Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cauliflower Mashup

As previously mentioned, I am quite the fan of making unhealthy comfort food dishes healthier. I experience the occasional flop, but have learned that in order to maintain the integrity of the dish, I can't go crazy with substitutions. In fact, I've learned that complete substitutions aren't the way to go, either. Where am I headed?

By bf(f) and I used to have out date nights on Thursday, but due to schedule changes, we have transformed our date nights into "nice dinner nights". They're not super fancy, but the rule is that we don't have any leftovers. Sounds pretty good. It's a lot cheaper than going out to eat, too. So, I have run into the problem of making a "fancy" dinner a healthy one. Trying to figure out what to serve with my turkey meatloaf with a broccoli swirl, I figured that mashed potatoes would be perfect. The only problem is that mashed potatoes are high in calories when you start adding butter and milk. Think, think. I didn't want to lose sight of the mashed potato idea, so I decided to create a concoction of half potatoes/ half cauliflower. Certainly I'm not the first person to think of this, but I am pretty proud that the thought came to my mind in the first place.

It's not a dead-ringer for the 100% potatoes dish, but like my diet-friendly brownies, they do satisfy the craving for dense, white goodness. Best of all, however, cauliflower is so good for you! It has far fewer calories than potatoes and is loaded with fiber. As any good dieter knows, fiber is essential to weight loss, as it keeps you feeling fuller longer.

1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 red potatoes, chopped slightly smaller than the cauliflower (I kept the skins on because that's where the fiber and the nutrients are. They also look pretty.)
1/4- 1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic
handful of cheese (I used 2% mozzarella because that's what I had on hand)
1 tbsp unsalted butter (I managed to find a light one)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a single pan, boil potatoes and cauliflower until they are soft. It's important that the cauloflower is very soft so that it will easily break up with your hand mixer.

2. Drain your cauliflower and potatoes. Return to pan and with your hand mixer, whip the crap out of those suckers.

3. Slowly add 1/4 cup of milk and butter. Continue to mix. If they are too thick, slowly add more milk. I didn't really measure the milk, so I apologize for not being able to give you a better idea of exactly how much to plan for.

4. Add garlic and cheese. Mix, mix, mix, girls and boys!

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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