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C is for Comfort. Also, Cauliflower.

A couple of weeks ago, during one of my nightly forays into the depths of Pinterest I ran across a pin for Garlic Mashed Cauliflower. It both looked and sounded delicious so I pinned it and added it to the meal plan in my head for this week.

I figured the weather would be turning and we’d be in the mood for comfort food. I always start working the old standbys into the menu this time of year — chili, goulash, squash, soups, stews, and chowders — but I’ve also been on the hunt for new, semi-healthy* comfort recipes to add to the roster. One, I reckon, can never have too many comfort food recipes in their cooking repertoire.

You can imagine my disappointment then when I opened up that very pin yesterday afternoon to find a recipe completely void of any cauliflower. Not the teensiest, tiniest floret to be found. In a Garlic Mashed Cauliflower recipe! Honestly, you guys, sometimes I curse the day they opened Pinterest to the masses – damned link baiters anyway.

And you know, I’m sure the standard garlic mashed potatoes recipe it led to was perfectly scrumptious, but I had a head of cauliflower, a hankerin’ for it to be mashed with garlic, and I couldn’t be persuaded. So I made up a recipe myself — ain’t nobody gonna hold me down. A recipe, I might add, that turned out so good my people were fighting over the seconds. Naturally, I thought I’d share it with you here today.

Twice Baked Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

1 Head Cauliflower; Rinsed, Cored and Florets Separated
1 TBSP Butter
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 Small Cooking Onion, Peeled
2 Medium Yellow Potatoes
1 Cup Milk
Garlic Chives, Chopped Fine

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in microwave and toss with cauliflower in large bowl until florets are evenly coated. Set aside.

Slice onion into small wedges and arrange with garlic cloves and cauliflower in single layer on baking sheet. Wash potatoes, making a few punctures in each, and wrap in foil, setting them on the baking sheet beside the other ingredients. (If there’s not room on your baking sheet, they can be set directly on the oven racks, too.)

Roast until cauliflower is tender, onion has begun to caramelize and garlic skins are crinkled; about 25 minutes. Potatoes should be tender by this time, too. If not return them to the oven to finish baking while you work.

Add cauliflower, onions, and garlic to the blender or food processor and combine with 1 cup of milk, pulsing until a thick puree forms. Transfer to medium mixing bowl.

Carefully remove skins from yellow potatoes and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add to bowl of cauliflower mixture and stir to incorporate well.

Spoon the entire mixture into an oven safe dish — as you can see I used a small pie plate — and return to oven. Bake until heated through and peaks begin to turn golden brown.

Garnish with garlic chives and serve. Also, Enjoy!

* Did you know the protein to carbohydrate ratio in Cauliflower is 1:2.5? And that an average potato is 1:6.5 by comparison? No? Me either. I looked that up just for this post. I also found that 100 grams of cauliflower has about half as many calories as the same size serving of potato and that an entire medium-sized head of cauliflower like the one I used in this recipe contains only 144 calories altogether. That’s almost like no calories at all. Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch, apparently never ate Garlic Mashed Cauliflower. All added up and divided by six (the number of approximately even sized servings it made) I came up with about 100 calories. 100 calories per delicious serving! I don’t care who you are, that’s basically free.

**Note the picture to the left is practically perfect for pinning. You should do that. Because this one actually leads to a recipe that contains cauliflower. Just sayin’.

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