Tag Archives: keto

Mashed cauliflower – great low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes

pan-seared salmon on mashed cauliflower

Is there a comfort food more universally loved than mashed potatoes? A classic side for everything from meatloaf to fried chicken to Salisbury steak to Thanksgiving turkey, chances are, if you’re American, this was a regular on your dinner table growing up.

If you’re cutting back on carbs, though, you’ve got to either cut it out or restrict your serving to a tiny amount.

Cauliflower saves the day! I call it “cauli mash” for short. If you’re served this in a fancy-schmancy restaurant, they may call it “cauliflower puree.” Call it what you will, it’s yummy, and a great foil for a number of different dishes.

Besides the traditional ways to serve this dish, I love it under pan-seared salmon, shown in the main pic above. (Have you seen my video on how to make perfectly-done pan-seared salmon? It’s so much easier than it sounds!)

It’s also scrumptious as a side dish for pork chops.

mashed cauliflower side dish

 

And delicious under pulled pork or carnitas, topped with some cheese, sour cream, and/or guacamole.

pulled pork over mashed cauliflower

cauliflower packageThe secret to getting a great texture in your cauli mash is four-fold: it must be cooked till soft, well-drained, mixed with a stick blender (unless you want it chunky), and have lots of added fat! It takes a few steps, but it’s not hard. Plus, this is a versatile side or base that goes with lots of things, and it keeps well in the fridge, so I always make enough for at least a couple meals. The 24-oz. bag is plenty to make at least six servings.

I use packaged fresh cauli already cut into florets, but if you want to save money and spend a little more time on prep, you can buy a whole head and cut it down yourself.cauliflower florets

Here’s my method…

Mashed cauliflower / cauliflower puree recipe

24 oz. of cauliflower florets

(you can include stem pieces, cut to much smaller than the florets)

1/4 cup butter or ghee

1/4 cup sour cream (or non-dairy substitute)

2 T. bacon fat

2 T. cheese, your choice of cheddar or cream cheese (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (if using coarse salt, double the amount)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/16 teaspoon dill (optional)

  1. Cut the florets to somewhat-equal sized pieces, and steam them over simmering water until they can be easily sliced through with a plastic utensil, such as a spoon or spatula. I do a 24-oz. package in three batches. This ensures they steam more evenly, and helps with the next step.
  2. Drain them, press them, then dry them some more. I use the steamer section of my pan as a colander, holding it over the sink with the cooked cauli in it, gently pressing down with a large mixing spoon to force more water out. Don’t press too hard, or it will begin to mash and drip out the bottom. Then I put that batch in the mixing bowl and kind of spread it out, so more steam can escape. (I use the small mixing bowl from my mom’s vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster. Did your mom or grandma have one of these?)glass-mixing-bowl-300
  3. A little bit before I’m ready to dump the next batch of cooked florets into the bowl, I reach in with a sturdy paper towel over my hand and give the steamed-out cauli a squeeze or two. Repeat till all the cauli is cooked and pressed.
  4. Add the fat! You can tweak the amounts if you want less of one and more of the other, to adjust to your taste or dietary requirements.
  5. Blend well using a stick blender. Start at the top and press down while blending, then release the button and repeat again till it’s all starting to look the same. Then you can add your seasonings and blend everything together well.

Serve immediately, or store in a tightly-closed container in the fridge for several days. Reheats well in the microwave.

Serves 6-8.

 

Keto snickerdoodles!!!

Keto snickerdoodles - gluten-free, almost sugar-free

Some phrases bring together words whose combination blows the mind. Things that just seem impossible, or too good to be true. “Affordable luxury.” “Well-behaved two-year-old.” “Clean kitchen countertops.”

When I heard the words “keto snickerdoodle,” I had that kind of reaction. No! That can’t be done!

But ketosizeme did it. A completely sugar-free, gluten-free snickerdoodle!

When my daughter was home for Thanksgiving, I requested she make that recipe. (I love having this girl in my kitchen!)

DD making sugar-free snickerdoodles

ketosizeme's snickerdoodle recipeThe cookies came out gorgeous!

They look very similar to the traditional cookies, and we loved the texture. There were a few things we didn’t love, though. None of them the fault of the original recipe…

We thought they needed a little more cinnamon on the outside — just a matter of personal preference. Ours came out way too sweet — probably a result of using a different kind of sweetener. (One of my pet peeves with stevia is that there’s so little consistency in sweetness from brand to brand, making it hard to nail someone else’s recipe unless you know what brand they’re using.) And the last thing we wanted to see if we could change was that the cookies left a weird cooling sensation in the mouth. This was probably a result of the erythritol in the Truvia sweetener we used. (Erythritol is a refined sugar alcohol that has little or no effect of blood sugar levels.) I don’t usually use granular stevia, because I haven’t found one that I like that’s free of fillers, but in this case, I thought the cookies really needed a granular sweetener.

So I experimented with the recipe a bit.

I significantly reduced the amount of sweetener used in the cookie, and tweaked the other ingredients to bring the flavor closer to what I think is a classic snickerdoodle taste — more vanilla, for one thing.

Mine didn’t spread as nicely as the original recipe; they came out having more of a bon-bon shape, but they still make a pretty plate of cookies.

plate of keto snickerdoodles

I felt that, because the coating on the outside is the first thing that hits your taste buds, I should use real sugar for that, rather than a sweetener that might leave an aftertaste or weird sensations. But there’s only two teaspoons of sugar in the whole recipe — which works out to 1/10th of a teaspoon or less for each individual cookie — which I consider a very acceptable amount. (If even a tiny amount awakens your sugar dragon, though, you might want to try a granular sweetener instead.)

Also, my husband thought my first version was a little too oily, so I cut back on the butter and added a little coconut milk. (You can use real milk, cream, or half-and-half, if that works for your diet.)

And with that change, we were both like, “Nailed it!”

 


Keto snickerdoodle recipe

Makes about 20, depending on size.

Dough:
2 cups almond flour from blanched almonds
3 Tbsp Truvia sweetener
3 Tblsp butter, softened
1 egg + 1 yolk
1.5 teasp vanilla extract
1 teasp coconut milk (the thick kind for cooking, not the thin kind for drinking)
1/2 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

Coating:
1 teasp cinnamon
2 to 3 teasp fine sugar, organic if possible (if your sugar is coarse, use 4 to 6 teasp)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the cinnamon sugar coating in a small bowl and set aside. (Use the lesser amount of sugar [2 teasp fine or 4 teasp coarse] if you’re accustomed to little or no sugar in your diet. Use the higher amount [3 teasp fine or 6 teasp coarse] if not.)

Butter should be softened almost to the point of melting. Mix all dough ingredients well in a small mixing bowl, using a mixer if possible. (A small handheld mixer is fine.) The dough will look crumbly, but will stick together well when pressed.

keto snickerdoodle cookie dough

Roll the dough into balls slightly larger than 1 inch, or use a cookie scoop. Coat the balls in the cinnamon sugar, leaving the bottom side uncoated. (This avoids burning the cinnamon sugar, and reduces the amount of sugar you’ll ultimately eat with each cookie.)

cookie-scoop-in-bowl-700x500

cookie dough in cinnamon sugar

 

Place closely spaced on a parchment-lined or nonstick cookie sheet. The cookies will spread a little, but not much. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack.

keto snickerdoodles, ready to bake

Check cookies at 10 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean. It’s good for them to be soft in the middle. If they’re not quite done, continue checking every minute or so.

keto snickerdoodles, just baked

Let cool to room temp, then store in an airtight container.

Makes about 20, depending on size.


Don’t have time to make ’em today? Pin it for later!

These very-low-sugar, gluten-free snickerdoodles are crazy close to the real thing!


For more low-carb food ideas,

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Have you checked out my dessert cookbook?

ebook: Guilt-Free Treats - sugar-free, grain-free desserts

Buffalo chicken quesadillas (dairy & grain free)

buffalo chicken quesadillas with avocado - paleo

This chicken quesadilla is one of my all-time favorite pre-Paleo dishes, because as I said in my original post, it’s:

…one of my go-to recipes when I realize too late in the day that I haven’t planned dinner…. I love it because it’s a few simple things I can throw together and have dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less. Also, there’s very little measuring involved.

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