Mashed Potato Redo: Cauliflower Millet Mash

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Yes, yes, you love mashed potatoes. And you wouldn’t substitute anything for them in this world.  I love mashed potatoes too, but after years of drowning those poor tubers in too much butter and milk, I went looking for something else that could be a suitable substitute for that creamy dish that is so reminiscent of fall.


What is it about colder weather that makes me want to hunker down and immediately start using my slow cooker?  Last week I was working the grill, and in a matter days, with the morning temperature at 42 (yes, 42!) degrees this morning, all cooking officially comes inside until spring.


This is a recipe I am featuring in my Fall Cleanse and for good reason.  Millet, with its reputation as a featured addition in many bags of bird seed, also happens to be a delicious and nourishing whole grain.  Okay, it is actually a seed, but it somehow has earned a spot in the whole grain hall of fame. Millet is not only filling, it is gluten free, full of fiber and a good amount of minerals.  It has a slightly nutty taste that falls somewhere in between quinoa and couscous.


This time, however, I am combining my millet with cauliflower, then blending in the food processor to make a dreamy substitute for our beloved mashed potatoes.  I have to warn you, the combination of millet and cauliflower does not make a super smooth, texture free mash, but either does your mom’s potatoes.  The millet retains some of its texture, which I like; it gives this mash some interest. The taste though? Creamy, with a hint of garlic. Did I mention no milk or butter? Did I tell you it is loaded with vegetables and you don’t even realize it? Trust me on this one. It will become your new favorite side dish for the fall, all cozy with your slow braised chicken or roast. You will feel so good eating it.


Cauliflower Millet Mash

Makes 4 cups


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup millet

3 cups of cauliflower florets,

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water

1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat.  Add the onions with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and sauté until softened and just getting golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds.
  2. Add the millet and cauliflower and combine with the onions.  Add the water, bring up to a boil then down to a simmer.  Cover and let cook for 25 minutes, until the millet is soft.
  3. Transfer to a food processor and mix until it is creamy.  You could use a potato masher instead if you really want texture. Add in the parsley, if using, and pulse to combine.  Serve warm.


Copyright© Heather Carey, MS 2014