Summer Sides: Faux-tato Salad

I’ve mentioned before that in the heat of Texas summers, I want to keep my kitchen cool, especially in the middle of the day.  That means that I’m constantly looking for summer-friendly recipes, that require no cooking, or only stove-top cooking, or cooking overnight in a crockpot.  Today I’m sharing with you my new favorite summer side: Faux-tato salad.

Let me first tell you that my mom’s potato salad has long been a favorite at our family picnics and barbecues.  It’s simple and delicious, perfect to serve with a sandwich, or with a burger, or with barbecue, or even just as a tasty snack. I’ve been saddened since I started following http://trimhealthymama.com about a lot of potato dishes I was going to miss out on, but I was not thrilled with all the cauliflower replacement options.  I think that’s because I made the mashed cauliflower as my first attempt, and it just did not turn out well.  So it took me a few months to try again, with the Fotato Soup (it’s in the THM book!), which I really enjoyed.

As the Fourth of July rolled around and we started to plan our annual get-together and fireworks show, I knew that there was no way I’d be able to resist Mom’s potato salad if I didn’t have a good substitute.  So I experimented. for the family. on July 4th. I don’t normally recommend this, especially after my mashed faux-tatoes at Christmas!  But this time, oh it was lovely.  yummy. and gone before the real stuff sitting next to it!

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Now, I know this is not really beautiful (and my cellphone pic is really bad quality). But don’t let the look fool you – it is a delicious replacement for potato salad. By the way, P-Daddy really hates that I call this Faux-tato Salad.  He thinks potato salad – and potatoes in general – are just ick. He says it’s just good Cauliflower Salad.  He’s Chinese.  He doesn’t understand that this Southern girl misses her potatoes! Calling potato salad something different would be like calling his beloved noodles spaghetti. So I told him that when he makes it, he can call it whatever he wants. But for now, it’s Faux-tato Salad!

This recipe is super-easy to make! Basically, you start with this:

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1 bag of cauliflower
2 boiled eggs
a few dill pickles
1/2 a small onion (or about 1/4 of a large one)
1/2 cup of mayo
2 TBSP vinegar, lemon juice, or pickle juice

Now, while this recipe just takes a few key ingredients, and is pretty easy, it’s hard to whip up in just a couple minutes.  See, this recipe works best when your cauliflower and eggs are chilled before making the salad.  So the first thing you need to do is steam that bag of cauliflower.  You want it cooked, but not mushy. Drain it well and cut it into bite-size pieces, then chill it for a while.  Last time I made this, I didn’t want to wait for fridge cooling, so I stuck it in a colander, and then put the colander in a bowl of ice water. Leave it for a bit and then drain it well.  Really well.  You don’t want much moisture left or your potato salad might end up a bit too runny (don’t ask how I know). You can chill your eggs the same way if you want. Or, if you are more organized in the kitchen than me, you can steam the cauliflower and boil the eggs the night before.

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Chop up the eggs whatever size you want them in your potato salad.  Finely dice the dill pickles and onion (a lazy cook like me might just grate it), and then add all that to the cauliflower.  You probably want to have the cauliflower in a real bowl at that point, rather than in a colander.  Just sayin’.

In a cup, mix the vinegar, lemon juice, or pickle juice (I’m a lazy cook, and since the pickle jar was right there, that’s what I used, but you can use whichever you prefer). Whisk those together until smooth and then pour it over the cauli concoction.  Mix gently until the mayo covers everything. Salt and pepper generously and you’ve get a great summer side almost ready to go. You could serve it then, but really, it’s better chilled.  Remember what I said about it being hard to whip up and eat in just a few minutes?  Toss it in the fridge to chill.  All the flavors will meld a bit and it will be really incredibly yummy.  Just try it. But remember to try it without carby stuff, since this is a solid S meal with the mayo and eggs in it.

You know what I really love about this recipe? It uses absolutely nothing that would be considered a specialty ingredient, but instead is made of items that I pretty much always have in my house anyway. Well, except today, since I need more cauliflower.  Especially after making this baby since my faux-tato salad was so successful:

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That’s not cauliflower, you say?  Ha – Fooled Ya!  [If you are a Trim Healthy Mama, you'll get that!  if you are not a Trim Healthy Mama, well, perhaps you should be!]

I’m linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen’s Nest and Stacy Makes Cents – head on over to check out all the other THM-friendly treats they have to offer!

8 thoughts on “Summer Sides: Faux-tato Salad

  1. This sounds really good. I made faux mashed potatoes before but never thought about substituting the potatoes in a potato salad. I’m a southern gal too and I know all to well what that potato salad means to ya.

    I’m going to have to try this at home, but I’ll go with your husbands idea of calling it a cauliflower salad just so my husband will eat it. The tricks we play right.

  2. I have to try this. I love the mock mashed potato cauliflower. It’s definitely going to be on the menu for Thanksgiving. Now maybe this can be on my summer menu. Thanks!

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