Faux Mashed Potatoes?

I read an article in the Reader’s Digest about a better approach to nutrition and weight management about a new book by Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat – And What to Do About It. He advocates a modified Atkins style diet which limits carbohydrates, but does not limit fiber, protein and fat. It is an especially good approach to managing diabetes and, as it turns out, reduces blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health. In one of the sidebars, was an example of a day’s possible food intake. One of the items on his dinner menu was “faux mashed potatoes” made from cauliflower, sour cream and bacon. Well I have been looking for more recipes that are diabetic friendly, so I bought two heads of cauliflower at Produce Junction. Then I Googled “faux mashed potatoes.” Several recipes came up. I chose one, then looked at the ingredients that we had and used it as a very loose guide. I think I am discovering how my mom, B.J., really cooked. She would always deflect when she got raves on her cooking, with “If you can read, you can cook.” But anyone who followed the same recipe she said she had used would not come up with anything quite like she had made. She collected cookbooks like crazy. I think she would mine them for ideas, then get creative with the ingredients she had available. I’m discovering that good cooking is less like science and more like jazz.

The advantages of substituting cauliflower for potatoes are that you end up with a much lower carb intake and you raise your intake of dietary fiber and cruciferous vegetables. Of course, it’s hard to eat healthy if it isn’t tasty. All of us loved this. Hilary even told me that I could make that again! So here is my recipe for mashed cauliflower. You can follow it or read it, then improvise.

Ingredients:

2 small heads of cauliflower (~6-1/2″ across)
~ 1/2 cup celery root diced to 1/4″ cubes
4 Tablespoon butter
~ 1/2 cup sour cream
~ 1/2 cup milk (more or less depending on how wet you like your mashies)
1/4 teaspoon Vegesal (or your preferred seasoning)

Directions:

Cut up the cauliflower into ~ 1″ pieces including the stems, but not any green leaves. Dice the celery root. Boil the cauliflower and celery root for about 20 minutes (until fork tender). Drain them in a colander, pressing down with a small plate or bowl to extract more of the water. Throw it all into a food processor along with the butter, sour cream and Vegesal. Process it until it is fairly smooth. Leaving the processor on, add some of the milk. Test it for consistency and flavor. Add more milk and/or seasoning and chop it in until it meets your desired consistency and flavor. Serve.

Enjoy! It will serve six to eight. The leftovers microwave nicely.

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