An April Fools’ Joke on Me & Recipe for Garlic Cauliflower Mash

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Since spring and Easter are upon us, please head over to All Through the Year Cheer to check out our Easter event.  Submit any recipe you like that says Easter to you for a chance to win a lovely prize.  Brandy and I are so excited to see what you all submit!


I love April Fools’ Day, especially as it relates to food.  Dressing up food to look like something completely different from itself is adorable and so much fun (for kiddies and adults alike!).  This April Fools’ Day I wanted to make a savory dish.  I usually eat vegetarian 3 to 4 nights a week because I really enjoy eating and incorporating vegetarian foods into my routine eating (a few of my favorites are eggs, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts, and cheese).  I thought a veggie-lentil “meat” loaf that actually looks like meat would be perfect for the occasion.  And what better to go with meat than potatoes, right?  I decided my potato fake-out would be a variation on the always-delicious mashed cauliflower. 


The “meat” loaf looks decent, right?  Almost edible in fact.  Oh how looks can be deceiving… 


Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies.  I wanted to add it to the veggie-lentil loaf to bulk it up a bit, and also to tie the flavors in with the mashed cauliflower.  In the end, this April Fools’ joke was on me.  The mashed cauliflower ended up being the best mashed cauliflower I had ever made.  It was incredibly silky smooth and creamy, and the roasted garlic gave it such a rich, deep flavor.  On the other hand, the veggie-lentil loaf was absolutely inedible.  I’m not even including the recipe here because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that.  Ever.  (Shudder.) 

img_8424-smallCauliflower, being a cruciferous veggie (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale) can be very potent.  Have you ever driven by a cabbage field and you knew instantly that it was a cabbage field because of its odor?  This veggie-lentil loaf tasted how a cabbage field smells.  If I ever make a veggie-lentil loaf again (trust me, it will be a while), I will definitely leave out the cauliflower. 

img_7334-smallAs part of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program, I recently received two jars of sauce from Bertolli – a creamy alfredo sauce called Four Cheese Rosa and a spicy red tomato sauce called Arrabbiata.  (A huge thank you goes out to Foodbuzz and Bertolli!)  I love both sauces; the Four Cheese Rosa is creamy and absolutely delicious with a hint of tomato, and the Arrabbiata is a nice combination of spicy and sweet with both crushed red pepper and red bell pepper.  Why am I talking about these sauces now?  I decided to add some Arrabbiata sauce to the veggie-lentil loaf (both inside the loaf and on top as a ketchup replacement) and this sauce ended up being the one good thing about the veggie-lentil loaf.  The Arrabbiata sauce was also amazing inside an omelet with mozzarella cheese and spinach.


I’m sending my Garlic Cauliflower Mash over to Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice for her Side-Dish Showdown!

img_8394-small Garlic Cauliflower Mash


(Yield:  4 servings)


1/2 small-medium head cauliflower, chopped

4 medium turnips, peeled and sliced

4-5 large cloves garlic

1/2 TB olive oil

4 oz Neufchatel Cheese

Salt and pepper

Fresh parsley (optional; for garnish)


Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a small piece of aluminum foil, place the garlic cloves (still in their peels), olive oil, and a pinch of salt; wrap up the garlic and bake for 1 hour, until the garlic is soft.


Boil the cauliflower and turnips together until very tender.  In a food processor, pulse together the cooked cauliflower and turnips, the roasted garlic (removed from the peels), and the cheese until combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve garnished with fresh parsley if desired.


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  1. says

    Faith, I must tell you how amazing it is that you make failed recipes look delicious. Tell us the trick. When I fail, I really fail and it looks it.

    I want to thank you for your most kind comments on my blogs. You really give thought to what you wrote or you just write the best thing.

  2. says

    such a fun food fool! it looks great! I so want to make the mashed cauliflower, it looks really silk! will it work with any kind of cheese? because I don’t know what’s Neufchatel Cheese.

    • admin says

      Coco, Neufchatel cheese is similar to cream cheese, but with 1/3 less fat and a nice tangy flavor. As a substitute for Neufchatel cheese, you could use cream cheese, laughing cow, or mascarpone. If you make this recipe, let me know how you like it! :)

  3. says

    I wonder if I can get my carnivorous husband to eat these delicious vegetarian dishes … ? If I can’t get him to eat these, I can’t get him to eat anything! :) And I have to agree: cruciferous = super stink.

  4. says

    Girl, this made me laugh b/c I’ve been there (as I’m sure have most people)! Doncha hate it when you spend so much time making something you have high hopes for and it utterly fails? Hate it! You totally redeemed yourself with the mashed cauliflower, however, and actually both items look really yummy. I like your April Fools idea–very cute!

  5. says

    Thanks for giving me a great idea for cauliflower use! I love that veggie but always end up using it the same way, with tarator sauce and this mash sounds wonderful!

  6. says

    I love this cauliflower mash and will soon try this one ,i have begun baking a storm for the easter contest :-)))))….
    And jus finshed dressing up a part and got to set the oven firing for the next one :-)))))
    Love this post ,there’s so muc happenin here :-))))
    cheers and super fantastic day to u ….

  7. says

    Faith> I have always had trouble with those veggie loaves… they so often taste like dirt. Cauliflower has some chemical in it that reacts badly to long cooking ( I think I read this in McGee) so a loaf would bring out it’s worst characteristic. The side dish, however, is a keeper. I can’t wait to try it. It also looks so snowy and lovely next to the ‘dark matter”. PS What amazing packaging for that sauce!

  8. says

    That looks just like mashed potatoes! I’ve seen a lot of recipes as of late for cauliflower. I haven’t tried any yet but I really need to. It sounds so nice and healthy. Sorry about your mishap! ;)

  9. says

    I just love mashed cauliflower. My husband, on the other hand, gags at the thought (even though he likes cauliflower, or so he tells me!). As for the “meatloaf” – I can’t say that I’d ever attempt that even if it DID turn out well! I’m sorry that it didn’t, though.

  10. says

    Faith, where do you live and I need directions. I really really reacted strongly to seeing this meal. It is the epitome of a warm plate of comfort. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes (or cauliflower) really bring me joy. I’m so glad to see your April Fool’s Fake out. It looks absolutely delicious. I can’t believe how smooth and creamy the cauliflower is! You should be in the midst of writing a cookbook.

  11. says

    i won’t lie–if i was expecting mashed potatoes (quite possibly my favorite side dish of all) and got a mouthful of mashed cauliflower instead, i’d be angry. i’d see red. then i’d get over it, enjoy the delicious mash, go home, and whip up some true mashed taters. :)

  12. says

    Hahaha, that’s funny. I had a kitchen disaster happening yesterday with some muffins… it’s maddening to see that a dish you are making doesn’t turn out right!
    The mashed cauliflower sounds delicious though, I usually just mash it and season it with salt and pepper, but this recipe sounds delicious!

  13. says

    Funny post! I think some diet I was on once had a mashed cauliflower dish…they referred to it as faux mashed potatoed. I’ll look it up and see if it’s like yours.
    The meatloaf is a crying shame. It happens, though.

  14. says

    I love cauliflower mash! Mine never comes out as smooth and creamy. It must be the delicious cream cheese you added! How unique to add turnips. Sorry about the meatloaf – it looks really good. Thanks for sending this to the Showdown!

  15. says

    Oh no! I am so sorry about the “meat loaf”!!! If you decide to re-do with meat, Emily of just posted a meatloaf recipe she raved about with lean beef or turkey. Just a thought ;)

    I bought a head of cauliflower to make a 50/50 tater-cauliflower blend, but this cauliflower mash sounds wonderful!!

    And thanks for your sweet comment yesterday, Faith…everyone was so wonderful and put all my fears to rest. It was really empowering for me and just what I needed. So, thank you :)

  16. says

    I’m sorry the loaf didn’t turn out the way you wanted it too but I love the April Fools concept. And at least you got some awesome cauliflower mash out of the deal! Looks delicious.

  17. says

    What an inspired mash! I love it.
    Please check out my new and improved blog. It just went up yesterday. I’d love to know what you think. Plus you can enter my giveaway for Amazon books :)
    *kisses* HH

  18. says

    Faith, I am sorry that the veggie-lentil loaf didn’t work out. It was a great attempt and very creative. I love cauliflower! Your mash looks creamy and delicious! I could definitely eat it as a main course.

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