Cauliflower as a side dish for diabetics?

Yeah, I know…cauliflower? Who eats cauliflower? My Dad didn’t like it so cauliflower never showed up on our dining room table, nor on mine during my college years and after. A few of my personal chef buddies would tell me how they’d use it to make “mock mashed potatoes” for their clients on low-carb diets. Seriously? Really? Me thinks not.

Then I came across a simple cheesy recipe (all those in favor of lots of cheese, raise your hands) that got me to at least try it. Yum…simple, quick to make, and good for my diabetic clients.  But, let’s step it up a bit, shall we?

Kinda-Like-Polenta Cauliflower
Serves 6

1 medium head cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3T creme fraiche
1/4C low-fat milk
2T butter
5T shredded Fontina
3T freshly grated, good quality Parmesan
2, 1″ long twigs fresh thyme, stripped
1t salt
1t freshly ground black pepper
2T minced fresh parsley

Put a good size pot of water on to boil. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower, chop it up. Rinse in a colander. Peel and crush the garlic.

When the water boils, add the garlic and cauliflower; return to boil, cook for 10 minutes. Drain, return to hot pot; let sit 2-3 minutes to continue to dry out.

Add the cauliflower, butter, cheeses, thyme leaves to a food processor. Add about 1/2 the milk, puree. Add more milk to reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Plate, garnished with the parsley.

Changes I made: I substituted creme fraiche for cream cheese to lighten the dish some. I replaced cheddar with Fontina to add richness and added good quality Parmesan for tang and a bit more salt. The thyme I added just to give the dish a bit more depth. Depending on what I serve as an entrée, I can see swapping the Fontina for a bleu or perhaps a brie.

I also pureed this smooth, instead of slightly chunky. This greatly changed the mouth feel, giving it a more elegant polenta-like consistency.

Calories: 132, Satfat: 6.1g, Carbs: 4.71g, Fiber: .56g, Cholesterol: 29g

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, specializing in diabetic diets, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2013.

Photo, courtesy Quinn McDonald

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2 thoughts on “Cauliflower as a side dish for diabetics?

  1. Glad you liked it. I’m going to try it with creme fraiche next time. Thanks for linking back to my site, but you might want to fix the link. Right now, it just goes to my site and for now the first thing a person would see is “My McRib Sandwich”, not the cauliflower recipe. Instead, click on the cauliflower recipe directly and use that link, or just use this:

    http://griffinsgrub.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/creamy-cheesy-mashed-cauliflower/

    Thanks again for the link back.

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