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Mashed Cauliflower with Apple Smoked Gouda

If you’ve been reading my blog it’s probably no surprise that I like food – I like food a lot. I have standards though (generally) and my guilty pleasure is food porn – you know, the type with amazing photos and descriptions that have you wiping drool from your chin as you stare open-mouthed at the computer screen in a complete food-trance. (I know you know what I’m talking about).

So, understandably – I need to be able to eat some good stuff if I’m going to make this weight loss thing work long term. If I cut back, eat lots of flimsy crap – sure, I’ll lose weight – but then, as soon as I lose it I’ll start putting it all back on. Fail.

Solution: channel my love of food and my passion for cooking into creating and finding some new “revived” recipes that take my new caloric and health needs into heavy consideration while still making my tastebuds and stomach feel happy and warm.

First successful recipe in my expanding book ‘o’ light meals: Mashed Cauliflower with Apple Smoked Gouda. At only around 135 calories and 7 fat grams a serving, this dish makes an excellent vegetarian side dish. Double it and it’s a great main dish as well. I used a recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” (I LOVE Mark!) but made some healthier substitutions that still make cooking sense while also being worth of the “nom, nom, nom” reaction.

So, here’s the low-down: The recipe is only 85 calories and 3 fat grams a serving if you don’t add cheese.

You can skip the cheese. If you do I’d recommend using Silk Soy milk instead of Skim milk – it will make it creamier and be healthier than regular milk even though it will be more calories. If you do Silk instead of milk and nix the cheese – this recipe is easily converted to “vegan” status.

But I like cheese. So, I added cheese. You can add whatever kind of cheese you like – just add the total calories/fat from your chosen item and divide it by 4 – add that total to the 85/3 and there you go.

Basic Mashed Cauliflower “Starter”

Ingredients:

  • 1 large (6-7″ diameter) head of cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup skim milk (Silk soy milk would be nicer I believe.)
  • 2 tbsp butter (I use vegan Smart Balance Light with Flax seed oil)
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • cheese if desired (Parmesan, Asiago, Cheddar, or Gouda are all good) – the amount is up to you – I used about 2 ounces of Apple Smoked Gouda which gave the mix a nice warm stout flavor that was excellent.

Cheese is certainly optional. But, you don’t need a lot of it to make things “cheesy” – just pick a good non-processed cheese like one of the ones mentioned. About 2 ounces is all you need with a stronger cheese like this Apple Smoked Gouda.

Directions: 

  1. Wash and cut apart the cauliflower.
  2. Boil cauliflower for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Drain water from cauliflower.
  4. Put cooked cauliflower in bowl with butter and mash with a potato masher.
  5. Add cheese (if you’re adding it) and stir until melted.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Divide into about (4) 3/4 cup servings. Eat and feel happy.

To clean a fresh head of cauliflower: peel off leaves, cut off florets away from center bulb, and wash well in strainer.

Mash the butter with the cooked florets. Once mashed, add cheese and stir together until the cheese has melted.

This was a SUPER easy recipe – something I could see myself doing once a week easy. I paired it with a Quorn cutlet (made mostly of mushrooms) and a full ear of fresh corn. I was worried that my hubby would still be hungry so I added a large piece of french baguette to his – cheered him right up.

Quorn cutlet, corn, and Mashed Cauliflower with Gouda = 375 calories

In total, my meal was 375 calories sans drink. Yay! Uber yummy. Super satisfying. Easy. Score.

Let me know how it goes for you!

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