Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Fresh Take on Mashed Potatoes

I've never really been one of those health food nuts. Never overly concerned about low fat, low carb, low salt, etc etc. It's honestly purely by coincidence, and the fact that since moving back to the city I am finding an abundance of beautiful foods, especially produce, that's just jumping into my shopping basket and making it's way into my kitchen. I might as well embrace the trend for fresh, healthy food.

Another awesome thing I have found since moving back are all the organic and healthy grocery stores- places like Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Des Moines' own Gateway Market, both of which offer a huge variety of locally grown produce, local meats, organic and gourmet food items and incredible specialty baked goods. I just cannot resist these little shops of heaven.

All this access to fresh produce mean I get to try new dishes with old favorites too. This cauliflower mash reminded me of twice baked potatoes. The creamy mashed cauliflower with just a touch of potato had such a silky texture and amazing flavor. The sliced scallions added a fresh pop of green and a mild onion note without being too overpowering, and I used a good healthy dash of Quick's Hot Spice to give it a nice warmth. Go check out Quick's Hot Spice- Paul's spicy blend comes in a variety of heat levels and flavors- you will love it.

Now you could really embrace the twice baked potato and add cheese, sour cream, bacon to this dish, but I chose not to. I wanted to keep it fresh and healthy without adding a ton of fatty stuff.

Creamy Cauliflower Mash
one head fresh cauli
2 medium russet potatoes
chicken broth to cover or water
3 scallions, green parts included minced
salt and pepper
3 tb butter, divided
1/4 cup milk
Quicks Hot Spice to taste

Break the cauli into pieces and place in a medium saucepan. Peel the potatoes, or scrub thoroughly and leave the peel on if you like skin-on potatoes. Cut into chunks and add to the saucepan. Cover with broth or water, bring to boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook until the stems and potato are very tender. Drain thoroughly and return to saucepan.

Add scallions, salt, pepper to taste, 2 tb butter, milk and mash. Taste for seasoning and add Quick's Hot Spice to taste. Spoon mixture into an ovenproof dish.

Dot with the remaining butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees until hot, bubbly and browned on top. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

This creamy side dish was the perfect accompaniment to baked ham and a fresh kale salad. So many veggies on one plate!

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