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Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan (Low-Carb Colcannon Wanna-Be)

This Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan is a low-carb side dish inspired by the Irish dish Colcanon!

Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan (Low-Carb Colcannon Wanna-Be) found on KalynsKitchen.comWhen I first started the South Beach Diet (over five years ago!) one of the things I was most suspicious of was the famous South Beach “Cauliflower mashed potatoes.” Then I made Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese and later Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Dill, and I realized that if you don’t expect it to be a substitute for potatoes, pureed or mashed cauliflower is a pretty delicious dish.

This particular version of pureed cauliflower has its roots in Colcannon, the traditional Irish dish where potatoes are mashed with cabbage or kale, and I first had this idea for St. Patrick’s Day, but didn’t mange to get it done in time! I tried out this recipe on my friend Robin since she loves cabbage, and we both thought it was a great-tasting side dish.

This post is dedicated to a blog event marking World Autism Awareness Day, sponsored by Neil from At My Table, who has an autistic daughter. I decided to post early so my entry is up for the actual day of April 2 in Australia, where Neil is. The idea is to create a dish that’s all one color to symbolize the sometimes challenging food preferences of autistic kids. Besides having a great fondness for Neil, I have a sister, a niece, and a blogging friend who work with autistic kids, so it’s a cause I feel connected to. World Autism Awareness Day kicks off Autism Awareness Month, where organizations around the world work to raise money and increase awareness about Autism. (Edit 4/3/10: Shannon has written a poignant essay on BlogHer.com about being the parent of an autistic child.

This isn’t a quick recipe, but it’s something that can cook on it’s own for most of the time, while you make other parts of the dinner. Start with half a head of green cabbage and half a head of cauliflower.

Start by chopping the cabbage, then season with salt and pepper and saute in olive oil over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, or until cabbage is barely starting to brown.

Add 1/2 cup sliced green onion and saute about 5 minutes more.

The add the chopped cauliflower with enough chicken stock to cover (about 2 cups.) Let the mixture simmer until cauliflower is very soft, probably close to 30 minutes at a low simmer.

When the cauliflower is soft, mash ingredients together. I started with a potato masher, which gave a rougher texture like this.

I wanted a finer texture, so I switched to my immersion blender. You could also do this with with a food processor, but be careful due to the hot liquid.

At this point the mixture will likely be too runny, so cook on medium heat until most of the liquid dissolves and it has the texture of mashed potatoes. (This took about 10 minutes for me. Don’t be tempted to drain off the liquid, because reducing it with the vegetables adds flavor.)

Then stir in the finely grated Parmesan cheese, about 2 Tablespoons at a time to be sure the cheese is well-combined in the mixture. Serve hot, with more cheese sprinkled on top if desired.

Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan
(Makes 4-6 side dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1/2 large head green cabbage, core cut out and cabbage chopped
1 1/2 T olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 large head cauliflower, core cut out and cauliflower chopped
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions (scallions)
2 cups chicken stock (or more as needed to cover the vegetables in the pot)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top for serving if desired)

Heat olive oil in large heavy pot, add chopped cabbage, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and saute cabbage over medium-low heat until it’s cooked through and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir it every once in a while so it doesn’t get overly brown in some parts. Add sliced green onions and cook about 5 minutes more, until onions are softened.

Add chopped cauliflower, pour over enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables, and simmer until the cauliflower is very soft, probably close to 30 minutes at a low simmer.

Mash the ingredients together with a potato masher. You can keep the coarse texture this produces if you prefer, or use an immersion blender or food processor to puree into a finer texture. (Be careful with the hot liquid if you use a food processor.)

Turn heat back on under the mashed or pureed vegetable mixture in the pan and cook an additional 5-10 minutes on medium heat, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Then stir in the finely grated Parmesan cheese, 2 T at a time so the cheese is well-combined in the mixture. Serve hot, with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top if desired.

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South Beach/Low-Carb Suggestions:

This is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-carb or low-glycemic eating plan.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet
to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs,
points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a
recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Ideas with Mashed or Pureed Cauliflower:

(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Dill from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Julia Reed’s Puree of Cauliflower with Curry from The Wednesday Chef
Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Puree from Under the High Chair
White on White Puree from A Veggie Venture
Vivid Cauliflower and White Bean Puree from Mostly Eating
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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29 comments on “Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan (Low-Carb Colcannon Wanna-Be)”

  1. Certainly not a pretty side dish but I'll bet it's delicious. I want to start eating more cauliflower and it paired with the cabbage sounds really good! Thanks for the idea.

  2. I bet this is deceptively tasty. Reminds me of a recipe "makeover" I tried recently—instead of mashed potatoes, I made faux mashed potatoes using cauliflower. I liked it, the kids liked it too. My husband on the other hand, not so much 😉

  3. I like both cauliflower and cabbage a lot, so this recipe is right up my alley. Thanks for letting us know about Autism Awareness Day.

  4. I think it sounds wonderful and will try to see if I can sneak it onto my son's plate before he realizes it has cabbage and cauliflower.

  5. Now this is a cauliflower dish I'm willing to try! I can't imagine the challenges of feeding a child who will only eat foods of one color, and I didn't know that was an issue with autistic kids until Neil wrote about it on his blog.

  6. I love pureed cauliflower. When dressed up like this dish, you don't even miss the potatoes. Will definitely add this to my list of great cauliflower recipes!

  7. You have inspired me to grow some of my own veggies this year and cauliflower is among my ridiculously long list of seedlings I have growing right now. Any suggestions/"recipes" for soil? I am building raised beds and not using my native soil. They are about 10 inches deep and I am trying not to break the bank while trying to be as organic as possible. Thanks in advance for your help!

  8. This is such a lovely recipe Kalyn!

  9. I actually love pureed cauliflower and think it is a great alternative to mashed potatoes, South Beach dieter or not. THis version sounds delicious. So sweet that you are submitting this to Autism Awareness Day. I had never heard of that before, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  10. What a beautiful dish, just love the colour! Thank you so much for joining in, it means alot.

  11. Great Recipe for Pureed Cauliflower and i will try it

  12. I'm glad people can see the appeal of this dish even though it may not look like much, because it was really tasty!

    Tee, I don't know anything about enriching soil; when I made my raised beds I went to the garden center and ordered compost enriched topsoil. I know there are soil mixes you can buy. I'd go to a garden center you trust and ask for their advice if you want to try mixing in compost and other things on your own. Have fun!

    Neil, would not have missed it (and how fun to see your picture by the comment!)

  13. Ohhh¡¡¡ you´re my heroin, hahaha… thanks for so many delicious recipes. This looks soooo yummy¡¡¡

  14. I agree with your assertion that this recipe would be accepted better on it's own merits,rather than calling it a substitution for mashed potatoes. I know my kids would probably like this recipe if I called it a new cauliflower side dish but not so much as a mashed potato alternative!

  15. At Christmas time I made mashed "potatoes" using cauliflower instead. I didn't tell my guests (except my Dad who is allergic to potatoes). After dinner I told them and they replied "yeah, I knew something was off"! DOh! Next time I will tell people what it is as it's own dish, because just like you said when you think of it that way it is really good.

  16. Kalyn, I really like this use of cauliflower. It's a really nice change from potatoes.

    Thanks so much for alerting me to Neil's World Autism Awareness blogging event. I was honored to be a part of it.

  17. I'm going to try this. I made your pureed cauliflower with dill and loved it. With an egg or two added to the mixture, the leftovers made for some great cauliflower pancakes! This would too! Thanks for all the good eating!


  18. Does anyone know if this recipe will freeze well? I'm always cooking for one. Since cooking every single day isn't exactly my favorite thing, I like to cook in batches and freeze stews, soups and chili for later use.

    Love the site, it's definitely helped me move away from the daily fast food garbage that I found so convenient. 17 pounds down so far.

  19. Mike, glad to hear about your success with the diet. When I was actively losing weight I did a lot of cooking on the weekend and froze things to eat during the week. I'm not 100% sure if this will freeze well, but I'm guessing it will do okay. I would reheat in a pan rather than with a microwave, as you might need to cook off some water when you reheat it. Love to hear how it turns out if you do try freezing it.

  20. I've never thought to combine cabbage with cauliflower, although it's not very pretty. My mouth is surely watering with the idea of some of this under a piece of grilled salmon. Delish!

  21. Bron, I love the idea of putting salmon on top of this!

  22. I finally tried this last night and it is so YUMMY!!!

    I think every receipe of yours that I have tried has been a hit. So glad I found your site.

  23. So happy to hear that. Thanks for letting me know.

  24. Kayln do you think this would work in a slow cooker? Maybe cut back on the broth due to the extra moisture from the slow cooker?

    I so enjoy your newsletter and all the recipes I've tried have been keepers. I've passed on quite a few to my dear daughters-in-laws also.
    Thanks so much!

  25. Glad you've been enjoying the recipes. I'm not sure I'd cook this in a slow cooker unless you transfer it to the stove and reduce too cook down the liquid at the end. If you try it, let me know how it works.

  26. Making this with ingredients on hand, including Napa cabbage and fresh Romano, let's see what happens! Recipe looks delicious!!

  27. Hope you enjoy it; sounds like it would work well to me!

  28. Made this today 🙂 I added a couple of good handfuls of fresh spinach right at the end, before I pureed, and just stirred it in. The immersion blender did a super job and it came out a lovely spring green colour. Grated a little aged cheddar on top too. Really nice! I shall do this again. I also put thyme in it for some added herbal flavor. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  29. Claire, love the idea of adding spinach at the end for a bit more green, especially for St. Patrick's Day!

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