Recipe: Mashed Cauliflower

First, I have to ask a question.  Are we really 100% sure that cauliflower isn’t actually a human brain?  Are we certain of that?  Have you ever cut a head of cauliflower in half?  Because it looks like someone tried to grow a human brain, got close to success, ran out of funding, and then just decided to sell it as food.

Having said that, the motivation for this experiment comes mainly from a co-worker’s recipe.  He’s doing the very low carb thing and is a good source of low-carb research.  His daily carb intake is much lower than what I’m aiming for.  My goal is < 100g carbohydrates/day.  Unlike me, however, his methodology allows him to eat lots of fat.  Mine does not.  Dang.  So, try this.  I use the word “recipe” loosely; “experiment” would be more accurate in my kitchen.


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3/4 tbsp butter (I’m sure there’s a healthier alternative but I like butter and I’m not being too strict at the moment)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • minced garlic
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • (and if you just don’t care) sour cream, chives, crumbled bacon


  • Cut the cauliflower head into fourths, remove the stem/spinal cord.
  • Place the cauliflower in a pot of boiling water and boil for 10 to 15 minutes.  You’ll smell it when it’s close to ready and you’ll say to yourself, “Hm, that smells kind of like potatoes.  Maybe this won’t be so bad.”
  • Put the boiled and slightly soft cauliflower in a large-ish bowl.  I recommend using a hand blender.  Start to squish and blend.
  • Surprisingly, it will start to turn smooth.  Put in the butter, seasoning and whatever other ingredients and it will start getting creamy
  • Give it a taste.  Be impressed with yourself.  Be freaked out that you feel like you’re eating mashed potatoes and should be eating a vegetable and then realize that you are already eating a very healthy vegetable.
  • I only really cook for myself so I’m not sure how many servings this would be.  Four, I would guess?


Here are some things I was thinking of trying.  Oh.  I should take photos.  That would have made this entry more interesting.  Maybe I’ll add some photos next time I try this.

  • Toss in a few homemade kale chips when blending.
  • Blue cheese instead of parmesan
  • Roasted garlic cloves
  • Sauteed mushrooms.  I’m sure there’s a way I can make some kind of gravy out of that.  Sautee mushrooms, deglaze the pan, blah blah blah.

I tried doing the same thing with (steam in the bag) broccoli and ricotta cheese last night.  I ended up, texture-wise, with something that would be more suited to stuff in a chicken breast and roast.  But it’s still pretty darn good.  A little sweet, oddly enough, in the way that steamed vegetables have a little sweetness to them.


I noticed that the final texture of the mashed cauliflower can vary.  I don’t know what I did differently this time but it didn’t get perfectly smooth like it did the last time.  Still tasted great, though.  This is especially good in the context of a meal.  I’m NOT saying that your loved ones — the ones who aren’t open-minded about food — will be fooled if you try to do a bait and switch on them, but it might take them a few minutes to catch on.


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  1. Janna

    I really like the idea of mashed cauliflower, and the taste too, but I’m not convinced it doesn’t give me terrible gas—brassicas do, right? I haven’t run across anyone else with that complaint, so maybe I’ve just had bad luck.

    TMI?? 🙂

    • garyarthuryoung

      I learned a new word and get to talk about flatulence? It’s the perfect amount of information.

      For some reason, I’m assuming that the mild boiling and the mashing process does some of the work that our stomachs would normally have to do. But then again, I probably eat more of it in that form than I would steamed cauliflower so…

      This sounds like a job for science.

  2. garyarthuryoung

    I tried the sauteed mushroom and onions (with thyme and another herb). I tried putting a little half and half in there near the end. (Not needed and of course it just fell to pieces because it’s not cream.)

    Point being — amazing. With the mashed cauliflower. Absolutely amazing. Your loved ones will be fooled with that combination.

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