November 29, 2009

Cauliflower Disguised in Two-Ways: "Mashed Potatoes" and "Popcorn"

After our recent turkey fest, we decided to add a few more vegetarian dishes to our dinner.  After going to the Greenmarket and buying a cauliflower the size of our head, we searched our favorite websites for inspiration.  We landed on two ideas:  Cauliflower Popcorn and Mashed Cauliflower (like Mashed Potatoes) - both very creative ways to make cauliflower more fun and appetizing to kids (and meat-loving husbands).

The biggest cauliflower we have ever purchased!
We got the idea for Mashed Cauliflower from fellow food bloggers The Duo Dishes and Mardi of eatlivetravelwrite.  We have also been doing a Holiday recipe email exchange and so coincidentally received another recipe for this dish.  Our version was inspired by all of these sources and makes for a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.    

Half of that massive head of cauliflower
1/2 stick of butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
low-sodium vegetable broth
kosher salt
ground black pepper
shredded cheddar cheese

1. Bring water to a boil

2. Boil pieces for 10-15 mins until tender

3. Use potato masher to mash cauliflower

4. Add butter and desired amount of salt, pepper, cheese, and broth to create desired consistency.  Mash all ingredietns together.

5. Optional:  We put the mashed cauliflower in a casserole dish to brown in the oven.

That's it!  It was a really easy dish to create. 

The second recipe comes from Heidi Swanson's wonderful website 101 Cookbooks.  We liked the idea of Cauliflower Popcorn since it was easy and we love chili pepper flakes in most of our foods.

Half huge cauliflower head, broken off into small pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Chili pepper flakes
Day-old bread (anything hard)

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. Completely cover cauliflower pieces with olive oil (Note:  Make sure your cauliflower is as dry as possible after washing and before you cover it in oil.  It will be easier to brown). Sprinkle with salt to taste.

3. Lay a single layer of cauliflower on your baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 mins or until brown on bottom

5. Crumble bread into small pieces (breadcrumbs) and mix in bowl with leftover olive oil, and as much chili pepper flakes and salt as you'd like.

6. Take out cauliflower, turn over, and add bread crumb mixture.

7. Bake until cauliflower is browned (approx 15 mins)

8. Serve immediately

This snack/side dish was so good - crunchy, spicy, and incredibly addictive!  

We had fun making these two side-dishes from one very large cauliflower.  It made us wonder...what dishes do you create to "hide" healthy ingredients?


  1. Thanks for the shoutout! I love the popcorn version of the cauliflower too.

  2. Each of these dishes sound so good. I'll have to give them a try!

  3. That head of cauli is huuuuuuuuuuuge! Your market's pretty stellar if they can sell produce like that. The mashed cauliflower is always a hit!

  4. Thats one huge cauliflower! I loved cauliflower mash! I'm making cauliflower gratin later this week.

  5. I have become a huge fan of cauliflower lately. I've been looking for a good mashed cauliflower recipe. Can't wait to try both of these out.

  6. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  7. I'm loving the cauliflower popcorn! Definitely a must try at my house!

  8. @Mardi and @Duo Dishes - Thanks for the inspiration! Love searching your sites for ideas!!

    @FLB: They're so easy to make...check out the Union Square Farmers market for gigantic cauli!

    @lk: Can't wait to hear about your cauli gratin!

    @Chef Tom: We'd love to hear about the results. We kept tasting our mashed cauli to get it the way we liked it so definitely taste as you go!

    @Hapi: Thanks!

    @5 Star Foodie: The Cauli popcorn was really easy and so good!


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