In our house we are always looking for new ways to incorporate veggies into our meals. Not only for the nutrients they provide, but also as a good way to cut down on carbs. And it’s even better when those veggies can satisfy a food craving in a healthier way 🙂 Which is how we got to today’s feature: mashed cauliflower, instead of mashed potatoes.
Do you ever get a craving for a nice, fluffy, heaping serving of creamy mashed potatoes? That happens to me sometimes… I admit it. Now I do indulge from time to time in a tasty helping of mashed potatoes. But this mashed cauliflower recipe I am about to share with you makes a fantastic substitute. And, it still satisfies that craving, with so many fewer calories!
I am surprised, actually, that I haven’t tried making mashed cauliflower before. We discovered in the last year that we love roasted cauliflower. It is one of our favorite go-to’s as an easy veggie for dinner. Toss with some olive oil and seasoning, and roast for an hour or so. Delish!
It’s not like I’ve never heard of mashed cauliflower either. These days, restaurants are even serving it! But I had never tried making it myself. Until now. And let me tell you – it was so tasty, we would even consider serving it to dinner guests! You may even be duped into thinking this mashed cauliflower side is actually mashed potatoes. Serious! If you don’t believe me, you’ll just have to give this a try and taste for yourself 🙂
Some people recommend boiling the cauliflower, but I found that steaming the cauliflower instead gave the mash a thicker mashed potato-like texture. I am also always looking for places to use my homemade yogurt as a substitute for other more rich and creamy ingredients like mayonnaise or sour cream. And it works really well here!
If you need a little shock and awe on the calorie impact, take a delicious mashed potato recipe like Ree Drummond’s (The Pioneer Woman). You use butter, cream cheese, and half and half to get that delicious, silky, creamy texture. But in a 1/2 cup serving there are 343 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 41 carbs! Delicious, don’t get me wrong! And maybe perfect for a special holiday meal.
But, for a day to day dinner accompaniment, we try to lighten things up a bit. Compare that recipe with the nutrition profile in this mashed cauliflower recipe, and that alone may convince you that for your day to day meal planning, this is a worthwhile substitution! Save those delicious and creamy mashed potatoes for those special holiday occasions once or twice a year.
Finally, here you go. Take a look at the final mashed cauliflower product, and tell me this doesn’t look like mashed potatoes!
- 4 quart sauce pan
- Steamer basket
- 1 head cauliflower (chopped into florets of similar size)
- 1 clove garlic (minced, optional)
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (start with half the amount and add as needed)
- ¼ cup shredded cheese
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Chives (to garnish)
Steam the Cauliflower
- Put about an inch of water in the bottom of a 4 quart sauce pan, and place your vegetable steamer basket in the bottom.
- Add chopped cauliflower to the basket, cover, and cook, until very tender, about 15 minutes. When done, a knife or fork should insert easily into the florets. The smaller the pieces, the faster this step will go.
- Remove cauliflower from pan and transfer to a mixing bowl or blender. Or, drain water and place cauliflower back in sauce pan.
- Add butter and let melt.
- Add yogurt , garlic, and a couple pinches of salt.
- Mix with immersion blender, or in a full size blender, until it starts to come together.
- Taste and adjust with more yogurt, salt, pepper, continue blending.
- When almost smooth, add in 1/4 cup shredded cheese, and finish blending until smooth.
- Serve topped with green onions or chives.