|I have fond memories of Twice-Baked Potatoes, but now this Twice-Baked Cauliflower would suit me better!|
(Updated with better photos and a slightly lightened recipe, November 2011.) I'm one of those people who really like cauliflower, and I especially like this dish, possibly in memory of all those twice baked potatoes I ate before I started eating the lower glycemic index way. I remember my mother making them for special occasions, and I'd help scoop out the potato insides and mix them with sour cream, cheese and butter, and lots of cheese sprinkled on top when the potatoes went back in the oven for the second baking. In those days all the Denny siblings considered twice baked potatoes to be the ultimate gourmet treat, something my mother didn't make very often for the twelve (12!) people she was cooking for.
Don't think of the cauliflower in this recipe as just a replacement for potatoes though. This is a great way to prepare cauliflower, whether or not you're a potato eater. I've been re-discovering The Low Carb gourmet by Karen Barnaby and that's where I found this recipe. I did eliminate the butter, reduce the amount of bacon, and used low fat cheddar, cream cheese, and sour cream to make it more South Beach Diet friendly. I made this last night for my brother Mark, his wife Lisa, and two of my nephews and their wives, and it was a hit with everyone (even those who thought they didn't like cauliflower!)
And yes, if you want to be picky, the cauliflower is really boiled, then baked, but I agree with Karen Barnaby that Twice-Baked Cauliflower is a title that really captures the spirit of this dish. Give it a try if you like cauliflower.
Cut up the cauliflower into small pieces and cook in boiling salted water until it's barely soft, then drain and mash the cauliflower, leaving some chunks. (I mash it a few times in the colander and then transfer to a bowl and mash a bit more.)
I know that bacon isn't recommended for the South Beach Diet, but I do use it occasionally in small amounts. This recipe called for 8 pieces, which I cut down to six. I buy the pre-cooked bacon at Costco, and cook it so it's very crisp, then blot well with paper towels, so I get rid of as much of the fat as I can. I think Canadian Bacon would taste great in this if you don't want to use bacon, and it would also be fine with no bacon at all.
Combine the mashed cauliflower, light cream cheese, light sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon.
Put the mixture into a glass casserole dish with a lid that you've sprayed with olive oil or non-stick spray, and top with the low-fat sharp cheddar and the rest of the bacon.
Bake with the lid on at 350F/180C until the mixture is bubbling and all the cheese has melted, about 30-35 minutes. (I take the lid off for the last 5-10 minutes to brown the top a little.
And here's the photo from 2008 when I first updated this recipe with a photo (and obviously I was a lot more into the macro photography look in those days!)
Twice Baked Cauliflower
(Makes 6-8 servings; recipe adapted slightly from The Low Carb Gourmet.)
1 large head cauliflower
4 oz. low fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (do not use fat free)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (If you only have finely grated Parmesan, use a bit less)
6 slices bacon, cooked until very crisp, fat blotted with paper towel and then crumbled
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
(I used Kraft 2% milk sharp cheddar)
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Cut out stem and core from cauliflower, and cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until cauliflower is tender, but not overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in light cream cheese, light sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon.
Spread evenly in a medium-sized glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with low-fat cheddar cheese and reserved bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
South Beach Suggestions:
Even though I lightened this recipe with no butter, less bacon, and less fat due to low fat cheese, light cream cheese, and light sour cream, this recipe is best as a "once-in-a-while" treat for the South Beach Diet since all the fat is saturated fat. With that caution, I think it could be eaten for any phase of the diet. Serve it with lower fat dishes such as Grilled Tuna with Cherry Tomato Salsa or Soy Braised Pot Roast. Cauliflower is very low on the glycemic index, and should be a good choice for any low-glycemic eating plan.
More Tasty Ideas with Cauliflower You Might Enjoy:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
"Cauliflower Rice" with Fried Onions and Sumac from Kalyn's Kitchen
Orange Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese from Food Blogga
Broccoli and Cauliflower Sformatino from The Perfect Pantry
Farro and Roasted Cauliflower Salad from [No Recipes]
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)