The mornings are getting chillier, the days a little shorter, and the nights a little longer. This comforting Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe is a great alternative to traditional potatoes, is perfect for the holidays, and happens to be vegan and paleo!
A friend recently asked me about Thanksgiving recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and almond-free. I have been plotting ever since. This is one that immediately came to mind. Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes.” When we went paleo, we ditched potatoes. I died a little inside. There was never a more comforting food to me than melted butter…and a baked potato to go with it.
Cauliflower as a paleo alternative was an exciting discovery. A new reason for being. We started out with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes, and still love it to death. Today’s recipe boasts herbs and onions for additional flavor, a twist on an original.
My only beef with mashed cauliflower is how little it makes. One head of cauliflower doesn’t go far, and if you end up enjoying it as much as we do, recipe yield is important. I suggest doubling this recipe if you plan to serve Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes to more than just a few people. Other than that, this recipe is a cinch!
Quite possibly the best part about Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes is how hard it is to ruin. Honestly, if you are prone to annihilating even the simplest of recipes, please do not shy away from this one. Believe in yourself. I swear, you can’t ruin it. For example, there is no worry about over-steaming. In fact, the more steamed, the better. I use my potato masher to get the right consistency, and I have found incredibly soft cauliflower works best. Problem solved.
Then there’s the coconut oil, of which I am a fan. Or as K-Hubs asks, “Some cauliflower potatoes to go with your coconut oil, Morgan?” Why, yes, thank you. I WOULD like some cauliflower to go with my coconut oil. So, over-coconutting this side dish? Not. Possible.
Then there is the salt. You can’t over-salt this thing. You just can’t. Basically, if the size of the cauliflower head is large, consider going up to 1/4 tsp sea salt. I don’t normally go higher than 1/8 tsp in any recipe because a little sea salt goes a long way. A loooong way, as shared from many a salty experience, dear God Almighty. Add the salt 1/8-tsp at a time, taste-testing as you go. Another problem solved.
As for the onions and herbs? Handfuls. Just handfuls and then a few more handfuls after that. The more flavor the better. More specifically, think 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup each, again depending on the size of your cauliflower head. Cilantro and green onion are my favorites for this recipe. However, YOU DO YOU. This is your masterpiece, you spirited culinary warrior, you. What are YOUR favorite seasonings, herbs, and spices? Are you like Gramps and put Lawry’s on EVERYTHING? Then do it here. Are you like K-Hubs and insist on pepper, pepper, and more pepper? Go for it.
Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” is nothing if not a forgiving, flexible recipe. It’s a best friend to everyone. It understands that you and everyone in your household might have different palate preferences. So it’s adjustable to whoever wins the spices and seasonings battle at dinnertime. This Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe is also:
- Paleo and vegan, which means it is free of animal products, and is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and soy-free
- Perfect as a side dish, ready to go in under 30 minutes, which is perfect for bustling holiday meals
- Full of flavor, thanks to piquant cilantro and green onions, made richer with coconut oil
- A healthier alternative to starchy recipes
- Full of fiber and b vitamins, thanks to the cauliflower
And if you find yourself needing more balance to your diet, namely more vegetables, this is the recipe to do it. Creamy cauliflower, rich, buttery coconut, tangy herbs, and savory onions? They make for a truly magical combination. To think, a vegetable can taste as good as this and still be paleo AND vegan at the same time? Mind. Blown.
Also, as the seasons officially change, so do the diets. Am I right? The oven replaces the grill. The crispness of fall gives way to comfort foods like soups, casseroles, stews, and hearty dishes. Evening walks get a little shorter, and the couch-lounging runs a little longer. Lovely Midwest autumns turn into frigid winters, meaning we are definitely indoors more often than we’d like to be. Twinkle, in particular, wonders why we don’t live in the South. Okay, she doesn’t say that exactly. But her winter side-eye says it all.
However this meal is winter-ready and guilt-free. Eat it while couching, binge-watching your favorite shows, and forget about it. Who says being an adult has to be boring or that eating healthy has to be a drag? Because, no, we will not do that to ourselves. We will eat healthy and enjoy it at the same time. We will aim high because we can do this.
Spoon up, Spiriteds. Fall, winter, and the holidays they bring with them are on the horizon. And this healthy Seasoned Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe is full-on festive.
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- ⅛ tsp sea salt (can increase to ¼ tsp, if desired)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro, minced
- Steam cauliflower florets until easily pierced with a fork.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine steamed florets with sea salt and coconut oil. If your florets are still warm, you may not need to melt the coconut oil ahead of time. It will likely melt as it mixes with the cauliflower.
- Using a potato masher, mix ingredients together until they resemble traditional mashed potatoes. Add more coconut oil, if necessary.
- Fold in green onions and cilantro.
- Serve immediately.