OK, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is around the corner. It is time to turn up the workouts and turn down the calories, you know, just for the time in between the 2 feast-full holidays. This is one of my favorite healthy swaps and I know you will love it too. I actually brought this to Thanksgiving last year for anyone that was trying to be semi-healthy and most of my family members were hesitant to try it. I got every excuse from "I hate cauliflower" and "I don't like veggies" to "I'll be able to taste the cauliflower". I didn't push, I just left it there and slowly but surely...it started to disappear. I brought it this year, and they were asking for it before I even had a chance to get it on the table and that doesn't count the 3 phone calls I got making sure I was making it again and the phone calls throughout the year I got asking how to make it. If you can boil, blend and mash...you can make this. This is a dish that feels naughty because you're eating mashed potatoes and that is a no-no in the world of health and fitness (or so I'm told) but this is not naughty at all! It is light and airy and yummy. Trust me, you won't be sorry, just look at the nutrition content I put at the bottom of the post!
5 lbs russet potatoes
3 heads cauliflower
1 Tbsp teaspoons salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp garlic
2 tsp onion powder
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (If desired)
This recipe is super simple...but has a few moving parts so I did a step-by-step for you:
Peel and chop potatoes then boil until fork tender. Drain water and mash potatoes with a masher. They do not need to be completely mashed at this point so lets call this a "rough mash"
Remove stem and leaves from heads of cauliflower. Break or chop into about 2 inch pieces (this doesn't have to be an exact size just fairly uniform). Bring a pot of water and 1 Tbsp salt to a boil (I forgot the salt so I added it late - oh well!) Add in the cauliflower and boil for about 20-30 minutes. Boil until fork tender (I used a 6.75qt Le Creuset dutch oven and I do it in 3 batches). Strain out the cauliflower leaving the water for another batch if needed, if only doing one batch, reserve 1 cup of the boiling water.
At this point, if adding cheese, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Fill your blenders container with 2/3 of the boiled cauliflower, in batches if needed, and add 1/3 cup of the boiling water per batch to help give it enough liquid to blend well. Blend until smooth or pureed. (You will use the other 1/3 of the boiled cauliflower later on)
Add the pureed cauliflower to the potatoes. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt as well as the pepper, garlic and onion powder. Mix well.
Add the remaining cauliflower to the potato mixture without pureeing and mash into potato mixture. This will help keep a thick mashed potato like consistency. If you prefer a smoother consistency then you will just puree all of the cauliflower and ignore this step.
Give the mashed potato mixture one last good mix. At this point, you can eat them and they are delicious. For large family gatherings I like to add a little cheese. If you want to add a little you can smooth out the top with a rubber spatula or the back of a large serving spoon and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Place uncovered in the oven and bake 5-8 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and starting to bubble and brown a bit. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe size is for a large gathering and will serve approximately 20-22 people with 1 cup servings. To convert this recipe for a smaller family meal boil 1 medium russet potato per 3 cups of raw cauliflower you boil or 1.5lbs of potato per head of cauliflower.
Per Serving (1 Cup): 94 cals / 2g fat / 17g carbs / 4g protein
Traditional Home-Made Mashed Potatoes: 237 cals / 9g fat / 35g carbs / 4g protein