Hey, What’s Cookin’?
I have always warned m.e.l.t.ers to stay away from “fake” foods–foods that claim to be healthy but are full of additives and preservatives. But there are some “fake” foods” that are actually good for you–they are good substitutes when the “real thing” is not m.e.l.t.-compliant. What the heck am I even talking about here? Today’s recipe of the week, Fauxtato Salad, is a great example.
Most of us know (and love) what potato salad is–a cold or warm salad based on potatoes. Potatoes are not a regular part of m.e.l.t.er’s diets, especially those working on becoming leaner. But what if you could enjoy the flavor of potato salad made from a different vegetable–one that fit into any m.e.l.t.ers eating program? I think you can see where this is going–especially those of you who regularly enjoy cauliflower rice and mashed cauliflower.
Fauxtato salad is made from that super-popular potato substitute, cauliflower. It has all the flavor with far less carbohydrates. And the usual mayonnaise dressing has been improved to include Greek yogurt. You’ll still get the creaminess, but now there’s more protein. There’s still some mayonnaise in it; just make sure it’s homemade or organic, so that it’s a healthier version than the shelf-stabilized, additive-laden versions. You can completely substitute Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise if you like, but 1/4 cup of homemade or organic mayo in the entire recipe is not going to be a gut-buster. Why not try it both ways, and see which you like best?
Note that most recipes will have you boil or steam the cauliflower. I feel that quick-roasting the cauliflower provides the best texture; it evaporates water from the cauliflower and makes for a denser, more potato-like bite.
- one small/medium head cauliflower, rinsed, drained, and separated into bite-size florets
- 1 large stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 2-3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled; yolks separated from whites
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (Fage Total or 2%)
- 1/4 cup organic or homemade mayonnaise
- 1 tbs mustard, or to taste
- 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 2 tbs chopped chives or green onions
Optional Mix-ins (depends upon the flavor you want to achieve, and how Mom made it!)
- 2 tbs chopped dill pickle (optional, to taste)
- 1 tbs horseradish sauce (optional, to taste)
- 1-2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar (optional, to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, distribute the cauliflower florets over it evenly. Bake florets for 15 minutes; remove from oven and let them cool in the pan.
- Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Mash the yolks, then add the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Whisk to blend and taste. To achieve a sharper, more vinegary flavor, add one or more of the Optional Mix-ins.
- Add the cauliflower florets, celery, onion, and coarsely chopped egg whites to a large bowl with a lid. Pour the dressing over the top and gently fold in using a rubber scraper. Taste, adjust the flavor as needed; then cover with the lid, refrigerate, and let the flavors develop for at least 12 hours.
- To serve, sprinkle top of salad with paprika and chopped chives or green onion.
Note: It’s important to let the fauxtato salad sit at least overnight before serving–it really does make the salad texture more like potatoes!
Photograph via Pinterest