So we botched the Cauliflower Alfredo recipe from the Dr. Oz show and accidentally made it healthier than intended.
Luckily, it was still so good that we were scraping the”sauce” off the sides of the bowl. And I really do mean “we” — kids included — even though the sauce is basically nothing more than pureed cauliflower, chicken bullion and parmesan cheese.
If you want the official recipe, click here. But here’s what we did:
We microwaved a 12-ounce bag of frozen cauliflower and pureed it in the blender. But we hadn’t cooked it enough and it was hard to puree, so we put it back in the microwave, this time with a cup of chicken bullion in place of the chicken stock that the official recipe calls for. (We doubled the recipe, though it’s unclear how 12 ounces of frozen cauliflower translates to half a head of a raw one.)
Second time around, it pureed just fine. But that’s when we looked at the recipe and discovered we were supposed to heat shallots in olive oil and mix that with the cauliflower and “chicken stock” before we pureed everything.
We had no shallots. (Have we ever had shallots?) So it was either heat chopped onions in four tablespoons of olive oil and add to blender, or just proceed as if we’d simply forgotten the whole oil business.
We moved forward, as they say. All that remained was adding the Parmesan cheese. Two cups seemed like kind of a lot, so we added 1 1/2 cups, did a taste test, and could hardly stop tasting the sauce. So we decided it was done.
At that point we added the cauliflower Alfredo sauce to 16 ounces of cooked whole wheat pasta, and dinner was served.
On Friday I decided to take another crack at this, disturbed by our quick crappy cell-phone photo and haunted by the idea that the unwitting “healthy cook” could taste this pureed cauliflower and wind up downing the entire 2-cup batch without realizing doing so would cost you 480 calories just for the Parmesan cheese — even if you didn’t put it on pasta.
The thing is, Parmesan cheese is pretty low-cal and low-fat, until you start adding it to a sauce by the cupful. So for the second batch, I used 1 6-ounce cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt and half a cup of Parmesan cheese.
As far as I could tell, it tasted every bit as good. But this time each 1/4 cup serving of sauce came out to just one Weight Watchers point, with 35 calories, 4 grams of protein, 1.5 carbs, 1.5 grams of fat and zero fiber. Go crazy and eat the whole thing, sans sauce, and you’d be looking at a maximum of 280 calories’ worth of damage, or 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus.