Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
There are lots of worthy reasons to eat mashed cauliflower 'potatoes' such as the health benefits which include: cauliflower helps prevent ulcers; it helps prevent prostate cancer; it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease; it's a great source of vitamin K and it helps fight cancer. Those are some pretty good reasons but the two best reasons to try this dis are:
1) It tastes great. I mean really, really great. (And I have never been a big fan of cauliflower)
2) Spice up your life by trying new things. You know how you go to the supermarket and you don't know what have of the vegetables on display are? Well I'm going to try all of them.
A taste mission
I like to cook and I definitely have some great dishes that we eat regularly. And I'm sick of it. It's not that these dishes are bad, it's just that there is a whole taste universe out there that I haven't tried so I'm on a mission to cook new things. Lots of new things. The latest, cauliflower mashed 'potatoes' surprise. The surprise is that there's absolutely no potatoes in it at all. Oh and the other surprise is that it tastes great. Mashed potatoes (or any potatoes for that matter) have always been one of my favorite things to eat and, in my opinion, are right u there with macaroni and cheese as far as comfort foods go. Cauliflower on the other hand has never really blown my skirt up s to speak. So when I first hear about cauliflower mashed 'potatoes' I was pretty dubious. I figured the texture would be OK, not great but passable but also thought that the flavor would be watery and bland. I was wrong. So very wrong.
Why is it a surprise that it tastes great?
Because when you see how simple the ingredients list is you're probably going to think "there's no way this is going to taste very good" But trust me, it's wonderful. There's plenty of different ways that you can make this dish even more tasty and I'll cover them here too. PS - once you try this recipe you will probably want to thank me with large and expensive gifts and I'm OK with that. Message me and I'll tell you a mailing address that you can send your homages to..
- Vegetable Stock
I'm going to try adding cashews to the mashed potatoes. I'll report back how it tastes.
Bubble and Squeak
- Wash the cauliflower to get off all the dirt. We often shop at a farmer's market and the produce is quite a bit more dirty than you might be used to from a grocery store but it is also fresher and a lot cheaper.
- Boil the cauliflower along with fresh garlic (if you have it) in the vegetable stock. If you're using dried garlic flakes or garlic salt then add that when you mash the cauliflower instead. You could steam the cauliflower but that doesn't seem to pick up the garlic flavor as much even if you put the fresh garlic into the steaming water. The cauliflower will probably take about fifteen minutes to cook and it's ready when you can easily slide a fork into it. Tip: always use a fork to test if vegetables are cooked and not a knife because a good, sharp knife will easily slide into veggies that are still raw and fool you into thinking they are cooked.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked, take it, and the garlic, out of the stock.
- Mash the cauliflower and garlic until it is a smooth paste. You will probably need to use some of the stock to get the right consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. You can add milk, butter, Parmesan cheese or even cream cheese to make it more unctuous but it doesn't need it. If you want a little tang in it you can add a little lemon juice too.
- Serve it hot and use it just like mashed potatoes. I like to dust the top with a little smoked paprika but then I say that about every meal!
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Cooking With Leftovers
One of the things that I like best about this recipe is that it is a great way to use left over cauliflower. Left over from what? you ask. Cauliflower steaks, roasted vegetables or even cauliflower buffalo hot wings. There are all kinds of wonderful things you can make from cauliflower.
Known as bubble and squeak in Britian, potato and vegetable pancakes are delicious and you can use mashed cauliflower to make the same dish. Incidentally, mashed cauliflower pancakes are one of the best uses for frozen vegetables, a product that my wife insists on buying despite never being the one who actually does any of the cooking (please don't tell her I told you that!)
© 2012 Dale Anderson