Cauliflower Tots

Before I get to today’s recipe, I want to welcome all of my new followers!  Seriously, the amount of notifications I have received in the last 72 hours has been overwhelming!  I’m not sure how or why it happened, but I am so happy to expand to new followers.  I hope that you all enjoy the blog!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for recipes to try as well!  (You can also follow cookbookmeals on facebook by liking this page.)

Okay, on to this figure-friendly side dish!

Tator Tots are a serious guilty pleasure of mine.  Some of my favorite school lunches in elementary school were the ones that had tator tots as a side.  As a kid, though, I wasn’t really concerned with carbs or the upcoming bathing suit season.  Nowadays, I think twice before indulging!

That is why these cauliflower tots are so wonderful!  They really tricked my taste buds into thinking I was enjoying a delicious tator tot, when in reality, I was eating a much healthier alternative.  My inspiration came from this recipe.  I changed it up a bit, mainly increasing some of the ingredients.  I probably definitely didn’t need to use that much cauliflower.  I made more than enough tots without even using up everything.  This is how much I had left after I made 25 tots:

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(Don’t worry, though.  I did not waste a single spoonful.  Look for a cauliflower “hash” with eggs recipe coming soon!)

There is a little bit of prep work, mainly because you will need to steam the cauliflower before making and baking the tots.  The tots were a little difficult to form (I think they were too wet.  Next time, I will use a steamer and not have the cauliflower directly in water when cooking.) and also to flip.  I ended not flipping them after breaking a few on my first attempts. Here is what happened when I tried:

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Most of the tots (luckily) kept their shape when I served them.  A few broke, but even the broken ones were still tasty!  If you’re a tator tot lover (like me), you should absolutely give these tots a try!

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Start with the cauliflower…

  • Cut 2 heads of cauliflower into chunks.
  • Place the cauliflower in a deep skillet.

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  • Add some water and cover.

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  • Place over medium-high heat.
  • Let simmer until fork tender (but not mushy!), about 5 minutes.

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  • Drain and let cool.

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  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°.
  • Finely chop ½ of an onion.

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  • Place the onion in a bowl and add some minced fresh parsley.  (You can definitely use dried if you don’t have any fresh!)

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  • Season with some s&p.

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  • Finely chop the cooked cauliflower.

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  • Add the cauliflower to the bowl.

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  • Pour in some breadcrumbs.

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  • Crack in 2 eggs.  (I would recommend breaking them into a small bowl first and whisking them a bit before adding!)

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  • Add some shredded cheddar cheese.

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  • Mix well to incorporate everything.
  • Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Take a small amount of the cauliflower mixture and gently squeeze it in the palm of your hand.
  • Roll to form a “tot”.
  • Place the tots on the baking sheet.

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  • Coat the top of the tots with a little more cooking spray.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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Serve with ketchup (just like you do with the real thing!).  Enjoy!

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One Year Ago: Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves

Two Years Ago: Roman Chicken

Cauliflower Tots (serves 4-6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • nonstick cooking spray

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place the cauliflower into a deep skillet.
  • Add a little water.  Do not cover the cauliflower completely.
  • Cover and place over medium-high heat.
  • Let cook for about 5 minutes, until fork tender but not mushy.
  • Drain and let cool.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°.
  • Combine the onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
  • Finely chop the cooked cauliflower.
  • Add the cauliflower to the mixing bowl, along with the breadcrumbs, eggs, and cheese.
  • Mix well to fully incorporate all ingredients.
  • Coat a baking sheet with the cooking spray.
  • Spoon some of the cauliflower mixture into your palm.
  • Gently form it into a “tot”.
  • Place the tots onto the baking sheet.
  • Coat the top of the tots with some more cooking spray.
  • Bake, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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