Kitchen MacGyver: Mashed Cauliflower

Competitor Magazine senior editor Sabrina Grotewold shares her recipe for mashed cauliflower.

My husband calls me the kitchen MacGyver because he says that I can create something tasty out of most any random collection of ingredients. I’m quite the tricky minx, though, because I’m usually the one who stocks the fridge and pantry (I’m a food nerd who can spend hours shopping for ingredients) and I can recall our kitchen’s inventory at any time.

We’re also runners who try to strike a balance between fueling healthfully and indulging, but we try not to obsess. And I don’t do diets because, well, what’s the fun in that? However, I do strive to create nutritious and delicious recipes and I’m always reading, researching and trying new ingredients and techniques.

My mashed cauliflower recipe is one of my stand-bys; it’s like a blank canvas that can lead to several creative outcomes. Like its cruciferous brethren, cauliflower aids in cell growth, boosts immunity, benefits organs like the heart and liver, and helps prevent cancer.

Basic recipe:  

1 head cauliflower, washed and chopped

water, chicken or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons Earth Balance organic buttery spread

Tumble the chopped cauliflower into a large pot and just cover the tops of the florets with water, stock or a combination of water and stock (I usually use a 50-50 blend of water and stock for added flavor, but less salt). Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-high and pull cover to the side a bit so that the majority of the lid is covering the pot but the rising steam can escape. Cook for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is so soft that it crumbles apart easily when pricked with a fork. Drain liquid from pot and add buttery spread, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork or the back of a spoon until relatively smooth.

Add pizzazz:

After you drain the excess liquid from the pot, try adding one or more of the following to add zest because, let’s face it: Unless you use the mashed cauliflower as a bed for some protein, a ragu or other sauce, the lumpy white puddle isn’t going to look so pretty on the plate. But, you can make it taste so fantastic that you may not want to cover it up and muddle the flavors.

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried herbs de provence

1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, depending on how cheesy you want it

Replace the 1 teaspoon salt in the basic recipe above with 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt

3-4 cloves mashed roasted garlic

4 boiled, mashed baby red potatoes (I don’t peel the skins)

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