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Simply Food: Cauliflower Puree

September 10, 2013
By Wendy Monro , The Journal

I began this meal with the idea that I wanted to do something different with my cauliflower. By the time I served my family, I had created a delicious Asian inspired dinner by accident. After reading through countless recipes trying to get good cauliflower ideas, I stumbled across a few for cauliflower puree. I have enjoyed celeriac puree or potato puree with a nice piece of fish or chicken. A puree is a great addition to your protein because it adds texture and flavor. It is almost like a sauce.

I like the idea of using cauliflower in lieu of potatoes and I have written about cauliflower mashed like potatoes in the past. Potatoes can be a problem for some people because they can raise your blood sugar. Cauliflower is a great substitute if you are lowering carbohydrates or avoiding starches. They have a very mild flavor, so you can flavor them up however you like. Furthermore, they steam much faster than potatoes boil. They will lesson the carbs while increasing the nutrients. Switching to cauliflower is an easy way to lighten up your meal all around. However, it doesn't make sense to load them up with butter and milk, right? If you do that, you are just making a light nutritious vegetable into a fattening side dish. It's funny because most of the recipes I read added tons of butter or cheese to create the puree. Well, I guess this is because butter and cheese are so delicious. I want to show you a way to make this cauliflower puree delicious without all of the added fat. I didn't stop at cauliflower though. No, sir! I added onions, garlic and mushrooms. I wanted to add mushrooms to put in more flavor and nutrients. However, they turned the puree a bit brown and maybe not as pretty. I didn't care but if you want the puree to be pretty and white like potatoes, skip the mushrooms. I topped them with roasted red peppers too. To make the puree creamy, I used almond milk and a little butter substitute.

My original plan was to make a delicious cauliflower puree and top it with a nice piece of salmon. I looked into my refrigerator and noticed a bag of bok choy. I grabbed that to include with the meal. As my cauliflower was steaming, I grabbed the salmon to get it ready. It did not smell right to me. So, I had to get rid of it. I went back to the refrigerator and the only other protein in there was a block of tofu. Hmmm, I guess it has to be tofu, I thought, because I did not feel like running out to the store. It created a dilemma because I had to make it very tasty if I was going to get my family to eat it. I am sure they were already skeptical at the thought of a cauliflower puree but then to serve this with tofu? I might have a revolt on my hands. I grabbed everything tasty that was Asian style that I had to make a marinade in order to make this tofu taste delicious. I just kind of made it up. I whisked it up and tasted it. I said, "Oh my God!" Daphne heard me and asked what was wrong. I told her that this marinade was so good. She came and tasted it and said the same thing.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Cauliflower Puree with marinated tofu and bok choy.

If you don't like tofu, you can make this exact marinade and use it with fish or chicken. It would be delicious for both. So, don't think this is just wasted on tofu if you can't stand tofu. This marinade is out of this world. You have to try it. At that point, I started thinking my article should be just about this marinade. It tasted that good. But then, I thought about how I threw it together in two minutes by mixing a bunch of sauces. That would be a short article. When I was almost finished cooking it all, I looked at everything I had going on in the kitchen: tofu with and Asian marinade, bok choy, and a cauliflower puree. It was like an Asian style feast that I never planned.

Fact Box

Cauliflower Puree

Serves: 4

Time: 40 minutes

1 head of cauliflower

1 red pepper, sliced

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 small can of button mushrooms, drained (optional)

1 tablespoon earth balance or butter substitute of your choice

Salt and pepper to taste

two cups of almond milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take of the cauliflower florets and the sliced red pepper and place them into a baking dish. Add olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. Place in the oven for thirty minutes. In a skillet, add the other tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium high. Add onion. Saute onion for ten minutes. Add garlic and saut for another ten minutes. Add mushrooms, butter substitute and season with salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms for five minutes. Add almond milk and the rest of the cauliflower. Cover and let this steam for about fifteen minutes (until you can easily pierce with a fork). Turn off heat and let this cool. Place this mixture into a food processor and blend well. Scoop out onto the plate. Place the roasted florets and red peppers on top.

Marinade for tofu, chicken or fish:

cup stir fry sauce

cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha

cup rice vinegar

teaspoon sugar

cup olive oil

4 scallions, sliced

teaspoon ginger

Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Pour over chicken, fish or tofu.



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