FP, Recipe, S, Sides, Veggies

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Let me start by saying this, I am not going to tell you that mashed cauliflower tastes just like mashed potatoes. It doesn’t. Many times I think we thwart ourselves on our journey to better health with false expectations. The only thing that tastes just like mashed potatoes is mashed potatoes. And there is no sin in eating mashed potatoes once in a while. But if you are on a journey trying to slim down, then regular white potatoes tend to work against you. Even if you are at an ideal weight, white potatoes are higher on the glycemic index, so they need to be moderated to keep our blood sugar even. Because of that we seek to find substitutes.

This is a substitute, and it is a good one. Even though it is not starchy, it helps to satisfy that desire for a starchy side. You can load it up just like mashed potatoes to make it even more festive. As long as you start with the right expectations, I think you will love this side dish. I’m going to give you some alternatives so that you can make this either a rich, S side dish or you can keep it lighter with a few tweaks. As written, without optional ingredients this recipe is a THM S. With all the optional ingredients it is an heavy S. Using the tweaks marked with an * you can make this recipe a THM FP.

Mashed Cauliflower ~ THM S or FP

Ingredients

1 pound cauliflower (fresh or frozen, whole, florets or riced)
1 cup liquid (water or chicken broth/stock) I recommend the broth/stock for flavor
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP butter*
~Optional ingredients~
1-2 oz cream cheese*
1 – 2 TBSP sour cream*
2 TBSP heavy cream*
1/4 cup chopped bacon*
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other cheese of choice)*

Directions

Cook cauliflower in liquid until soft (you don’t want any “crunchiness” left at all.) If you are doing fresh cauliflower you may want to steam it and it may require extra liquid.

Once the cauliflower is soft enough to mash you want to drain off the liquid into a separate container. Keep this liquid in case you need it later.

At this point you are going to mash the cauliflower. How you choose to do this depends on the texture you want to end up with. If you want a very chunky mash you can just use a potato masher. If you like a smoother mash with just a little texture a hand mixer would be your tool of choice. If you want a completely smooth texture I would suggest a food processor.

Begin the mashing process before you add any other ingredients. After you have the mashing process started you can add all of the other ingredients, including the optional ones EXCEPT for the bacon bits and cheese. Continue stirring/mashing until you have reached your desired consistency. If the mixture is too thick, use some of the cooking liquid you reserved to thin it out.

When you have the texture you want you can stir in the bacon and cheese if you are using it or just use them as a garnish on top. I chose sour cream, cheese and bacon for my add ins. Yummy!

FP Option

To keep this recipe an FP you are going to make the following changes to the recipe. The cooking and preparation methods are exactly the same, but the ingredients are tweaked to keep the fat low. The changed ingredients are marked with an *.

Ingredients

1 pound cauliflower (fresh or frozen, whole, florets or riced)
1 cup liquid (water or chicken broth/stock) I recommend the broth/stock for flavor
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp butter extract*
~Optional ingredients~
2-3 wedges light laughing cow cheese*
2 TBSP almond or cashew milk*
1 – 2 TBSP Greek yogurt*
1/4 cup chopped turkey bacon*
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese*

Be sure to keep checking back. I will be posting all of the recipes that I like to have on hand to keep me on track during the upcoming holiday season. I will eventually compile them all into a Holiday Menu post to be published on November 1st.

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Crossover, Holiday, Recipe, Sides, Veggies

5-Bean Casserole

There are some things that just scream Thanksgiving to you based on your experience. This recipe does that for me. We have always had it, for as long as I remember. I believe the recipe was passed down from my great aunt, I am not sure. What I am sure of is that as soon as I smell the sweet/tangy scent of apple cider vinegar mixing with the sweetener and onions I know that Thanksgiving has come.

This recipe is a crossover due to the fat used. It is true that you could use turkey bacon and omit the 1/4 c added oil that is suggested to make it an E. However, this recipe is a holiday celebration meal for me, so I leave it as a crossover. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

5-Bean Casserole ~ THM Crossover

Ingredients

8 Slices Bacon (If using turkey bacon you will need to add 1/4c coconut oil to the recipe)
2 onions, sliced very thinly
3/4 c xes sweetener or gentle sweet
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1 14.5 oz can butter beans, drained
1 14.5 oz can red kidney beans or great northern beans, drained
1 14.5 oz can green beans, drained
1 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
11 oz Amazing Baked Beans (or canned baked beans if you can find no sugar added)

Directions

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan but keep fat in the pan. (If you used turkey bacon you will need to add 1/4 c coconut oil to the pan.)20181003_101100.jpg

While bacon is frying, mix dry ingredients together with apple cider vinegar and molasses. Add vinegar mixture to the fat (oil) in the pan and whisk together over medium high heat. (Be prepared for your sinuses to be cleared!) Add onions to the pan and mix to coat. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
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While onions are cooking crumble the bacon. Mix drained beans together with baked beans in a large bowl. Add half of the crumbled bacon. When onions are finished cooking, pour this mixture over the beans. Stir well and put into a 3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the rest of the bacon on top of beans.

Cover the casserole dish with lid or foil and bake at 350 for one hour.

(I actually made this a one – pot dish by using my cast iron Dutch oven for the whole process. Yay for less dishes! If you have a pan big enough that has a lid and goes from stove top to oven I highly recommend this method.)

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Honestly, I like this dish best the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld together. Therefore, I would really suggest getting this dish prepared a day in advance giving yourself more free time on Thanksgiving day! You can also cook this in the crock-pot if you’d like. In that case I would suggest cooking it on low for at least 4 hours, giving it that time to marry the flavors.

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Be sure to keep checking back. I will be posting all of the recipes that I like to have on hand to keep me on track during the upcoming holiday season. I will eventually compile them all into a Holiday Menu post to be published on November 1st.

Recipe, S, Sides, Veggies

The Best Green Beans

I realize that green beans are a truly simple side. In my family, for as long as memory serves me, we have had green beans at least a couple times a week. It seems almost silly for me to make an entire blog post about green beans, but I have tweaked the way I prepare them recently and they are getting gobbled up quicker than ever before. I am going to give you two versions, one for canned green beans and one for fresh.

For Canned Green Beans

1 28oz can green beans (undrained)
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1 TBSP coconut oil (refined or unrefined is fine) ~OR~ 1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 tsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir to combine. Cook, covered, over medium heat for at least 15 minutes. You want the beans to cook down some. (This process can be longer if you want to cook them at a lower heat.


I like to get these started at the beginning of my meal prep and let them cook the whole time I’m preparing dinner. This can also be done in a crock-pot if you want them to be cooking while you are away from home.) Remove the cover and cook for another 5 minutes at least to reduce the liquid.

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For Fresh Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans (trimmed)
1-2 TBSP coconut oil (refined or unrefined is fine) ~OR~ 1-2 TBSP butter
1 cup liquid (water or chicken broth)
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 tsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Melt coconut oil or butter, add green beans and toss to coat. Add your liquid to the pan to begin the cooking process. Add seasonings to the skillet and toss to combine.


Lower heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until liquid is fully reduced and green beans are done to your liking. If liquid cooks completely out before your beans are done enough for you then add a bit more water or broth until they are done. We like ours when they are starting to get a little browned up. They are so delicious!20180929_145432.jpg
While many people like to have green bean casserole for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, these are delicious enough to add to your holiday table, especially for those who don’t care for the holiday casserole version.

Holiday, Recipe, S, Sides, Veggies

Green Bean Casserole

I love green bean casserole and to me it screams holiday. I mean, I know you can have it year round, but I tend to save this for special occasions. We have green beans a few times a week, but this is usually saved for holidays.

Most green bean casserole recipes call for cream of mushroom soup which is full of fillers and carbs that we don’t want to add to our recipe, so this recipe starts by making the cream of mushroom sauce for the casserole. If you feel like this step is just too much you can technically just put ALL of these ingredients in the slow cooker and walk away. However, I highly recommend taking the time to complete the stovetop steps. Sauteing the mushrooms and onions really adds a depth of flavor to this dish.

Green Bean Casserole ~ THM S

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced or diced depending on preference
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely diced or thinly sliced depending on preference
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 tsp mineral salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP Nutritional Yeast or THM Bouillon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces (canned or frozen green beans will also work in this recipe if you prefer

Preparation

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and stir. Cover, and cook on medium heat for ten minutes, stirring every so often, until mushrooms have cooked down. Season with a bit of pepper.

 

Add the onion to the mushrooms and season with salt and a bit more pepper. Cook on med-high heat until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the seasonings, cream cheese, and chicken broth. Cover the skillet again, and cook on medium heat until the cheese has melted fully stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Put the green beans into a 6-quart slow cooker, and pour the mushroom mixture over the top. Stir to combine ingredients. Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for about 2 hours. (You can also cook this at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours in a covered dish in the oven if you prefer.) Stir again, and serve.

 

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Be sure to keep checking back. I will be posting all of the recipes that I like to have on hand to keep me on track during the upcoming holiday season. I will eventually compile them all into a Holiday Menu post to be published on November 1st.
Recipe, S, Sides, Veggies

Loaded Veggie Casserole

My mom made this recipe for a banquet at our church recently and it was so good I had to share it here. This makes a very large casserole so you may want to halve it if you are making it just for your family. This recipe works great with broccoli and cauliflower but you can just use one or the other. You could also try different veggies in this casserole if you wish. I can actually imagine brussel sprouts being fantastic! If you like the broccoli cauliflower combo but want to cut this recipe in half you can find frozen or fresh broccoli cauliflower blends.

Loaded Veggie Casserole ~ THM S

INGREDIENTS
1 pound frozen cauliflower florets (If you choose to use fresh you will want to steam until fork tender)
1 pound frozen broccoli florets (If you choose to use fresh you will want to steam until fork tender)
1 c sour cream (if you want to lighten up this recipe you can replace this with light sour cream)
1 c plain, no-fat greek yogurt

1 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
10 slices bacon or turkey bacon, cooked, chopped and divided
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Stir together sour cream, yogurt, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 of the bacon, and seasonings in a large bowl.
  • If desired, cut veggies into smaller, bite sized pieces. Stir veggies into the sour cream mixture.
  • Place mixture in a 9×13 baking dish and top with remaining cheese and bacon.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and it is bubbling around the edges.

Be sure to keep checking back. I will be posting all of the recipes that I like to have on hand to keep me on track during the upcoming holiday season. I will eventually compile them all into a Holiday Menu post to be published on November 1st.