Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vegetables Are Best With Cheese (Recipe, Pics, Review)

Here is a quick and easy side dish to go with any meat and potato-less dinner.  I will say, as easy as it is to make, it's also a little easy to mess it up.  My tip to make this perfect...go easy on the liquid!  Do you like cauliflower?  Not a lot of people do because I think it's, well, bland and blah.  This is a way to make cauliflower yummy, and take the place of mashed potatoes.  It's mashed cauliflower.  Ok ok, so it doesn't taste like mashed potatoes, but if done right it will have the consistency of mashed potatoes and give you that feeling of eating those starches.  This serves about 6.  Here's what i did...

1 head of cauliflower...mine came to about 2 lbs.
1/2-3/4 C low fat, low sodium chicken broth
6 oz shredded cheese
Pepper to taste

All you have to do is steam up the cauliflower until it's good and tender.  I put about 1/2 C chicken stock in a bowl, rough chopped the cauliflower and put it in the bowl, covered it lightly and cooked it in the microwave for about 15 minutes.  You may want to check it after 10, and then go in 2 minute increments after that.  If you chop your cauliflower smaller than i did mine it will probably get done faster than 15 minutes.  On the other hand, if you cut it bigger, well then 15 minutes might not be quite enough.  The point is, steam it until it's fork tender.

Then transfer the cooked cauliflower and broth from the bowl to a blender.  Blend on a high speed until thick and relatively big lumps.  You will more than likely have to stir it a few times to get all the cauliflower chopped up.  WARNING:  Turn off your blender BEFORE sticking a spoon down into the blender to avoid a BIG mess.  Like I did. lol  Mashed cauliflower went everywhere, and it got on me and didn't feel too good since it just came out of the microwave.  If it is difficult to blend, and it looks like it may need a little more liquid, add just a little at a time.  The last thing you want is watery mashed cauliflower.  I've done this before, too, and believe me, it's not good.

Here's the nutritional info for 1 serving (about 1/6 of total recipe):  139 calories, 8.2g fat, 5g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 347mg sodium, 458mg potassium, 9.1g carb, 3.8g fiber, 9.25g protein. (4 Points Plus)  Pretty good for a tasty side dish!  If you want to cut down a few calories and fat, just use a little less cheese than I did.  I'm having a hard time personally with cutting down on cheese...I love it!

It tastes very good, and it passes the kids' taste test.  They eat it all, and I think it may be because of the added cheesiness, because let's face it.  Cheese makes everything taste good! :)

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UPDATE:  Jeff made a comment that although he really likes the flavor of this side dish, he's not crazy about the texture.  We pinned it down to that he thinks it's like eating baby food because it's so smooth.  So, here's my enjoy the flavor and NOT have a baby food texture, don't over blend it.  Maybe it would be ok to leave in a lump or two.

Eat Well!
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