The Marriage of Potatoes and Cauliflower
This time of year most of us are trying to shape up our eating habits. We want to stay on top of things, look at our diet with fresh focus and determination. It isn’t necessarily about dieting, but more about eating healthier food that is better for our bodies.
There are countless books written on the subject, many of which are invaluable. But I’ve found if I can start small, find new ways to prepare the food I like, find lighter, healthier ways to prepare the food I like, the changes are more likely to stick. Then it’s encouraging to do more. Each change that is made gets easier and easier.
The recipes here are examples of just that. Rather than giving up potato salad or either of the other two recipes, I’ve substituted cauliflower for a portion of the potatoes. That way, the dish still have the yummy flavor, yet is much lighter and healthier.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
The first experiment I did with this was mashed potatoes. There are times, and certain dishes, that require mashed potatoes. My experiment tried two methods. The first was to use strictly cauliflower. Cook it, mash or process it with a little milk and butter, and you have a pretty comparable dish. I liked it a lot.
But even better was the dish using half potatoes and half cauliflower. I couldn’t even tell there was cauliflower in the dish. It smelled and tasted like the regular potatoes. Gradually I am adding less potato and more cauliflower to see how little potato it takes to keep that flavor. It’s an amazing example of cauliflower taking on the taste of what it is cooked with. That isn’t something you would expect with the vegetable’s strong aroma when cooking, but it really works.
Cauliflower Potato Salad
By the time I was ready to make potato salad it was clear that a blend would work just as well. It’s another dish that is such a treat on occasion, but one many of us try to avoid because of the high fat content.
In this recipe, it’s about half and half potato and cauliflower. Add hard boiled egg and onion, and it even looks like traditional potato salad. Using a spoonful or two of milk, the dish needed a bit less mayo too. If you like the low fat or veggie mayo, use that instead for even lower fat.
It looks just like regular potato salad and tasted like regular potato salad. I still use my mother’s version, but you can add in your favorites from pickle relish to olives. So very tasty!
This recipe is another way to enjoy a mild taste of cauliflower when it is added to scalloped potatoes. The key is to slice both fairly thin. Then all you have to do is layer them together. The key on this recipe is to let it cook long enough that the liquid seems to be thick or absorbed. Then bake until it is as brown as you like. The cauliflower is delicious baked this way with the potatoes.
3 potatoes, sliced thin
½ head cauliflower, sliced ¼ inch thickness
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups low fat milk
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup low fat grated cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray baking pan with cooking spray for easier clean up.
Blend flour and salt with milk thoroughly.
Layer 1/3 potatoes on bottom of pan.
Layer cauliflower, up to half of it, on top of potatoes.
Pour about 1/2 cup across the cauliflower and potatoes.
Layer another 1/3 of the potatoes.
Layer the other half of the cauliflower.
Pour a little less than 1/2 cup over it, just enough to moisten.
Layer the last 1/3 of the potatoes.
Pour the rest of the milk mixtures over the dish.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 1 hour to 1.5 hours, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and top is nice and brown.
There are so many ways to incorporate cauliflower into your meal. It’s especially nice for those you have family members who don’t normally like cauliflower. It will surprise you how unnoticeable it is once blended with the flavors in these dishes.
More recipes will be coming soon using cauliflower to stretch you meal, lower the fat and calorie content, and increase nutrition. Hope you will be watching for them.
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