An Easter Side Dish: Healthy(ish) Cauliflower Souffle

When I think of Easter, there are many traditional dishes that come to mind. I gravitate towards light and fresh, as in roasted lamb with rosemary and honey, asparagus served with lemon, mint, and feta…perhaps some red new potatoes with parsley and sea salt.  I do not necessarily think of cauliflower.  At all.   But let’s trust.  For a minute at least, hear me out.

You need to make this.  Like, yesterday.  It is so easy, so light, so fresh. It’s a great companion to any dish and with this recipe you won’t need an EKG any time soon.  I literally convinced my stepsons it was mac and cheese.  Just saying...

Buy a large head of cauliflower.

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Wash and cut into 1-inch pieces

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Fill a pot with an inch or so of water and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower and steam, covered, for about 5 minutes, or until cauliflower can be easily pierced with a fork.  When finished, drain and set aside.

In the meantime, prepare 1/4 butter and 1/4 cup flour.

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Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and when it’s just starting to brown, add the flour. Stir together. Reduce heat to low and slowly stir in one cup of milk, whisking until thick.

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Add salt and cayenne pepper.  Stir in one cup of cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar- it does not matter- I have tried them all with equal success).

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Remove from heat.  Stir in 3/4 egg whites (or 4 eggs).

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Gently add cauliflower.

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Pour into a dish and bake at 300 for an hour and 15 minutes.

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Check your pulse.  Make sure you’re still breathing.

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YUP…alive…life is that good and that easy.  NBD.

Cauliflower Souffle

1 large cauliflower, but into small, 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup fat-free milk

1 tsp salt

A few dashes of cayenne pepper

8 oz shredded cheese (mozzarella or parmesan recommended, but any will do)

3/4 cup egg whites (or 4 eggs)

Steam cauliflower until it can be pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. In a pot, melt butter over medium heat and add flour. Gradually add the milk, whisking often, until thick.  Add salt and cayenne pepper.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Remove pot from heat. Slowly stir in egg whites.  Gently mix in cauliflower.  Pour into a dish and bake at 300 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Edible Easter Nests

Yesterday was officially the first day of spring and Easter is only two weeks from Sunday.  In other words, what better time to share one of my favorite spring traditions, edible bird nests?  They are so unbelievably NBD and serve many purposes all-in-one, including hostess gift, name card holder, table decor, and dessert (just to name a few).  I love me some efficiency-eeeeeeeee.

With only 4 ingredients, they require little effort or expense.  Seriously, if you can make Rice Krispies treats, you can make these.

Oh, these lil’ ole things?  The only problem being that they’re almost too cute to eat.

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My Mom’s Swedish Easter Bird Nests

1/4 cup butter

10 oz. marshmallows

5 cups crumbled Shredded Wheat

A  dash of cinnamon

Melt 1/4 cup of butter on low heat in a large pot.  Pour in 10 oz. regular marshmallows and slowly melt together.  Sprinkle mixture with a dash of cinnamon.  Add 5 cups shredded wheat that has been crushed and pulled apart to look like little “sticks.” Stir and remove from heat.  Let it cool for a few minutes.  If it’s too hot it will not only burn your hands, but will be too sticky to be malleable.  Form into small little “nests” and place on a plate.  Fill with jellybeans or Cadbury milk chocolate mini eggs.

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No big deal, right?

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Happy Spring!  Stay tuned for table ideas and simple recipes.