Cruciferous vegetables are very important for your health.  Those are vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, and kale.  We all know we need to eat them but yuck!  How many times can you steam a head of broccoli?  And brussel sprouts? Most people will wrinkle their noses.  I want to share with you some of the wonderful things that these little gems can do for you.

They are high in Vitamins A, C, and K.  They are also high in fiber.  They also have small amounts of protein and Omega 3 (like salmon) fats. They are a great bang for the buck and the amount of nutrients you get for a serving.

I do know that many people cringe over eating these vegetables.  I love cauliflower, but I get tired of eating it steamed or chopped raw into a salad.  I have made mashed cauliflower before, it makes a great mashed potato substitute, and decided I wanted to make it again for lunch.  I have to share a secret with you:  I am not a great cook!  I am a “read the recipe and follow it” kind of girl.  I’ve never mastered that art of ” a little of this and a little of that”.  So, I decided I’d better not go from memory but find a recipe on-line.  I found a great one and I am sharing it with you today!  This did not take long to make and it was so delicious.  I cut the recipe in half, since I only had one head of cauliflower, but I still had enough for two meals, so it was worth  the little bit of effort .  This recipe is now going to be in my weekly rotation.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Serves 4

2 medium-sized heads of cauliflower, washed and chopped into

1-2 tablespoons
melted coconut oil*

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Fresh black pepper to taste

Herbs to taste (I like rosemary and thyme)

*Note: I say go for two tablespoons of coconut oil – it’s practically the only calories in the whole dish, and coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids that your body metabolizes instead of storing as fat. Of course,  you can also use another
fat like Earth Balance or olive oil if you prefer, but I’ve found that coconut oil gives these “potatoes” the buttery, crave-worthy flavor that sets my recipe apart from all other iterations.

Steam the cauliflower florets until very tender (I’m talking almost-dissolve-at-your-touch tender…). Puree cauliflower in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides. Add in coconut oil, nutritional yeast,
sea salt, pepper, and optional herbs. Continue pureeing until desired consistency is achieved (a couple minutes). Add any additional salt and pepper to taste. A food processor is probably the best option for this recipe, as most blenders will have trouble pureeing the cauliflower without additional water (not the end of the world – I sometimes add a couple tablespoons of water to assist in blending anyway – but you shouldn’t have to do so). If you have a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, which I used for the batch pictured, it works great, and results in an almost unreal silky-smooth texture. I like it both ways, so experiment!

Post-pureeing, you can also pour the cauliflower  into a casserole dish and stick it in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top. Not only does the cauliflower develop a nice, crispy top to play off the velvety texture, but it looks pretty to boot! If you’re not serving it immediately after preparing, you’re going to have to reheat it anyways, so what have you got to lose?

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