You may have noticed by now that I am definitely a girl who loves her carbs. I have never been all that interested in low-carb as a dieting strategy, but one thing I really appreciate about the low-carb movement is the innovation of its proponents, and the new and unusual way they use fresh, natural ingredients like coconut, bean flours, and vegetables. Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with coconut flour, and I’ve been a long-time fan of using bean flour in recipes like the socca or pakora. But vegetables also can be a powerful ingredient in low-carb recipes- and while I love potatoes, I also love the idea of finding substitutes for them that can provide me with more nutritional bang for my buck, so to speak. Sweet potatoes are a big-time favorite over at our house, and I love them roasted, mashed, and baked as “fries”. But when I first saw a recipe for cauliflower-based-mashed-potatoes my interest was really and truly piqued. To be honest, cauliflower is one vegetable I’ve never warmed to. Oh, I’ll eat it- in soup, roasted in the oven (choice when mixed with broccoli), or fried up in an indian curry (my favorite way to enjoy cauliflower), but I just don’t crave it the way I crave broccoli. (mmm, broccoli.) But if I could use cauliflower in a recipe and capture the spirit of yummy, creamy mashed potatoes- wouldn’t that be great? It also occurs to me that this would be a great recipe for any readers with a potato allergy or potato intolerance.
I hadn’t done much research into the nutritional value of cauliflower, but according to my friend Wikipedia:
“Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density. As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower shares with broccoli and cabbage several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. In addition, the compound indole-3-carbinol, which appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appears to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate. Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances. A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.” (source: Wikipedia)
I had no idea it was THAT good for me!
I decided to look at the entry for potato, and found that equally interesting.
“Potatoes contain a number of important vitamins and minerals. A medium potato (150g/5.3 oz) with the skin provides 27 mg vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)), 620 mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Moreover, the fiber content of a potato with skin (2 grams) equals that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals. In addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber, potatoes also contain an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols. The notion that â€œall of the potatoâ€™s nutrientsâ€ are found in the skin is an urban legend. While the skin does contain approximately half of the total dietary fiber, the majority (more than 50%) of the nutrients are found within the potato itself. The cooking method used can significantly impact the nutrient availability of the potato.” (source: Wikipedia)
Regardless, I’m happy any time I find a new way to enjoy a vegetable, especially a vegetable I don’t always enjoy. This recipe was really tasty, and appealed to my taste buds more than any cauliflower recipe I’ve tried, so I pronounce this experiment a SUCCESS. We enjoyed our mashed cauliflower recipe with an old favorite- southern fried tofu, and a new take on slow cooked southern greens from my Cookin’ Southern Vegetarian Style cookbook. The greens recipe wasn’t noteworthy, but the rest was super-yum. And it certainly made this gluten-free vegetarian happy!
Next Week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap theme ingredient is the cauliflower. What’s your favorite way to prepare cauliflower? Share in the comments!
Garlic Cauliflower Mashed ‘Potato’ Recipe
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves
1 cube GF vegetable bullion
1 tablespoon lowfat greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon chopped green onions or chives (optional)
1 pat of unsalted butter (optional)
Freshly ground Italian Seasoning (with rosemary, garlic, red pepper) like that by McCormick OR your favorite seasoning mix
Freshly ground pepper
Mix your vegetable bullion cube with a 1/2 cup of hot water and let dissolve. (You can help it along if you’re impatient like me.) Put in a pot with lid along with the rest of your water and three whole or halved garlic cloves. Add your cauliflower florets and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. Then you can remove the lid and let the cauliflower simmer energetically for a few more minutes, letting the broth reduce. When you’re certain the cauliflower is soft, take off burner, and drain cauliflower. You can throw away one or two of the garlic cloves, but keep one!
Combine garlic, cauliflower, yogurt, and parmesan in your food processor and process until smooth. You can add seasonings before or after blending. Taste and adjust seasonings. Put in a serving dish, top with one pat of butter, any extra seasonings and chopped green onions or chives. Enjoy!
I have always disliked cauliflower, but I actually really enjoyed this recipe. It still tastes like cauliflower, but somehow in a good way- and the parmesan adds tons of flavor. DH enjoyed it, but he likes his cauliflower plain too so it wasn’t as big of a deal for him as it was for me.
Great for low-carb dieters!
Southern Fried Tofu
1 lb fat-reduced firm tofu, sliced horizontally in 3 slabs, and
pressed for 45 minutes.
Dipping Liquid Mix:
1 tbsp. Canola or olive oil (or more if needed)
1) Mix all seasoning ingredients (nutritional yeast-ground rosemary)
together in a bowl.
2) Combine milk and lemon juice and stir together
3) Place flour in a mixing bowl.
4) Cut each slab of tofu into 4 triangles, resulting in 12
5) Coat a big skilled with a layer of canola or olive oil, and heat
6) Place fried tofu on plate w/ paper towel or on rack. Left over
We usually serve them over mashed potatoes or rice, with a side
of sauteed green veggies (green beans or spinach). I loved these so
much we took nutritional yeast with us when we lived in Japan, and
made it a “comfort food meal” when we were feeling homesick.