What kid doesn’t like mashed potatoes?
It’s a favorite at our house even if I don’t have gravy, but I’m always looking for ways to reduce the starchy foods and incorporate more low-carb, nutrient-dense veggies onto our plates.
This recipe is basically a “mashed potatoes” substitute but with…cauliflower!
It’s a great swap, because first of all, potatoes are sometimes “too easy” of a side dish, so we tend to fall back on them too often. It’s good to have some variety – PLUS cauliflower is packed with nutrients and would have been called a super food before weird stuff like goji berries came on the scene.
Check out Cauliflower’s Health Benefits:
- Detoxify (increase the liver’s ability to neutralize potentially toxic substances)
- Reduce free radical damage (it’s packed with antioxidants)
- May prevent cancers, especially bladder and prostate (that’s why I included it in my cancer-fighting Asian soup recipe that I created when my dad was fighting cancer)
- Good for heart health
- Prevents eye degeneration
- Healthy skin and immune system
Cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C (73% DV in one cup! Who would have guessed?), plus it has almost 14% DV of folate/folic acid and over 10% of your needed fiber for the day. Vitamin K, which can be a tough nutrient to find, is also prominent in cauliflower, ringing in at 19% DV and contributing to its anti-inflammatory effects. Sources: 1, 2, 3
You can find cauliflower in some other favorite recipes on KS too:
- Low-Carb Cauli Mac and Cheese
- Paleo Cauli Rice (in the Instant Pot)
- I recommend adding it to this turmeric chicken soup to replace some or all of the potatoes, too – cauliflower and turmeric together is a potent cancer-fighter)
This mashed cauliflower side dish is one of those “recipes” that I honestly don’t even look at anymore – I just cut up a cauliflower and toss some other ingredients in, eyeing it up. But I measured a few times just for you. Cauliflower is in season from September through November but many of you will be able to find them locally already as well.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 Tbs. butter
- ¼ c. cottage cheese
- ¼ c. sour cream (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste (usually at least ½ tsp. salt and ⅛ tsp. pepper)
- ⅛-1/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
- ¼-1/2 c. whole milk
- shredded cheese (optional)
- Boil water with a steamer basket overtop. Wash cauliflower and remove large leaves. Chop into big chunks, stem included, and steam until soft with the lid on (usually about 10 minutes).
- If you don't have a steamer basket, just boil a half inch to an inch of water and put the cauliflower right in. The bottom pieces may boil, but the rest will steam anyway as long as the pot is covered.
- Drain the cauliflower and return it to the pot.
- Add the butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once the butter is nearly melted, blend thoroughly with an immersion blender right in the pot (aka hand blender or stick blender). Add milk a bit at a time until you are satisfied with the texture, and/or feel free to double the cottage cheese or sour cream as well.
- If you have veggie-phobic eaters (or just love cheese), add some shredded cheese (cheddar is my favorite) when the cauliflower is very hot and allow it to melt into the dish.
- Serve warm, no gravy necessary.
- Can also be eaten cold.
• You can also add a few big handfuls of spinach, kale or other leafy green to the cauliflower for the last two minutes of steaming. You'll get St. Patrick's Day inspired creamed cauliflower, but the greens don't impact the taste very much.
• Feel free to omit the cottage cheese and sour cream if you'd rather not use it; just mix up the cauliflower however you would normally make mashed potatoes.
• Experiment with herbs: parsley, marjoram, chives, and thyme are good places to start.
Why are all these vegetables kid-friendly? Well, we haven’t quite put it in a Squooshi yet, but we could! The real reason is my kids’ attitudes:
This side dish is such a hit with my kids that when we made a list of recipes they’d like to learn for our Kids Cook Real Food night, creamed cauliflower was proudly placed on the paper. They’ll take seconds, and they’ll even pack it cold for school lunch the next day.
We’d like to invite you to join us to get a little kid-enthusiasm in the kitchen – take the #mykidmadethis challenge this month and see if you can be intentional about getting your kids in the kitchen once a week, all month long. I’ll send you instructions and recipes if you don’t know where to start, and you can participate on the #mykidmadethis hashtag for great prizes!
Disclosure: Squooshi is a sponsor of KS receiving their complimentary mention in a post.