i have a fear of thanksgiving.
okay, not thanksgiving itself. i actually love getting together with family, watching football, and eating delicious food.
but that’s just the thing…i’ve always been the eater, never the cook!
okay…let me back it up and give you a little bit of family history.
growing up, my family did it backwards. my mom is the handiest woman i have ever known! you name it, she could build it, fix it, paint it, or sew it. she really needs her own hgtv show. not to say that my (step)dad wasn’t handy…but he was the cook! and the whole family loved his cooking!
mom would occasionally cook, but success was usually hit or miss…never a sure thing. when mom cooked, it was never a safe choice to invite a friend over for dinner. and it was most definitely a terrible idea to allow her to take over in the case of an emergency on thanksgiving day! what are the odds of a family emergency happening on thanksgiving morning?!? odds don’t matter, it’s what happened that year. my (step)dad had to leave during the most vitally important hours of the day while my mom was left to prepare the bird…as well as everything else we were going to ingest that day.
my (step)dad returns, grandma and grandpa arrive with dessert, and we all sit down at the table and think about what we’re thankful for…all the years that mom didn’t cook! (mom, if you’re reading this now…just know that i love you dearly and you gotta admit, it’s a pretty funny story!)
i’ll start with the turkey. i can’t remember if she didn’t cover the turkey, or put any liquid in the roasting pan…probably both. but it was the driest turkey i’ve ever put in my mouth…like jerky, bland dehydrated turkey jerky. the green bean casserole. i feel like this is a tough one to mess up…but it tasted like acid. i’ve never tasted battery acid, but i can now imagine exactly what it tastes like. then there were the mashed potatoes…from a box. i’ll stop there. grandma’s strawberry jello “salad” came to the rescue and we scraped the bowl dry.
okay, i can’t believe i’m actually telling this part of the story… that afternoon, in the spirit of thanksgiving and not wasting food that appeared to be perfectly good, we actually made up plates of food to try to take to some homeless people. you feel really guilty throwing away an entire bird when you know there are starving children somewhere in the world…but when we couldn’t find any homeless people, we knew it was God letting us know that meal was not fit for human consumption. (*see note below*)
so as i start preparing the ingredients for this garlic mashed cauliflower, i begin to have terrible flashbacks of that thanksgiving disaster. that’s when it hit me that i’m married now and some day in the near future, i’m probably going to have to cook a thanksgiving day meal…i’m scared to death!!
i know you’re probably thinking how ridiculous this must sound coming from someone who now has a food blog…but i’m an experimenter, not a top chef!
the first attempt at the cauliflower mashed potatoes was an utter failure. (not encouraging.)
the second attempt was a second fail…but at least it was a positive fail…resulting in this awesome recipe!!
they say the third time is a charm…right?
that’s right! i got the thickest, garlicky, flavorful mashed cauliflower i could have ever hoped for.
eat your heart out, because these are low in carbs and calories…so you can save room for the stuff that really matters! like pumpkin pie! :)
garlic mashed cauliflower
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-2 inch florets (5-6 cups)
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed open with the side of a chef’s knife
- 2 cups chicken/vegetable stock (or water & bouillon)
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4 cup organic olive oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast seasoning** (available at most health food stores)
in a large sauce pot, place cauliflower, garlic cloves, chicken stock (or water & bouillon), and sea salt. cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes (until tender), stirring occasionally. drain cauliflower in a strainer and press out as much liquid as possible before transferring into the food processor.
pureé in food processor until smooth. (i have a 9-cup food processor, however you may want to pureé in 2 batches if yours is smaller. handheld blender would also work if you don’t have a food processor.) with motor running, add olive oil, pepper, garlic salt, and nutritional yeast. adjust seasoning to taste, add cheese and or chives if desired. yields about 4 servings per head of cauliflower.
serve it hot!
*…just for the record…shortly after this incident, my mom’s cooking skills began to flourish! i have never questioned her about it, but i secretly like to think of it as a lesson well learned!* :)