Hands up, who could ever resist the allure of piping hot, crispy and gooey ‘tater’ tots prior to surgery. No hands? Thought so … and who would love to see them on the menu again – but this time with fewer calories, nutritionally more sound and kinder on the bariatric pouch? Full house of hands I bet!
Well you can …
but not made with potato, this time with cauliflower and I’m betting you won’t be able to tell the difference. For these little gems come flavoured with Parmesan, chives or spring onions/scallions and mix and match wonderfully with a tomato sauce, a dip or just plain alongside a protein food like grilled/broiled fish, steak, poultry, ham or eggs.
They’re made with cauliflower rice (which is easy to make – see here) you’ll need 1 cauliflower to get about 400 g/3 cups mixture or use 2 x 200 g/7 oz packets ready prepared. I used the plain variety but you could experiment with Mediterranean flavoured (with tomatoes, olives, peppers/capsicums and herbs) or my favourite Lemon Grass and Chilli. Alternatively flavour your own plain one with herbs and spices to suit your tastebuds. The rice is then mixed with strongly-flavoured low-fat Parmesan cheese and seasonings then shaped into logs, bite-sized rounds or larger patties as liked. We’ve tried them plain, with chives and spring onions/scallions and also with finely chopped ham – all delicious. Cooking times are given but will vary upon the size of ‘taters’ you make .
We like to serve them as an appetiser or light lunch dish but they make a good main course accompaniment or special breakfast/brunch dish with ham and eggs (see below on our Bariatric Portion Plate).
MOCK ‘TATER’ FLORET TOTS
1 head cauliflower (made into cauliflower rice – see here) or 400 g/3 cups ready-prepared cauli rice
80 g/8 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (or other very strongly-flavoured low-fat hard cheese)
6 tbsp snipped chives or spring onion/scallion
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
low-fat cooking spray or mist
- Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/gas 7. Line a baking sheet or tray with non-stick easy-glide and spritz well with low-fat cooking spray or mist.
- Mix the cauli rice with the Parmesan, chives or spring onions and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the egg and mix well. Using the hands squeeze and shape the mixture into small logs, bites or patties as liked – squeezing gently to a firm shape. The mixture will make about 12 croquette logs, 24 bites and 6 larger patties. Place on the baking sheet or tray.
- Spritz generously with low-fat cooking spray or mist and bake for 18 minutes for the bites, about 23 minutes for the croquette logs and about 25-27 minutes for the patties. If liked, turn the ‘taters’ over halfway through the cooking time for equal browning (but not essential). Serve hot.
MAKES: 12 croquette size, 24 bites, 6 large patties
WLS PORTION: 1-2 croquettes, 3-4 bites and 1 pattie
V suitable for Vegetarians
PROTEIN: 4.7/2.35/9.2 g
CARBOHYDRATE: 0.8/0.4/1.6 g
FAT: 3.4/1.7/6.8 g