All sorts of cauliflower recipes have been floating around the web, and I’ll admit that I’ve joined the fan club! What an incredible veggie – from sauces and soups to potatoes and pizza crusts, I am impressed with this seemingly ordinary ingredient.
This quick and quite filling bowl has been a go-to meal the last few weeks when I feel like I need some extra veggies and still want a satisfying dish. You can switch up the toppings and add-ins to make a southwestern dish or even an Italian or BLT version. While I am pretty routine, I do appreciate mixing things up a bit too 🙂
If you start with the base, –the cauliflower mashed potato recipe– you can customize your dish with your favorite ingredients. It’s flexible…you can serve this as a side dish just as the base, jazz it up with one or two ingredients or make it the main meal with several add-ins and protein of choice if desired. You gotta love options 🙂
Mashed Cauliflower “Potato” Bowl
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Vegan Option, Dairy-Free Option, Soy-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian Option
1 medium head of cauliflower, stem and core removed
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp Earth Balance, ghee, butter or olive oil (Use Earth Balance or oil for dairy free. I prefer the first 3 options because of the flavor)
garlic salt or sea salt to taste (don’t skimp, it adds flavor)
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp of your favorite fresh chopped herbs – chopped chives, parsley etc (optional)
Your favorite add-ins (see below for different variations)
Italian Chicken Pictured:
baby spinach, sauteed in 1/2 tsp olive oil
julienned sun-dried tomatoes with Italian herbs in olive oil
oregano and basil
diced rotesserie chicken
Daiya (dairy free) shredded cheddar cheese
1. Cut cauliflower into florets and discard or save the stems. Steam for 10-12 minutes until fork tender. Do NOT overcook or the end result will be mushy, if you undercook it the “mashed potatoes” will be grainy. Check the cauliflower at 10 minutes to see what the texture is, if a fork can pierce it easily then it’s done.
2. Drain any excess liquid from your cooked cauliflower (I use a steamer basket) then add to the bowl of a food processor along with the Earth Balance/Butter/Oil and blend until completely smooth. Do not add liquid though, keep processing! You may need to stop and stir a couple times, it may take 5 minutes depending on your processor and amount of veg in the bowl.
3. Season (generously) with pepper and garlic salt (my preference) or sea salt to taste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in mix-ins OR divide portions into bowls and top with “mix-ins” and serve! If you are adding salty add-ins such as bacon, sausage or cheese afterward, add some salt at the beginning and re-taste after mixing in ingredients.
BLT Bowl: add 3 slices of cooked, chopped (nitrate-free preferably) bacon, halved grape tomatoes OR chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and sauteed or wilted arugula/spinach or kale
Southwestern Bowl: Add 3 oz cooked chorizo or sausage, shredded cheddar cheese (optional), chopped scallions, 1 anaheim pepper, deseeded, diced sauteed, and 1/2 cup corn kernels
Mediterranean Bowl: Add 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, feta cheese or goat’s feta, toasted pine-nuts and chopped chives.