Hello BTB45ers (and those of you just reading this blog, playing along from home, etc.) and HAPPY FRIDAY!
As an FYI, I (Jules) will be going through everyone's Evernote entries over the weekend, and adding feedback. Your homework: add in an entry today (Friday) just stating how you've been feeling. Tired? Hungry? Full? Not-so-hot? Headaches? Full of energy? Like you can leap tall buildings with a single bound?
The work week is almost up, which means Friday...happy hour...parties...maybe being a little tempted at the movie theater, or out with friends. We've been there, done that. But you can and will stay clean during the weekend. How do we know? Well, we've been there, done that. No one is making you drink that beer. No one is making you eat that pizza. These are choices you make. Ndiya did a great series on restrictions and guidelines last year. Here's a link to one such posting.
Every Friday we'll post up a recipe for you to add to your paleo recipe collection. We welcome you to post links to or share some of your favorite paleo recipes in the comments too. We are one big community here, so let's see if we can get at LEAST 20 recipes posted to provide you all with some fresh ideas for your paleo eats!
Today's recipe: Mashed Cauliflower (from our Paleo Comfort Foods website and book).
It is no small exaggeration to say that as far as side dishes are concerned, this is one of our absolute favorites. True story: we had the caterers for our wedding reception make our own recipe for mashed cauliflower. That’s how much we love the stuff. Then again, we love cauliflower "rice," cauli-sotto (our version of risotto), cauliflower grits, oven roasted cauliflower…so many ways to use one vegetable!
I know what some of you are saying: "I cannot stand cauliflower." Trust us when I say this may change your entire perspective on cauliflower.
Notes about cauliflower: Not all heads of cauliflower are created equal. Some are rather large, some medium, some small, some purple, some orange, some green. When we write our mashed cauliflower recipe, we say “1 head of cauliflower.” Based on what that size truly is, you may want to adjust the stock up or down, and/or the cooking time.
Cauli mash (aka “faux potatoes”) is one of the most versatile side dishes you can create. Add-ins that we’ve used/tried to change up the flavor have ranged from chipotle sauce, paleo mayo (for creaminess), bacon crumbles, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, jalapenos, Italian parsley, and after the initial 30 days, if you're allowing dairy in your life, try these with some goat cheese, butter or some heavy whipping cream. There are so many ways you can flavor these – experiment and see what you like!
A few tips and tricks:
- Cooking the cauliflower in chicken stock really adds some nice depth of flavor to the mashed. While you could just steam the cauliflower, I think the flavor is completely different when cooked in the stock.
- Cauliflower has a pretty high water content, so when we cook ours in the chicken broth, we try to get it almost dry (without burning). This usually gives us the creamy texture we personally like. If you have excess liquid in the pot, drain most of it off and reserve. Always better to start with not enough liquid than too much.
- If you are more of a chunky mash kind of person, just use a hand masher to retain some of the lumps in your mash.
- 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, stem and florets chopped into similar sized pieces
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth (more for a particularly large head of cauliflower)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1. Place all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cover, allowing to cook for 15-20 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is very tender and easily mashed with a fork.**
**You may need to add more stock if everything dries up and your cauliflower is not yet cooked through. Keep an eye on things as it cooks to see if you need to add some more, being careful not to burn. Burnt cauliflower is awful. Trust us, we know.
3. Once cauliflower is tender and cooked through, pour off any excess stock that remains and reserve.
4. Pour all contents into a food processor and mix. If the cauliflower seems too dry, add in some of the reserved stock.
Add in any spices, herbs, or “mix-ins” that you’d like as discussed above.
If you want a video of the "how" - go here and check it out.
Have any of you tried mashed cauliflower (aside from Smugs and Kmugs - we know they can eat copious amounts of cauli mash!)? What variations have you tried?