Healthy for the Holidays: Low calorie, low carb cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’ |

Healthy for the Holidays: Low calorie, low carb cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’

Cauliflower mashed "potatoes" have a fraction of the calories, but are loaded with flavor.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain / TDRPD |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — In this second of our “recipe makeover” series, Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District asked our fitness club members to help us re-vamp the Thanksgiving green bean casserole and mashed potatoes to lighter versions.

The traditional green bean casserole was easy. Just use reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, light sour cream, and none of the deep fried onion bits.

To get that crunchy texture your family is accustomed to, stir in some diced water chestnuts. The calorie content for this healthier green bean casserole is a mere 70 for a half-cup serving or, for women, a mere 10.75 laps around TDRPD’s inside track (and please just take it to 11 laps. We will not send the golf cart for you.) and 8.2 for men.

Getting a lower calorie/carbohydrate mashed potato was a little trickier. A good holiday mashed potato usually means butter, cream and, of course, potato. So what we did here was substitute a mashed cauliflower.

I know. Really? On Thanksgiving? Seriously, this recipe not only works, it is delicious, easy, and makes for great “back on track” leftovers. That is half the problem with Thanksgiving calories — they are the gift that keeps on giving.

We are talking days of repeat bad behavior until the food finally runs out. Just arm yourself with healthy alternatives and you are good to go. So far we’ve addressed the sweet potatoes, the green beans and the mashed potatoes.

The turkey, if you opt for the white meat without skin, is perfectly healthy as is. The crescent rolls are beyond repair. The best we can advise here is to limit yourself to one. Good luck on that.

Cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’


1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets

1/2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon chicken or vegetable

1/4 cup 0% Face yogurt

4 tbls. Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

pepper to taste


Steam cauliflower, or boil in about two inches of water, for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. In small bowl mix together bouillon paste, yogurt, cheese an, garlic and salt. Puree this mixture and cauliflower together in blender or food processor until creamy.

Add pepper to taste. Calories for 3 /4 cups: 41. Laps around Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park Fitness Center’s indoor track: 6.5 for women; 4.5 for men.

This column is courtesy of Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District staff and fitness club members, reminding us to eat responsibly during the holidays. For more information on how you can stay in shape during the winter months visit

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