As you can see from the quotation marks from the title of this recipe, there are a couple of elements that I healthified in this variation of cauliflower mash. While I am not calling cheese or bacon unhealthy, many people can’t tolerate dairy, and processed meat can be inflammatory depending on the source of the protein and if it contains nitrites and nitrates. It epitomizes the approach I take when it comes to making recipes a bit more nutritious: incorporating more plants, upgrading inflammatory foods for more beneficial ingredients, and reducing the sugar content.
I demonstrated this dish at an event, and it was such a crowd-pleaser, even for those participants who wouldn’t consider themselves nutritious eaters. It’s why I want to shout it from the rooftops that healthy food can also be delicious! All it takes is some flavor.
Using a cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower for this mash (instead of say, white potato) is a nutrient-dense option that comes with a whole host of benefits, from blood sugar balance to disease prevention. This recipe is also full of other swaps as well: nutritional yeast instead of cheese, coconut flakes instead of pork bacon, coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to name a few!
“Cheesy” Cauliflower Mash with Coconut “Bacon”
For the Cauliflower Mash
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½ tablespoons ghee (or sub vegan butter)
- 1 tablespoon white chickpea miso
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- black pepper to taste
For the Coconut "Bacon"
- 1 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- ½ tablespoon coconut nectar or maple syrup
Make the Coconut "Bacon"
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the coconut flakes in a medium bowl. Add the coconut aminos, liquid smoke, and coconut nectar or maple syrup. Toss to coat.
- Spread coconut flakes evenly on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
Make the Cauliflower Mash
- Steam cauliflower florets by heating 2 cups of water in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and allow to cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer half of the cauliflower to a food processor and blend until creamy. Add the remaining cauliflower and blend again until everything is completely smooth.
- Add the nutritional yeast, ghee, miso, sea salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as you need to until everything is combined.
- Transfer Cauliflower Mash to a bowl or microwave safe dish to heat a little more until hot. Top with coconut bacon and enjoy.