Loaded Twice Baked Cauliflower

After 7 (!) Thanksgivings spent on the couch with a pile of kitties, a pile of movies, a warm, fluffy blanket, and a pile of turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches, Thanksgiving 2014 took a bit of a U-turn.  Yep.  It’s true.  There was more than one human in the house on Turkey Day this year.  Wild.  Wildman to be precise.  And there was also Loaded Twice Baked Cauliflower.

Like me, Wildman has no family anywhere close by except for his outrageously funny mother who is in her nineties and lives in a delightful retirement community just down the road.  Given that she has the capacity for not much more than an hour of exciting activity at a time, that left Wildman with about 12 hours to kill while most people were cooking up a storm with family and friends.  Being the good friend that I strive to be, I invited him to hang out – with the couch, the kitties, the movies, the warm, fluffy blanket, but without the pile of turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches.  Wildman is embarking on his own adventure towards a healthier lifestyle, so I didn’t want to encourage him to derail just because it was a holiday.

Given that he would be having a turkey-fest with his mother mid-afternoon, I really only needed to provide one hearty dish of comfort food that could be consumed while movie-watching.  I remembered Wildman mentioning – while we were on a label-reading training session at Trader Joe’s the previous week – that he had never bought a cauliflower.  In his life.  I am sure you can imagine the reaction that he got from the girl that “favors strange vegetables”.

Loaded Twice Baked Cauliflower | www.carriebrown.com

Thus it was an obvious choice when determining what to make to fuel the movie-fest.  It had to be cauliflower.  However, I had to ensure that his first foray into the world of white cruciferousness was a winner if he was to be encouraged to dabble in those waters a second time.

I’d seen several recipes for variations of twice-baked cauliflower floating around the interwebs, and it seemed like that might be a good entry point into the world of cauliflower.  So here’s my version.  I made it ‘loaded’ because in my experience anything with sour cream, cheese, bacon, and scallions added cannot possibly be bad.

It’s heavy on the fat – because we’re not afraid of fat over here – but if that bothers you feel free to use low-fat cream cheese and non-fat sour cream instead of the full-fat varieties.

The verdict?  Wildman ate 1 lb. of cauliflower on Thanksgiving.

 

Loaded Twice Baked Cauliflower

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  15 mins   |   Cook time:  45 mins    |   Total time:  1 hour   |   Serves: 6 – 8

What You Need

  • 2 lb. / 900g cauliflower
  • 6 oz. 170g cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz. / 170g sour cream
  • 6 oz. / 170g mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 6 oz. / 170g smoked Gouda cheese, grated
  • 3 oz. / 85g scallions (green onions / spring onions), thinly sliced
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil spray
  • 2 oz. / 55g sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

What You Do

  1. Break the cauliflower into very small florets and cut the big florets into smaller pieces.
  2. Steam the cauliflower until barely tender and drain really well. Leave to get cold.
  3. Cream together the cream cheese and sour cream until completely combined.
  4. Add the mozzarella, gouda, scallions, and bacon and mix well.
  5. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
  6. Gently stir in the cold cauliflower florets until mixed through the cheese mixture.
  7. Spray a casserole dish with coconut oil and spoon the cauliflower mixture evenly into it.
  8. Scatter the Cheddar evenly over the top.
  9. Place in the center of the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes – until the top is golden brown and bubbling.

 

Top Recipe Tips

  • Leave the cream cheese (still in its packet) out of the ‘fridge overnight.  This will make it much easier to use the next day.
  • Cook the cauliflower and bacon ahead of time and keep in the ‘fridge.  This makes assembling the dish really fast the day that you need it.

 

Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links

 

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Loaded Twice Baked Cauliflower | www.carriebrown.com

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  • Kati, hold the eggs - Carrie, my knees just got weak reading this. I have half a cow in my freezer, and I might serve this with every single steak I cook. The peanut gallery won’t make a peek either – he’ll be too busy stuffing his face. You’re amazing!

    And fyi, Lasagna soup might just be my new comfort food. Oh. Em. Gee.ReplyCancel

  • Kati, again - Oh balls of fire – peep, not peek. Coffee hasn’t reached my fingers yet.ReplyCancel

  • Terri Kent - Oh my gosh, this looks delicious! I’ll be trying this next week when I have a bit more time to be in the kitchen!

    Thank you, Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - I love, love, love that you had someone over for a holiday!! And the cauliflower dish looks awesome too!ReplyCancel

  • Gina - OMG this is delicious!! My daughter that will not touch a piece of cauliflower loved it and keeps asking for more! Soo filling! Doesn’t take long for the sane goodness to tell me I’m stuffed. Great for leftovers too.ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - This is amazing! Could eat it all day. AMAZING!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvia - You’ve done it again Carrie! This recipe is easy to prepare, quick to cook and amazing to eat. My kids, who have always refused to eat cauliflower, can’t get enough of this dish. Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Nina - I just made this with broccoli since I didn’t have cauliflower. I also didn’t have gouda, scallions, or bacon and it was amazing! When I make it again with all the ingredients I’m sure it will be even better. This is a definite keeper and would be perfect for Thanksgiving. I will probably keep using the broccoli because I’m always trying to find more ways to get in my greens.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Nina – I hate to admit how many times this has ended up being dinner!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - Most of the ingredients come in the 8 oz variety – sour cream, cream cheese, etc.

    Does it ruin the macros if I used the WHOLE 8 oz instead of 6 oz…. I may as well throw the rest away and I so hate waste!

    ReplyCancel

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