Cauliflower is in season right now, and you won’t have to go far to find recipes. That’s because cauliflower as a replacement item is everywhere nowadays. Most grocery stores now sell pre-prepped cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower “pizza crust”. In general, I’m not into this whole fake food nonsense. I eat black bean burgers, but in no way am I eating it and thinking “wow this tastes like a burger!” When I eat these replacement foods, I’m eating them to satisfy a totally different craving. I’m not trying to trick myself. That said, when done right, it’s still very satisfying.
I was wary of trying a cauliflower alfredo recipe, thinking I would rather have the real deal, albeit way less often (because, health). I was happy to discover that it does actually taste great and will allow me to eat creamy pasta with increased frequency.
Start by boiling cauliflower for about 8 or 9 minutes. While that’s boiling, sauté some garlic in butter til it’s nice and fragrant (not long). Put both of those ingredients in a food processor, along with salt, white pepper, and cayenne. Next add some chicken stock. I didn’t measure because I just kept adding it in bits til it reached the right consistency. Maybe a cup overall? Also add in some grated Parmesan. Again, I didn’t measure. Purée until smooth, adding broth as you see fit to get it to the creamy texture you want. I added a dash or two of milk to help it along, but it’s really not necessary. And cream is reeeeeally not necessary. The whole point is to lighten things up (which you are, dramatically) so leave the cream at home.
I served it over Trader Joe’s lemon pepper pappardelle with sautéed mushrooms (that I cooked in the same pan as the garlic). Since it cooled off a bit while I waited for the pasta to cook, I warmed it up in a pan before serving. It should be served hot because, like real Alfredo, it immediately begins to tighten up as it cools. And you should also top it with a little extra parm because duhhhhh.
I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this. I’m only willing to go “diet” with a meal if I’m still going to like the taste. Luckily, that’s the case here. That pinch of cayenne, by the way, gives it a little skip-to-my-loo, so leave that in the recipe for sure.
Served it with roasted Brussels sprouts and salmon. Healthy, happy meal.