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September 2013



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Starving Artists in the Kitchen--test driving on LJ now!

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
If you’re watching your carbs, give this a try!

cauliflower, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

Yes, I know this is normally garlic mashed potatoes...but for those who are trying to cut down on carbs and also up your intake of cole-family veggies, this is LUSCIOUS! Looks pretty much like the old standby, too...

We get a fresh head of cauliflower and cut it up into small florets–what you don’t eat raw, that is. (I can’t keep my hands off of it--you may hear me crunching away right now--but there’s always plenty left...) Steam until tender with just a bit of water, then drain off the excess liquid. (Yes, of course you save that for soup stock!)

Mash with a potato masher–we’ve got the old-fashioned hand-operated kind, but you can use an electric mixer or food processor, if you prefer. I just like quiet in the kitchen!

My good old masher! (One of several--I like antique kitchen tools...)

Add at least a tablespoon of minced garlic (lots more if you're garlic nuts!), sea salt*, fresh ground pepper and a tablespoon full or two of butter–we use Land O’Lakes butter with canola oil*, which cuts down on saturated fat and ups the Omega 3 quotient significantly, over regular butter.  (Look for more on the sea salt and butter in the notes at the end of this entry.)

Note: You can substitute margarine or non-dairy stuff if you need to, but I’ve become convinced that I’d just as soon take my chances with butter as with the health concerns of margarine!

We use about 3/4 to a cup of cheese, sometimes freshly grated reduced-fat (part skim, that is) sharp cheddar, sometimes a bag of pre-shredded Italian cheeses with herbs, if we catch them on sale. You can skip the cheese altogether, of course, or add a non-dairy substitute if necessary--I hear they melt better now. Mix that in while the cauliflower is still hot, and if you like, return it to the burner to continue melting the cheese.

Note:  Ooops, I forgot to mention that this is also quite good WITHOUT cheese, for those who are watching their fat intake closely...I edited the entry!

For a really delicious treat–if you can wait that long!–plop it in a greased casserole dish, then tuck it into the oven set at 325 degrees till it’s brown on top.

Oh. My. You won’ t miss potatoes...and your family will be requesting this for special occasions, mine does!


If you want to read more about Land O Lakes butter with canola oil, you can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/5t4wbz or if you prefer a preview URL, use http://preview.tinyurl.com/5t4wbz

(Do keep it refrigerated, though–it gets so soft it will run right out of the tub!)

Or, just look on the Land O Lakes website, here: http://www.landolakes.com/ where you will find recipes to die for, and even how-to videos...

And no, we don’t get any kind of kickback, not even free butter–we just like it!

(They also make a light butter, but since most of the “light” products seem to have more chemicals in them, we pass them up. FYI, their regular butter and canola oil has 5 ingredients listed, the light product has 17...it’s your choice! )

We’ve switched from regular salt to sea salt, for health reasons, and use a fraction of what we used to--I still love it, but J. needs to watch his blood pressure. If you want to give sea salt a try, good old McCormick http://mccormick.com/ makes a sea salt grinder you can buy in the grocery store–or even from Amazon! You can’t refill it, though.

Roland Sea Salt is romantic as the dickens...”collected from the warm waters of the Mediterranean,” tra la. (I couldn’t taste the Italian flavor in the cauliflower, though!) You can read more about the company, which advertises that they bring the world to you, at http://rolandfood.com. Use this crystalline stuff in the coarse form in dishes where it will dissolve on its own, like soups or stews, or grind it fresh, for best flavor...

If you can't find it in your local grocery store, you can find IT on Amazon, too...
Roland Sea Salt Coarse Crystals from the Mediterranean Sea - 26.4 oz

And a good grinder’s a necessity, if you use this type of sea salt! I found a couple of likely ones on Amazon–isn’t it amazing what you can find there now? Not just books any more! This one looks like a pretty decent one: Kyocera Ceramic Fine Mill, White Top

J. found an old pepper mill at a thrift store that worked just fine, like my masher, though, so look around...shopping in antiques malls and thrift stores is a great way to find tools that do exactly what you need, without the bells and whistles--which means without the noise or the electrical use, either.


Let us know what you think of this, if you try it! We love feedback

And by the way, I used the Uni-ball Signo white gel pen and inexpensive Pelikan gouache for the cauliflower--it's on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.


I will definitely try this!
Let me know what you think! We like it a lot...it's a great substitute for garlic mashed potatoes, and I try to avoid nightshade family members when I can. (CAN'T, tomatoes. Gotta have 'em...)

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Kate, this sounds really yummy!!! I've got to try this once I'm back home.

Have a nice Sunday!


Re: Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Thanks, Bonny! It's very good, I hope you like it!
Cauliflower is expensive so I usually just enjoy it raw but this sounds intriquing. I may try it without the cheese (I love the cheese with it but there goes the fat - carbs are okay but not fat for me).

This may give me a good change of pace. Even when I don't try recipes I enjoy reading about them. This is like thumbing through a good cookbook. What a good idea you both had.
Thank you! Yes, we're having lots of fun with it, and I'm learning a lot, too...doing research to make these more useful is good for me, as well!

Raw is SOOOooo good. I make a really nice dip that I enjoy with crudite's, including caulflower--we'll share that one of these day. Alas, still has cheese in it, though, sorry!

And yes, this is very good without cheese, I should have mentioned that...I'll go edit!



It sounds yummy Kate!! We eat it raw often, and had it cooked 2 days ago..Will try it your way next time..Lo Fat cheese helps on the calories, and Cabot has one now that is 75% fat free... We do love garlic too..Hannah

Re: Cauliflower

I'll have to try that, Hannah! I got some low-fat sharp cheddar that was just delicious, recently!
Hi there,

I found you via vaneramos and thought I would let you know that I'm adding this to my favorites to try as well. Sounds yummy.

Do you mind if I add you to my friend list to keep up with your art and recipes?

That would be fine, Kay, I'd be honored! (Say hi to Van!)



Your receipe comes at a great time. My hubby placed a 50.00 bet at work on losing 15 pounds. Instead of killing him for betting on something so stupid and so close to Christmas, I opted to starve him:)
I like cauliflower, sounds yummy!
Carol O.

Re: Cauliflower

Just don't add too much cheese or butter, or he'll lose the bet!

a note about the butter

Kate, I love mashed cauliflower, and started making it a few years ago--however, I've always made it with just butter, salt, and pepper, which is very mild and sweet tasting just by itself. Now I'll have to try the garlic addition, as it sounds delightful.

About the butter...I always use unsalted, organic butter now, for health reasons. The "unsalted" butter is made with only the best quality cream, whereas the "salted" butter can have a lower quality cream in it, and the salt "masks" the poorer flavor. And I always use organic butter, for health. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health,says, "...the highest concentration of pesticides are contained in non-organic butter. So if you can only buy one organic food item it should be butter."

Re: a note about the butter

No kidding! That's good to know...I don't think it's available locally, but probably at the health food store in the next town...

And hope you're over your flu/icks!


I have had mashed cauliflower but your recipe sounds devine - low carb is a necessity for me and no one will mind with this one (the bake till golden part sounds really fabulous) I love this new starving artists addition here!!
I'm glad you like it, we're having a LOT of fun! J.'s cooking up rattatouille for tonight, right now, and I've been shooting photos.
Yep, I've done that too, thanks for the reminder. Probably less expensive, too...though the Land O Lakes mix really doesn't have a lot of nasties. ;=)


another butter tip

Another way to make "soft" butter, which I learned long ago, is to mix plain yogurt into soft butter with a mixer. It gives it a nice little tang, and makes it very spreadable, as well as having the added nutrients that yogurt provides instead of more oil. I like the taste!

Re: another butter tip

Omigosh, that sounds GOOD. I love plain yogurt. I often use it in dips, soups, salads, etc. I'll try the butter trick, thanks!