Saturday, February 9, 2013

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Few sides are more dear than a heap of mashed potatoes, with a happy little well of butter or gravy. But mashed potatoes air on the side of playing it safe. Few would protest their appearance on the dinner plate, but why not add an element of surprise?
When my folks tried the Adikns diet (way back when), I remember scoffing at my mother's replacement of the beloved mashed spud with a whipped cauliflower version. A pro at eye rolling back then, I gave this side dish my best display. Who was she trying to fool?
Had she sensed even a hint of how much I actually enjoyed the dish, I would have been mortified, promising myself I would take my secret approval to the grave before admitting I was wrong.
Well, here I am admitting I was wrong (it was the one and only time in all my teen years).
Mashed cauliflower has actually become one of my favorite winter side dishes. Its sweet nuttiness goes well with a creamy binder (Greek yogurt) and pungent garlic. And it will even hold up against a butter-well.
This is not to knock potatoes, rather an invitation to add more diversity to standard tendencies.
White vegetables are very important for many reasons, and often under-enjoyed.
Dr. Adkins allows cauliflower to replace potatoes simply because cauliflower is extremely low in carbohydrates, suitable for his low-carb diet theory and for those with diabetes. Cauliflower has more going for it than this. It contains cancer fighting phyto-chemicals including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Vitamins and minerals include: B1, B5, B6, B3, C, and K; manganese, copper, iron, potassium, and calcium. And members of the Brassica family contain DIM (Di-indolyl-methane) which has been known as an anit-bacterial/anti-viral compound, boosting immunity.
If this isn't enough reason to try it, how bout it just tastes real good, and we'll leave it at that?

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower: (makes 4 side servings)
*1 large cauliflower head, core removed and cut into large florets
*4 tablespoons whole Greek yogurt or sour cream
*4 tablespoons quality unsalted butter
*1 small garlic clove, peeled
*sea salt
*black pepper

Fill a medium saucepan or pot 2/3 with cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add cauliflower. Reduce heat to a gentle boil. Cook until cauliflower is tender when periced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain water and return to same pot.
Add the yogurt, butter and garlic pressed through a garlic press. Whip with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve while hot.

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