Recipes

Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

The most popular and widely consumed “vegetable” among Americans is the potato.  While it contains 70% of your daily Vitamin C needs along with 25%+ potassium and B-6 and a nice boost of fiber, let’s be honest and admit that most people are not eating the whole potato, skin and all.  

Research shows that most Americans don’t consume the recommended 2-3 cups of veggies per day.  We know that veggies (and fruit) contain a wealth of anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and health-promoting nutrients, but we must include a variety of colors and types in order to fully benefit.  While there are hundreds of types of veggies, many of us eat the same ones each week.  In order to step outside of the box and add variety, I believe that we have to make veggie dishes that are irresistible… like this recipe, Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower.

The cruciferous veggie, cauliflower, is packed with nutrition.  Don’t let its white color fool you!  Even “white foods,” specifically, white vegetables, are good for you!  A 1 cup serving of cauliflower contains less than 30 calories and about ¾ of your daily needs for vitamin C.  But it is the aromatic sulfur compounds (glucosinolates) combined with antioxidants (like Vitamin C) that make it a superfood.  Your digestive, immune, cardiovascular and inflammatory systems all appear to benefit from regular intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower.

Pizza crust, bread, “rice,” soup, “steak,” sauce, casserole, pie… cauliflower creativity knows no end! But today, I want to show you simple, scrumptious, creamy and definitely Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower.  This recipe is big on flavor but also has 150% of your daily Vitamin C needs, 20% calcium and B6 and a pretty surprising amount of fiber and protein.

Many years ago, I wondered if my husband would ever step outside his comfort zone and try some different vegetables.  As you may have read in my Living With A Picky Eater Series, developing a taste for veggies has been a slow process for my husband.  Creamy Mashed Cauliflower was one of the recipes I perfected and he truly adores now.  If like me, you need some encouragement and strategies maneuvering through mealtime with a “selective eater,” you can find solutions and perspective in my articles,

Part 1: A Story of Hope

Part 2: Sanity Saving Strategies

Part 3: Another Angle

Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower is reminiscent of creamy loaded mashed potatoes and I bet some individuals would even be fooled if you didn’t tell. Although, I don’t advocate “sneaking veggies.”  If you want a slower transition to this all-veggie dish, follow my instructions here and use half cauliflower and half potatoes.  The secret to a creamy consistency is to use a food processor to remove all lumps.  This dramatically improves the texture and mouth-feel for the skeptics.

Casseroles are not trendy or sexy but they are what we take to the

  • family holiday gathering
  • new mommy of a newborn
  • Co-worker group lunch
  • church potluck

When looking through your cookbook collection for a killer recipe that will receive rave reviews, I guarantee this one will do it!  This Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower will become the star of your holiday table OR dinner table… the one that is requested again and again!

Enjoy!

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Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Servings 6
Author Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD

Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads cauliflower 5-6” diameter
  • ½ cup 2% plain greek yogurt OR reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons sliced green onions green parts only
  • 4 oz 2% milk sharp cheddar cheese shredded & divided in half

Instructions

  1. Steam cauliflower until very tender. Once cooked, add cauliflower, butter, salt, and pepper to food processor and puree until smooth and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed. 

  2. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in greek yogurt (or sour cream), 1/2 of cheese and 1-2 tablespoon of green onion. 
  3. Preheat broiler. Grease a 9x9 baking dish (I use a Misto). Pour mixture into the greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese and green onion. Broil for 5-8 minutes or until top is bubbly and lightly brown. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

A food processor, while not absolutely necessary, is the best way to get smooth, creamy and 'dreamy' mashed cauliflower!!  An immersion blender or potato masher can be used, but will produce a lumpy final product.

Any type of butter spread can be used in place of butter.  However, note that the sodium (and saturated fat) may change depending on what substitute you use.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories 149; Total Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 5g; Cholesterol 22mg; Sodium 385mg; Carbohydrate 11g; Fiber 5g; Sugar 5g; Protein 11g

Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower is anything but boring!  Give it a try, get the family to rate it and I bet you will add 1 more veggie recipe to your arsenal.

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