Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cauliflower & Beet Mash with Chile Infused Olive Oil

Fresh cauliflower used in recipes calling for potatoes has become a "thing". Cauliflower mashed potatoes, or "potato" pancakes or mock potato salad or soup...many, many options to increase your vegetable intake and decrease your carbs. Terrific idea, right?
Roasted beets. I always make extra to slice and use in salads
I decided to amp up the flavor, color, and nutritional aspects to a basic cauliflower mash and add roasted beets. The results were spectacular. Delicious, easy and, because I used almond milk and olive oil instead of cream and butter, healthy, vegan and low calorie.The chile-infused olive oil adds the perfect amount of heat. And what a gorgeous color. How cool is that?  Enjoy.

Cauliflower & Beet Mash with Chile Infused Olive Oil
(serves 4)

3 medium beets, greens and tail removed
extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup whole milk (or nut milk like almond), heated
chile-infused olive oil (or 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes)
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place beets on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Tightly wrap the beets in the foil and roast in the oven until tender (1 to 1/2 hours depending on the size of beets. When done you should be able to easily pierce beets with a sharp knife. Remove from oven.

Steam cauliflower until very tender (15-20 minutes). Again, you should be able to pierce easily with a sharp knife. Place cooked cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the texture resembles rice. Add the milk and 2 tablespoons chile-infused olive oil. Pulse until just mixed. Add 1/2 of the cooked beets and process until just mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point, you can add some to all of the remaining beets until you get the color you like. Taste and add additional chile oil, (or regular olive oil if you don't want any more spice), until you get the texture you like. Chunky or very smooth depends on your preference. Season again to taste and serve immediately while hot.

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