiness to it and helps to dry out the water that cauliflower is prone to producing/absorbing during wet cooking methods.

Let me know if you try it and like it!
post #3 of 22
you can sub anything for the cream or butter if you cook the florets in lowfat chicken stock or veg.

Surprise South Beach Mashed 'Potatoes' - Allrecipes
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
That sounds great. I may even get some fresh cauliflower today. Thanks!

Have you ever tried adding some additional veggies to the mashed cauliflower. Sometimes I make a vegetable moosh - baked or microwaved 'tater and add chopped or diced broccoli, zuchhini, or corn to it, maybe some red peppers - whatever is handy and seems good that's in the ice box. I could see throwing in some corn or broccoli into this.

Shel
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Chef. This has given me a couple of ideas.

Shel
post #6 of 22

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Edited by Luc_H - 10/18/15 at 9:56am
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post #7 of 22
I love this dish. For about six years I was eating one form or another of low carb. Now that I'm more "South Beach" in my eating, I've cut the fat by adding low fat sour cream or cream cheese, or just adding Smart Balance margarine and skipping the heavier dairy. I like Luc's suggestion of adding less starchy root veggies. I have to forego parsnips (too sugary for a pre-diabetic), but they'd be delicious in a mash as well.
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post #8 of 22
shel after roasting and smashing if you need additional fluid which I don't think you will, you can even add a bit of chicken stock to loosen it up instead of butter.

Luc is right on with veggies to add to the cauli. Celeriac is awesome and have also done it with a puree of Jer Arts. very good too! I've also added some rutabaga and I've done a melange of roasted turnips, cauli and rutabaga. I have added corn when I've wanted to make a fake KFC bowl. Like Mezza I was low carb for about 6 years before developing a health problem where I've had to really restrict protein. I'm afraid I've swung to the other end and now shudder to think of my blood glucose! :eek: But that phase will be coming to an end soon and I think will end up with So Beach or the Zone back. Not sure which yet will depend on how much protein I get to have per day. Love the complex carb root veggies though! I just don't miss potatoes with them.

I also make a "cauli salad" like potato salad using the roasted cauli florets. I just follow my grandmom's original potato salad recipe and in place of the potatoes, add my roasted cauli. People actually pick it to eat over other potato salads!
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi Luc,

Thanks so much for your sugestions. I've never had either, so I'm looking forward to trying them. Just gotta find a place that sells them and know what to look for in terms of judging freshness and good quality.

Shel
post #10 of 22

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Edited by Luc_H - 10/18/15 at 9:56am
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post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
I found some celeriac today and will definitely try it with the cauliflower, although I want to see if I can find good quality organic celeriac before buying the ones I saw today. In any case, i didn't want to buy any until I heard back from you wrt what to look for.

Thanks again to all.

Shel
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I made this tonight and LOVED it! even for a first time try. I'll definitely make it again. After puréeing it I added a couple of chopped chard leaves and a couple of small broccoli crowns, a dash of lemon juice, gave the whole thing a couple-three more pulses, and, voila, a perfect substitute for mashed potatoes. I'll often add some additional veggies to mashed potatoes for a quick and inexpensive veggie dinner- corn, carrots, peas - and make a vegetable smoosh. The cauliflower seems to lend itself to that.

Like you said, it has a nice nutty flavor ... mmmmm and Thanks! I've yet to try microwaving or steaming the cauliflower, but that'll be next. It's easier to do than roasting, and might be nice for an unplanned, last minute method for making this.

Shel
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm going to make this again tonight. This time, along with the garlic, I'm going to add some fennel. I'll sauté and slighly caramelize the fennel, then mix the cauli florets with that and roast the whole thing together. When done, into the Cuisinart, add a splash of lemon juice, and whirr the whole thing together, adjusting consistancy as needed. Along with the cauli will be some steamed and herbed summer squash laid out on a bed of fresh, red heirloom tomato slices. Yumm-O!

Time passes: Just finished dinner and this was sooo good. Next time I'll add a scosh more fennel and keep it separate from the cauli, adding it to the processor after the cauli is cooked. I also ended up adding 1-Tbs or so of sour cream for a little more smoothness and to adjust the consistancy.

Thanks again for this recipe and technique. It lends itself to lots of add-ins and different flavors.

Shel
post #14 of 22
Sounds divine shel! Thanks for giving us the heads up! I have done cauli many ways (steam in micro and stove top, boiling/blanching, using fresh, using frozen) and I keep coming back to the roasted method simply because of the development of the nuttiness which I can't get enough of!!

I use this cooking method for cauli that is not only pureed but also I make a cauli based curry that is lip smackin delicious. In fact, it's on the menu for tonite! I also use the roasted cauli to make a faux tato salad that makes people really excited when they taste it! They often can't figure out how I got the tatos to taste that way! LOL, there aren't any tatos in it! :D
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
I never really cared much for cauli, but now, for some reason, I'm starting to explore the possibilities it offers. What makes cauli so good for so many techniques is that it's a pretty bland, or mild, vegetable, and it soaks up flavors like a sponge. It also goes well with many other veggies.

We can get small (almost like single-serving) cauliflower here, especially at the farmers markets, so it's not necessary to buy those large heads (another reason I didn't use much of the veg) and have half sitting in the fridge for long periods of time. I ate an entire head of cauli last night - the smaller heads are perfect for a large, single-serving portion.

I'd love to see your cauli curry. My ol' buddy, Jim Tarantino, had a recipe for Coconut Curried Cauliflower which, iirc, is outstanding. It's not been xferred to the computer yet, but that will happen soon, and I'll post the details in another thread.

Shel
post #16 of 22
Well I usually use a prepared curry paste cuz I'm sometimes lazier than I sould be. I use the Patek brand? But I was out this last time and so I "poured seeds" into a small frying pan and roasted them, then ground them. From memory they were about 1:1 to each other and the seeds I did were:

Coriander
Cumin
Mustard (Yellow)
Fennel
2" of Cinnamon Stick

Then blended all in my coffee grinder that I use for spices.

Then combined with:
Turmeric
Saffron threads (just a pinch)
Ground ginger
Red Pepper flakes
Allspice

So once that was made I put it into an empty spice bottle that I have to save for multiple uses. As I told Oregon Yeti, I have no idea how authentic it is/was...I was lacking several things real curries asked for like:
Curry leaves
Fenugreek
Allspice berries
Cardamom
Star Anise
Caraway

So I just winged it with my own spices!

Then I take a large onion, finely diced carrot, celery if you want (mirapoix with much more onion ratio to anything else), sliced mushrooms and a couple of hot chilis (fresh and your choice), and garlic and saute in butter til soft but not colored. I like to see my onions after cooking so I will do two kinds of dice...a fine chop and also a course chop. I don't clarify my butter cuz the browned nuttiness of the butter adds to the flavor. Then I will add a couple of tablespoons of the curry powder (make it as strong or weak as you prefer) and stir around to kinda make a thickened base. Add your roasted cauliflower (I like the florets small so that there is more ratio to browned flesh than white pulp). Add coconut milk to the desired consistency. Let it simmer. Adjust for salt and pepper. Add green peas in the last 5 minutes of cooking and serve over basmati rice. At the last minute, I sometimes will add a seeded and roughly diced tomato.

For condiments I will serve toasted pumpkin seeds or other toasted seeds, toasted unsweetened coconut, and dried currants and also chopped cilantro or chopped mint and sometimes both. I also usually have a little mango chutney and green tomato relish on the side and like to serve it with a flatbread.

It's soooo comforting. And it tastes meaty and gives that meat satisfaction even though it's all veggies.

Hope you will try it and let me know how you like it! If you don't like certain of the spices above, just omit or back off of them. I think that any combination of these work.
post #17 of 22
Any ideas on how to get kids to enjoy this? In trying to get my family to eat more healthy food, I tried making this instead of mashed potatoes and it didn't go over that well.
post #18 of 22

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Edited by Luc_H - 10/18/15 at 9:57am
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post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
As I play with this concept more and more, it seems that the cauliflower lends itself to many varieties of flavor-enhancing ingredients. Try what Luc suggests, but don't be afraid to add other ingredients to the mashed cauli. Next up at my house is lemon garlic roasted broccoli, and then some finely diced poblano peppers, and at some point a horseradish sauce. Those are flavors I like. What sort of flabvors does yourkid like? Try adding those to the cauli.

Shel
post #20 of 22
Thanks for the great suggestions Luc and Shel. When I tried this before I didn't think of adding other great ingredient. I was just following a rather bland recipe.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just a quick thought, although I've not tried it yet - maybe, instead of milk or cream or butter, you can add some good quality coconut milk and a little dried coconut, toasted or not. There's a coconut curry marinade I sometimes use with cauli, and that gave me the idea. Since kids tend to like things on the sweet side, the coconut milk and dried coconut flakes might be worth a try. Let us know how it works if you try it.

Shel
post #22 of 22
I tried the toasted coconut. That was a great idea. It gave it a sweeter flavor like you said, and it changed the texture too. I think that helped as well. Thanks again for the great suggestions.
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