Cook This: Gluten-free Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower mashed potatoesAs a rule I’m more of a protein and veggies girl rather than a protein and starch girl. And that said, I do really enjoy the occasional potato dish. Home fries are probably my favorite, then truffled french fries, and I can also dive head first into homemade potato skins with broccoli and turkey bacon, or a nice fat latke with applesauce on a cold winter’s night. Uh, ok, it seems I am a potato girl after all. Duly noted.

Anyway, mashed potatoes? Not so much on my radar. I’ve been dairy-free for decades now, and it’s nary a mashed potato dish that isn’t full of cream and butter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried it…with hazelnuts, olive oil and rosemary, or Earth Balance and sea salt, but it’s just not the same.

When the paleo craze hit I started seeing recipes abound for Cauliflower mash to sub for mashed potatoes. I tried 3 different recipes, all giant fails.

Then a few months ago a local author dropped her new cookbook Delightfully Free: 141 Gluten-free, Dairy-free & Sugar-free recipes off at my office along with some gluten-free black bean brownies made from one of her recipes. She almost lost me when I popped one in my mouth and spit it right back out to find it was heavily sweetened with stevia, which I cannot stand. But the others at the office, who don’t have such strong disgust feelings about stevia said the brownies were quite yummy.

As she went out of the way to bring us a copy of the book I thought I should take a peek, at least. I love the actual book itself which is some kind of hardcover/spiral hybrid. The recipes are clear and easy to follow. The photos don’t make the food look particularly appetizing but again, something that shouldn’t keep me from trying the recipes. I decided to start with the Garlic Mashed Cauli, and am quite glad I did. It was great! Her secret, I think, is the addition of beans (which technically would make it not paleo now that I think about it.)  I’m quite sure it would have been lovely as-is but I did of course make a few tweaks. I just can’t help it. And, I’m looking forward to trying some additional gluten-free and dairy-free recipes from her cookbook! Here it is with my tweaks.

with caramelized onions

Ingredients Mash

  • 1/2 large or 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 stalk of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white beans (I used cannellini)
  • 3 cloves pressed garlic
  • Salt to taste (appx 1/2-1 tsp)

How to do it- Mash

  1. Steam cauliflower until just soft. Place the rosemary stalk in the water if you’re using it. Rinse in cool water when done.
  2. Put cauliflower and all ingredients on list in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency- keep a little bit of texture. I ended up adding a little water to smooth it out a bit. 

Ingredients Caramelized Onions

  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions
  • 2-4 TBSP olive oil

How to do it- Onions

  1. Heat oil in a saute pan on medium, add onions and sauté until just translucent.
  2. Turn pan to low and cook for 45-60 minutes stirring regularly until golden, soft, and very sweet. 


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