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Get Comfort Food Creaminess with a Clever, Healthy Substitution

Featured Recipe

In this healthier version of a classic comfort food, cauliflower makes a creamy and nutritious substitute for mashed potatoes.Pursuing a healthier diet can mean forgoing favorite dishes that are rich in fat, salt, sugar, or other unhealthy components. However, there are ways to get a taste of indulgence without going overboard. You might adapt a recipe to use less salt or oil, or take a petite portion for a special occasion. Another approach is substitution: finding another ingredient that mimics the desired taste and texture, but with a fraction of the calories or fat.

Mashed potatoes are classic comfort food, and are accordingly filled with ill-advised levels of starchy carbohydrates and fats. This recipe substitutes cauliflower for the potatoes, slashing the calorie count and adding in the vegetable’s valuable nutrients. Because not everyone is a fan of cauliflower, garlic and cheese help mask the taste, and a touch of nonfat sour cream gives the dish its signature rich consistency. Other than the grated cheese, the recipe has no added salt, so it can be an excellent addition to a heart-conscious diet.

Velvety Mashed Cauliflower

Servings: 6 | Total time: About 30 minutes


1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6-8 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, if desired


  1. In a large pot, add a few inches of water — enough to barely touch the bottom of the steamer basket or insert. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then add cauliflower to the steamer basket. Cover loosely to let steam escape, and steam until cauliflower is very tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. Put the steamed cauliflower, garlic, cheese, sour cream, and pepper together in a food processor or blender. Puree until creamy and well-combined, but avoid over-mixing.
  3. Divide into portions and enjoy with a healthy entrée!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 59; Fat: 2 g; Saturated fat: <1 g; Cholesterol: 4.5 mg; Sodium: 99 mg; Carbohydrates: 8 g; Sugars: 2 g; Dietary fiber: 3.9 g; Protein: 4.6 g.


  • Steaming is a great cooking technique, because it can maintain vegetables’ taste and texture, as well as their valuable nutrients. Here are thorough instructions for steaming vegetables (including alternate instructions for microwave steaming).
  • You can use about 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic instead of fresh garlic.
  • For different tastes and consistencies, try replacing the sour cream with other nonfat or low-fat dairy options, such as 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt or 2-3 tablespoons of buttermilk. Remember that altering the ingredients can also slightly alter the calorie and nutrient content.
  • Sprinkle your side with chopped chives as a guilt-free garnish, rather than adding salt or butter.

Healthy recipes can make a positive difference for anyone, but if you are looking for ways to better manage heart failure, COPD, or other challenges for yourself or a loved one, it may take more than a balanced diet to manage your health. Residential Home Health offers expert services to help handle numerous cardiopulmonary concerns. Residential’s exclusive Cardiopulmonary Hospital Admit Management Program (CHAMP) incorporates early intervention, daily vital sign monitoring, and health coaching to improve patients’ safety, independence, and quality of life and reduce their risk of returning to the hospital.

To learn more about CHAMP, or our other specialized programs and services, call (888)930-WELL (9355) to speak with a Residential Home Health nurse today — or click here to take our Home Care Assessment.