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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hatch Valley Cauliflower with Cheese

I grew up on cauliflower and cheese sauce. I loved the way my mama made it. I used to watch her cooking the cheese sauce, scaring me as she used a sharp knife to slice the cheese while standing over the saucepan. Fear that she would cut into her thumb kept me mesmerized. She still cuts that way, but I never do. I always slice away from me. But that is probably how I learned to make a good sauce. Of course, making a low carb sauce is trickier. This one is not so tough, though.

American cheese melts easily. Glucomannan thickens without too many lumps. And Hatch Chile?
Well, that adds a punch, for sure!  We finally got a Trader Joe's in my town. Woohoo. This sauce features their Trader "Jose's" Hatch Valley Salsa. Filled with fire roasted Hatch hot green chiles, and a few tomatillos and lime juice to tame the heat. Perfect with my cheese sauce.  Of course, you can sub any salsa verde and get a very similar dish.

Hatch Valley Cauliflower with Cheese

1 head cauliflower, quartered
1 cup water
3/4 tsp glucomannan
1/4 cup Hatch Valley Salsa (or salsa verde)
3 oz American cheese
1/4 tsp salt

Steam cauliflower. While it is cooking, prepare sauce. Combine water and glucomannan in a saucepan. Stir until dissolved. Add salsa. Heat to a simmer. Add cheese, diced or sliced, stirring well. Add salt to taste.

Serves 6:  82 calories  6 net g carb

 We used the sauce over steamed cauliflower and used a it on our burger patties also. Yum.  The sauce is  nice and thick. You may need more or less depending on the strength of your glucomannan. You might prefer to use xanthan gum, although I find it harder to blend in without lumps. This may make more than you need for one head of cauliflower. Keep the extra to serve with some scrambled eggs. I bet you will like it!

The sun was setting as I took the photos for this. I took a few that really did not have enough light. That is how you know this is real life cooking and not a set up with a food stylist. So here are some real photos, and although the lighting looks different from the top photo, I promise it is the same dish!

Since I am a newbie at Trader Joe's, please share with me your favorites. I found fennel at a great price, so be looking for a new recipe there. What do you like?

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Amanda said...

This is lovely!! I will be making it soon! Hunt down the riced cauliflower in the freezer section - total time saver!!

Lisa Marshall said...

I found that too. It would be a great time--and mess--saver! I just made a huge batch of caulirice in my blender. That is fast. I froze several bags full to use later.

ladygray said...

What is glucomannan and where can I find it?

Lisa Marshall said...

ladygray, glucomannan is a thickener made from the konjac root. It has no flavor and is a powerful thickener. I currently use the NOW brand. Here is a link from my Amazon Store..

homework help online said...

This recipe looks really great and tasty. Besides it low carbs! I'll definitely try it today!

Unknown said...

Can you describe what "American Cheese" you are using? Kraft American Cheese? Or deli cheese? Thanks.

Unknown said...

This looks wonderful! In addition to the riced cauliflower at Trader Joe's, look in the frozen section for grilled cauliflower and grilled asparagus! Also in fresh produce find the sliced jicama sticks and dip them in salsa! Yum!

Anonymous said...

Lisa - there are several articles about the best and worst things to buy at Trader Joe's. I certainly do love mine. None of these articles feature low carb, but you can pick and choose what you might like.

This link is more financial - the things that are most cost effective to buy there:

This article is very general, and I highly agree about nuts and cheeses. Also, he didn't list their hummus, but it's amazing:

And this one is more about shelf products. I've tried almost all of these and can vouch for them all. In the dark chocolate category, low carbers can get buy with a handful of the dark chocolate edamame, and it's amazing!

Enjoy reading!

Darlene said...

My favorite thing at Trader Joe's is the canned coconut cream! I cannot find it anywhere else without added sugar. I use it all the time for blender drinks, ice cream, and in puddings, etc. They also have good coconut flour and almond meal.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info. I've never heard of it.

Unknown said...

Can xanthen gum or guar gum as out as thickeners, tummy issues... Does glucomannan have a reputation for the same problem?

Unknown said...

Can xanthen gum or guar gum as out as thickeners, tummy issues... Does glucomannan have a reputation for the same problem?

Lisa Marshall said...


I am not sure if glucomannan would cause digestive upsets for you. My thoughts would tend to think it might, since it serves the same as a thickener. I would try this with caution.