The holidays are upon us which brings a lot of delicious foods! For me, the holidays begin at Halloween with too much candy and then it goes into Thanksgiving – the holiday where all you do is eat. The majority of these foods you find yourself surrounded by at holiday parties and get-togethers, usually aren’t very macro-friendly or the healthiest. If you’re anything like me, then you prefer having some options that are slightly healthier than your traditional green bean casserole and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. That’s where this easy, macro-friendly mashed cauliflower recipe steps in!
Now even I’ll admit that the holidays aren’t about eating healthy foods, but rather enjoying your loved ones, the time together, and the food you enjoy together. However, that doesn’t mean completely loading up on the carbs and fats at all your holiday meals. If you’re trying to stay semi-on-track over the holidays (say to fit into a wedding dress next year or because you’re going to Mexico in spring), try bringing a new side dish to your holiday dinners this year. You might even surprise your family and start a new tradition!
I’ve been making this mashed cauliflower dish for a few years now, when my dad requested it when he started being more mindful with his food choices. The ironic part to this, is that my dad is the one who is responsible for bringing the mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving – go figure! Anyways, I took on the challenge and have been working on the recipe since then. Keep in mind, that riced cauliflower hasn’t always been as trendy as it is these days, so when I started making this dish people were kind of confused. These days? Everyone makes anything they can from cauliflower (pizza crust, tots, rice, oatmeal – you name it!).
A few things to note if this is your first time making this dish. First, chopping the cauliflower is going to be messy. The crumbs, if you will, get all of the counter and clean-up will be required. I chop my own cauliflower (and the majority of my veggies) to save on money, but feel free to purchase the pre-chopped stuff. Next, in order to get optimal creaminess of the mash, after the cauliflower is done boiling take the time dry it. There have been years that I’ve neglected this step, and the mash turned out a little runny, and not-so-much potatoey. It seems weird, but totally worth it.
Finally, add in your favorites! Yes, this recipe is macro-friendly, but that’s mostly due to swapping the potatoes for cauliflower. Don’t be afraid of adding in your favorites toppings that you enjoy with regular potatoes. Bacon bits, cheddar cheese, onions, butter. All would be great in this recipe – just be mindful of the amount you’re adding in.
Is your family completely again trying some mashed cauliflower? No problem! Follow the same recipe and ingredients below for russet, red or yellow potatoes.
Easy Macro-Friendly Cauliflower Mash
What You’ll Need
- 2 small heads of cauliflower OR 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup light cream cheese
- 1/2 cup milk of your choice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop the cauliflower, removing the stems, and rinse in a colander – this part will be a little messy. Add the cauliflower into a large sauce pan and fill with enough water to cover. Place the sauce pan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until a fork easily goes through the cauliflower crowns.
Once done, remove the cauliflower from the heat and drain out the water. Rinse the cauliflower for a few seconds with cool water before patting dry with a terry cloth or paper towel – you want the cauliflower to have as little moisture as possible. Be careful with this step as the cauliflower will be very hot.
Add the cauliflower into a bowl, along with the garlic, cream cheese and mash together. After the cauliflower is looking more like mashed potatoes, add in the Parmesan cheese, seasonings, salt and pepper. Continue mashing or switch to a hand mixer for smoother consistency.
Serve right away or let cool in the fridge uncovered. If you’re traveling with this for the holidays, cover with some foil and reheat in the oven if stored in an oven-safe dish. This recipe is also great for meal preps! It would go great as a base for roasted chicken, or even with holiday leftovers.
Enjoy and happy holidays!