It's hard to find anyone who doesn't adore mashed potatoes -- from toddlers eating their first real food to people on the far side of 80. Great with gravy or drenched in butter, salt, and pepper. Made more interesting with garlic, chives, sour cream and a variety of cheese additions. But ... yeah, this is not what you call health food.
Many adults are watching the carbs in what they eat daily, as well as the calories. Now, potatoes offer up some serious nutrition -- one medium red potato is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium, along with fiber. But it adds about 165 calories and 37 carbs to your daily count. There's a healthier option, at least in the carbs and calories department.
Your guests will probably never guess that these rich and creamy "mashed potatoes" contain no potatoes. They are made from cauliflower -- great for low-carb diets. These are doubly good if you add bacon bits.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (discard core and large stems)
- 1 14-ounce can chicken or vegetable broth or about 1 3/4 cups homemade
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
- 1/2 cup (or more) crisply cooked bacon bits, if desired
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the cauliflower florets in a large saucepan.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer until very tender, about 12 minutes.
- Drain thoroughly through a fine sieve and return to the pot over low heat.
- Cook about 2 more minutes to dry out excess moisture, stirring constantly. (It's OK if they break apart.)
- Pour the cauliflower into a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
- Add the butter; cream cheese; sour cream; cheddar cheese; green onions; bacon bits, if desired; and salt and pepper.
- Pulse to combine.
- Reheat before serving.
Cauliflower Gets Points for Diets
Cauliflower is a wonder food for people who are watching carbohydrates and calories. A cup of boiled cauliflower contains only 27 calories (yes, you read that right) and about 5 carb grams, about 2 of which are fiber. Basically, you can just ignore the carbs. As a bonus, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, with a cup providing nearly the full daily requirement at 85 percent.
So even though this mock mashed potatoes recipe does pile on calories via its (delicious) dairy ingredients, it still is extremely low in carbs and high in fiber. And that's a real guilt-reliever.