Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Smashed Cauliflower and a Blog Award

I remember years ago my sister once making mashed cauliflower and serving it to her husband (then boyfriend) - he took a bite then gave her a look that said, "Did you really think I was going to believe this was mashed potatoes?"  Jamie and I have made mashed cauliflower before, and it's always disappointing that it tastes like...  well, cauliflower.  But this version I came up with is really tasty and packed full of flavor so that you (almost) think you're eating potatoes, but you're not getting all the extra starch.

Yet I've come to realize that when it comes to mashed cauliflower, you have to stop pretending that it's potatoes.  Accept it for the vegetable that it is, and it may just surprise you with its flavor and creaminess.  I think the English got it right when they slather cooked cauliflower with a bunch of melted cheese!

In addition, this is made with skim milk and nonfat Greek yogurt - no butter or cream in this recipe!  I don't think you'll miss the fat, though, once you try this.  And a few crumbles of blue cheese add just the right amount of tanginess and creaminess.  (Because I had a couple small red potatoes in my fridge that needed to be used, I did add those to the recipe, which, I know was cheating, but you can also make this with just cauliflower.)

Printable Recipe

Smashed Cauliflower
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 small red potatoes, skins on, cut into 1-inch pieces (or leave the potatoes out and use more cauliflower)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons water (reserved from boiling the cauliflower and potatoes)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles
Place the cauliflower and potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Boil until tender (easily pierced with a fork), about 10-15 minutes.  Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid.

In a large bowl, smash the potatoes, cauliflower, water, milk and yogurt with a potato masher until you've reached the desired consistency - it should be slightly chunky and creamy, but not too thin or liquified.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  (Since the blue cheese is salty, taste the cauliflower before adding too much extra salt.)

We ate ours with some baked Panko-crusted chicken that we baked in the oven, and it was a satisfying but light dinner.


Now on to the second half of my post...

Since starting this blog in May, I've made so many new "foodie friends" and had a lot of fun learning from what they've shared on their blogs as well as creating and sharing recipes of my own.  It's become a personal challenge to think creatively and improve my skills as a home cook.  Not everything I make is a success, but I learn from my mistakes as much as when I get it right the first time I try.  And when I perfect a recipe, then I'm so excited to share it with all of you.

Ann at Cooking Healthy for Me has been so supportive of me and always gives such thoughtful feedback on my blog posts.  She was given the opportunity to award the "Cute Little Chef" and "Interesting Blog(ger)" to 15 other blogs, and I'm so honored that one of the ones she picked was mine.  Please visit her blog for some amazing healthy recipes and her post about the awards!