Looks like a nice bowl of mashed potatoes, right? WRONG! It’s a bowl (well actually a Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker) of mashed cauliflower and celery root – one of my favourite swaps!
If you I was until about a year or so ago, you have heard of swapping cauliflower for mashed potatoes for a side dish that’s lower in calories and carbs but have never tried it. I am here to de-mystify mashed cauliflower for you. I have learned a few tricks that make it delicious and easy to prepare.
But first, you may be wondering, what the heck is a celery root? I figured you’d ask, so here’s a picture for you. Celery root has a mild, slightly sweet flavour with a hint of celery. You can use it raw in slaws (although I’ve never tried this) or boil it and use in soups or purees. You just hack away at it with a knife until all the gnarly brown stuff is gone from the outside, then boil until tender.
I don’t always use it when I make mashed cauliflower, but I had a celery root at home today, so I combined the two. Mashed cauliflower is great on its own though, the celery root is a nice addition but by no means a necessity. So my basic method is to dice up cauliflower (and the celery root, if using) and put in my micro-cooker (you could just as easily do this on the stove). I add water and salt (sometimes use chicken broth for added flavour) and cook for about 10 minutes (more or less depending on the quantity).
One important thing: cook until it’s quite soft, almost mushy…much softer than you’d want it if you were just making boiled/steamed veggies (I normally HATE mushy veggies…but this is the exception). My creamy ingredient of choice is Laughing Cow light cheese wedges. I use 2 for every individual serving. I drain the cauliflower then I use my immersion blender to mash up the cooked veggies and cheese. Mash away, making sure you’ve completely blended up any remaining chunks. *PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT*: Unplug the immersion blender as soon as you are done. Failure to do so can result in stitches in the finger from trying to scrape the blade off with your finger and accidentally turning on the blender (if you are more clever than me though, you shouldn’t have this problem).
For seasoning, you can keep it basic and use salt and pepper (I almost always go with garlic salt) or use any seasoning blend you’re in the mood for. Some that I’ve tried (and liked) are: taco seasoning, ranch dressing/dip mix and this random garlic seasoning stuff we have from Costco. After you’ve blended and seasoned, you’re good to go. Enjoy your faux potato concoction…and since it’s so low in calories and carbs, make yourself a nice big portion (that’s what I do!).