Monday, May 23, 2016

Low-Carb Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin

This Low-Carb Ham and Cauliflower Casserole Au Gratin is definitely a treat for low-carb comfort food, and it's also gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly.

at least 6 cups cauliflower flowerets, cut fairly small (1 large head cauliflower or 1 1/2 small heads)
1/2 tsp. salt (for water to cook cauliflower)
2 cups diced lean ham
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I used my favorite fat-free Greek yogurt but you can also make this with sour cream if you prefer.)
2 T finely-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
fresh ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (or more, depending on the size of your dish)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Fill a medium-sized pot half full with water, add 1/2 tsp. salt, and start to bring to a boil.  Cut up the cauliflower into small flowerets, discarding the leaves and core.  Put cauliflower pieces into the water and cook at a low boil until the cauliflower is starting to get barely sort. Check it often and don't overcook; the cauliflower will soften more in the oven.

While cauliflower is cooking, cut the ham into very small cubes and slice green onions. Put cream cheese into a glass dish or measuring cup and soften it in the microwave for a few minutes.   (Or you can soften it on top of the pre-heating oven if you don't have a microwave.)  When cream cheese is soft stir in the Greek yogurt (or sour cream), Parmesan, and sliced green onions.

When cauliflower is cooked enough to start to soften, pour into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain well (at least 5 minutes.)  Put the drained cauliflower back into the pot you cooked it in and mash with a potato masher until it's barely mashed with quite a few chunks left.  Stir in the sauce mixture and combine well with the cauliflower; then gently mix in the diced ham.  Season to taste with fresh-ground black pepper.  (I didn't use salt because the ham and the Parmesan are both salty.)

Spray glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.  (I used a round dish that was 8 inches across with fairly high sides the first time I made this. For the new photos I used a glass casserole dish that was about 8" x 10".)  Pour cauliflower mixture into the dish, spread out evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and all the mixture is hot throughout and starting to bubble.  Let sit 10 minutes for any liquid to be absorbed, then serve hot.

I am assuming that this freezes well, but I still haven't tried freezing it because I never have any leftovers.

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