Thanksgiving Side Dish: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Hey guys! I know there are folks who are looking for Thanksgiving menu ideas, so I’m coming at you with a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes this week and next, culminating in a round-up of the best recipes to make with Thanksgiving leftovers. First up: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash. Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

It really just isn’t Thanksgiving without some mashed potatoes, don’t you think? They’re one of the ultimate comfort foods- and you can dress them up however you like. I’m generally a traditionalist- for example, that photo above is basically crying for some savory turkey gravy.

That’s why I made you this beautiful bowlful of rich, creamy potato goodn-

OK, I can’t keep up this charade any longer. That’s not potato up above- it’s the most under-sung, under-valued, and under-estimated member of the vegetable family: Cauliflower!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

If you’re looking for a satisfying way to lighten up the Thanksgiving table next week without sacrificing any taste, then look no further.

Simply steaming up and pureeing the lowly cauliflower transforms this seemingly-unremarkable vegetable into a creamy concoction that pairs perfectly with the main event: Thanksgiving Turkey! Add some gorgeous roasted garlic, salty Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs into the mix, and we got a real party going on.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Yup, there’s a WHOLE HEAD of garlic in this B. Feel free to use less if this terrifies you, but I honestly think it was the perfect amount. The cauliflower does need a bit of flavor added to it to really shine. Roasting the garlic takes out the bitterness, and really adds a beautiful flavor to the finished dish.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt, pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • thinly sliced chives, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Chop off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves. Rub with olive oil, place in a ramekin or other small baking dish, and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Cover the ramekin or dish with aluminum foil, then bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until garlic is very fragrant and caramelized on top. Set aside.
  2. Set up a vegetable steamer over a pan of with an inch of water in it. Boil over high heat. While water is coming to a boil, chop up your cauliflower into florets, and rinse using a colander. Place half the cauliflower (including stems!) into the steamer, season liberally with kosher salt, and then place the remaining cauliflower on top and again season with salt. Cover the steamer and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Prep a food processor with the steel blade. When cauliflower is done steaming, drain well in a colander. Place in the food processor along with the cheese, thyme, and butter. Carefully squeeze or scoop out the roasted garlic cloves from their skins (almost like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube). Puree until smooth- this may mean occasionally pausing to stir around the stubborn florets that just won’t blend with the others.
  4. Taste and season with salt as desired. Garnish with chives, serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

TIP: If you know you’ll be going crazy on Thanksgiving, you can make this now, and freeze this for later! Just store in an airtight container, then bring out to thaw the morning you’d like to serve and either microwave or heat up in a pan to get it warmed up.

Honestly, I bet you’ll be surprised just how similar this tastes to normal mashed potatoes made from spuds! It’s a new favorite around here, and will be making appearance on our table next Thursday!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Guacamole + A New Way to Save Total Noms Recipes

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Before I get to talking about one of my favorite snacks on the planet, let me get personal for a second. There are 38 days until I get married. Thirty. Eight. Where did the time go? Five years ago, my honey and I were just starting to get to know each other- and now we’re preparing for what will be the biggest day of our lives. I can’t flipping wait!

OK, annoying wedding talk over- let’s dive into this guac. Literally.

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I don’t know what it is, but I am addicted to tortilla chips. Maybe it’s the salt, maybe it’s the crunch- but I cannot stop at just one chip. Whether they come from a bag, or are those amazing fresh hot ones sprinkled with coarse salt from the local Mexican joint, I will lose my cool entirely and go ham on them all. It can get embarrassing.

But really, can you blame me? Especially when there’s amazing dips to be paired. I’m a sucker for restaurant-style (NOT chunky) salsa, but I do love a nice bowl of fresh guacamole, and it couldn’t be easier to make.

The hardest part is buying avocados and waiting for them to ripen- the ones at my store are always rock hard, but after a day or two in the fruit basket they will soften up and be perfect for creamy, delicious guac!

Check out my guacamole recipe below!

Guacamole
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1½ – 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, diced finely
  • ½ plum tomato, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp (loosely packed) cilantro, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • salt, to taste

Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado in half from top to bottom. Twist to separate, and remove the pit by whacking your knife (carefully!) into the pit and twisting to remove. Scoop out the avocado meat from the peel with a spoon and add to a bowl.
  2. Add the pepper, tomato, onion and cilantro to the avocado and using a fork or a potato masher, mix everything together until the avocado breaks down and starts to become creamy. Season with salt and sprinkle with the lime juice; then stir again and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

I’ve heard a bit of drama around the mix-ins for guacamole- I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, just some diced tomato, onion, jalapeno, and tons of cilantro and lime juice. Some people prefer garlic in theirs, some like fun things like mangoes and/or pomegranate seeds- whatever floats your boat is bound to be awesome, I think 🙂

Guacamole

I also am excited to announce a new way to save Total Noms recipes. In addition to pinning, liking, and tweeting my recipes to save for later, you can also save them directly to Ziplist, using the blue “Save” button in the top right underneath the photo in the recipe above. Ziplist is an amazing grocery list app that you can update and take on the go- it’s one of my everyday mobile apps that I rely on to get food on the table! Now, whenever you save one of my recipes to your Ziplist account, the ingredients from that recipe will get automatically added to your grocery list and the instructions will be there for you whenever you’re ready to start cooking. Pretty neat, huh?

And while we’re at it, have you signed up for my email list yet? It’s by far the easiest and best way to make sure you never miss a recipe.



Now tell me- What’s your favorite dip to bring and enjoy at a party?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Greek Wheat Berry Salad


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Summer = freshness for me… the farmers’ markets are out, the sun is shining, the beach is calling, and best of all, fresh fruit and vegetables are everywhere.

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a wheat berry kick- we’re talking the ultimate whole grain! This is the stuff they make whole wheat flour from, and the texture is similar to that of farro or spelt. I love the little pop they give as you chew on them. They’re packed with fiber, b-vitamins, and protein, and make a perfect addition to salads like this.

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I chose to try and incorporate the flavors of one of my favorites- Greek salad. Fresh crisp cucumbers, tart cherry tomatoes, salty Kalamata olives and a light lemony vinaigrette make this a delightful side dish or snack for summer. Plus it’s so easy to put together if you already have the wheat berries cooked!

Greek Wheat Berry Salad
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion (optional)
  • a few tbsp crumbled feta cheese (amount is to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt

Instructions
  1. Cook wheatberries: Boil 3 cups water. Add 1 cup wheatberries and 1 tsp salt to the pot, cover, and turn heat down to low. Allow to cook for 45 mins to an hour- you want the wheatberries to have a nice chew to them, without being too hard or too mushy. When done, remove wheatberries from the pot to a bowl and allow to cool while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. (You can also make the wheatberries in the rice cooker if you have one of those).
  2. Into the bowl with the wheatberries add the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, pepper, red onion, and feta and toss. In a small bowl or dressing bottle add the olive oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour over the salad and toss again. Serve and enjoy!

 

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What’s your favorite way to use up all the fresh produce in the summer?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

 

Green Salad with Summer Fruits

salad_fruit-10I’m going to give you fair warning now- my future mother-in-law gave me 8 fresh mangoes last week (out the back of her trunk actually, like some underground deal), and since then, I’ve been on a crazy fruit binge. Summer berries and fruits are in their primetime right now, and my pantry and fridge are loaded with nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, and of course, these lovely mangoes. The end result is- you’ll be seeing a lot of fun fruity recipes on here for the next few weeks 🙂

This salad is anything but ordinary. It’s got the solid base of leafy greens, sure, but packed inside are juicy tangy bites of all my favorite fruits. Nutty sliced almonds round out the mix, and the lime juice dressing brings out a tart citrusy flavor that really unifies the whole deal. Your lunchtime will never be the same once you try this combo!

I was inspired to combine these ingredients after looking up “Mango” in one of my new favorite books, The Flavor Bible (Amazon Affiliate Link). Mangoes go swimmingly with almonds and lime, believe it or not- and I figured there was no better way to showcase this combination than in a light, refreshing salad!

Green Salad with Summer Fruits
 
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Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 2 cups spinach, arugula, or a mix, chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh blueberries
  • 6-8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp neutral tasting oil (like grapeseed)
  • juice and zest of one lime

Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except oil, zest and lime juice. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, zest and lime juice, and drizzle over top of the salad. Toss again, serve and enjoy!

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No new wedding updates this week- however the weather forecast does look dismal for this weekend, when we’re supposed to be taking our engagement shoots. Hot, humid, and thunderstormy… I’m hoping we can find a gazebo to shoot under otherwise we’re going to have to postpone!

What are your weekend plans?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

Happy days are here again- it’s just about SUMMER TIME BABY!

What a crazy few weeks I have going on. I just got back on Monday from a quick 48-hour trip to Atlanta to visit my grandmother with Paul- what a relaxing and lovely way to spend the holiday weekend. Atlanta is such an awesome place to visit- people are just nicer there, ya know? Plus, it doesn’t hurt when your Argentine grandmother makes you 4 dozen empanadas to chow down on just because she loves you so much. YUM.

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Chicago for another long weekend, to visit one of my best friends from college. I’ll be back on Monday, but we’ve already planned most of our trip around which amazing restaurants we’re going to eat at. Any recommendations? 🙂

And oh yeah, the weekend after that, I’ll be SPEAKING at the BlogHer Food ’13 conference in Austin, TX! I can’t freakin wait, but I’m also super nervous. If any of you are going to BlogHer Food next week, please say hi (and don’t boo at my workshop!).

But for this very moment, I’m home in Jersey City and couldn’t be happier.

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

Once again, we’re on our farmer’s market flow- one of the best things about Jersey City is the abundance of farmer’s markets and local produce. I saw these locally grown fat asparagus (asparagi?) and knew I had to have them for my very own! Along with some fresh Jersey tomatoes and a healthy dose of garlic, this makes a perfect side dish for your next barbecue.

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus (8-10 stalks)
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, sliced thinly into chips
  • 1 large tomato, sliced into rounds
  • olive oil (about 2-3 tbsp)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh lemon juice (for serving)

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse and clean your asparagus. Using your fingers, snap off the tough ends on each stalk- the asparagus will break naturally where those tough parts end.
  3. In an oven-proof dish, add the asparagus and coat with the olive oil. Rest a few tomato slices and the garlic on top, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork. If desired, squeeze fresh lemon over top for serving. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

This is an awesome side dish to any summertime entree- or perfect as a light snack on it’s own! I made a big batch and have been snacking on it throughout the week. Yum!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally