Smashed Cauliflower and Broccoli

The past few weeks in the Owl’s Nest (our house) have been even crazier than usual.  The end of grad school for my second master’s degree, the other one’s extended trip out of town, extreme reorganization of the garage including the construction of three L-shaped shelves, yoga, running (in my new minimalist shoes), birthday parties, senior prom (for my students….I never want to relive that experience), well over 16 hours of daylight, moose in the garage, beavers on bike rides, more house reorganizing, more yoga, more running, and our normal day jobs have left very, very little time in for fun in the kitchen.  Most meals have been thrown together with ingredients found in the cupboards and fridge, followed by many iterations of reincarnation into something else over the next few days.

With all of those excuses made, there has been almost no re-imagining in this kitchen, mostly because there hasn’t been any cooking.  I mean, who wants to read about baked broccoli and asparagus?  Not me, that’s for one. 

Sorry friends and neighbors, tonight’s post is equally as unexciting, but very delicious.  We made smashed cauliflower and broccoli to accompany our many different options for leftovers.  Not only was it extremely healthy, but also deliciously tasty.  The perfect consistency of smashed–not pasty, not grainy, not too lumpy–paired with great seasonings (chives, garlic, Capitol Hill seasoning from my favorite spice shop in the universe that unfortunately lives in Colorado, salt, pepper, and sour cream) led to an innovative and yummy side dish.  I can’t wait to make it again for a more elegant feast, say, Thanksgiving. 

The seasons are changing, things around the Owl’s Nest are changing (for the better!), and jobs are potentially changing (again a good thing).  It’s time to change from mashed potatoes to mashed cauliflower and broccoli.  Change is good, and this change is great!

Our lovely leftovers, clockwise from top left if you have any interest:  jasmine rice from Whole Foods that my mother lovingly ships to us, blackened halibut with my own blackening spice, silver salmon that we caught in Seward last year topped with a jalapeno-apple jam that we bought in Homer, roasted veggies, the baked broccoli and asparagus.

Smashed Cauliflower and Broccoli:
Created by yours truly

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1ish tablespoons of Capitol Hill seasoning
  • 1-2 teaspoons of light sour cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder (certainly to taste)
  • a number of grinds of fresh black peppercorns
  • salt to taste 
  • asiago cheese to shred on top
  1. Cut the cauliflower and the broccoli into bite size pieces.
  2. Place in the steamer vessel in a large pan.
  3. Steam until a fork can very easily pierce through both types of veggies.
  4. Drain all of the water and remove the steamer.  Place the veggies back in the large (and empty) pan.
  5. Add seasonings and sour cream.
  6. Smash with a potato masher for a bit, but not too much.
  7. Taste.  Adjust seasonings to your taste.
  8. Serve and top with freshly shredded asiago cheese.
  9. Forget about potatoes.

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