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Side Dish: Mashed Cauliflower With Cheddar & Chives

A lot of people are talking all kinds of diets, fads, “health drinks” and other such things. It’s no secret that my husband and I have been on a health quest, walking, getting more fit, and the like. We’ve been trying tons of new recipes, some within those “diet” preference kinds. We try some, just because they sound good!

We love lots of vegetables, and trying vegetable recipes.

We were once “accused” of believing that salad was dessert because we eat so much of it.

We do love our salad.

For Easter, I intended to use a Mock Mashed Potato recipe we’ve used for Thanksgiving before, but discovered at the last minute that I lacked many of the ingredients, except the cauliflower. Sometimes we like roasted cauliflower, and one of those favorite recipes was in the running for a last minute change of plans, but I decided to go rogue and create my own recipe instead.

In the interest of keeping it real and not so Pinterest worthy, because real life is messy and I can be a hot mess, I forgot to take a before photo.

You are stuck with our leftovers photos!

I’m not that sorry, honestly.

Sometimes the phone camera just needs to stay put away.

As you can see, it was heartily eaten.

Mashed Cauliflower With Cheddar and Chives~Serves about 12-16

  • 4 heads of cauliflower cut into bite sized chunks and steamed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1.5 cups of shredded Cheddar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (I added more than this once I tasted it though.)
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 3/4 tsp chicken broth powder, low salt, no msg
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (add more or less to taste but that is where I started)

Steam cauliflower and blend in a food processor with a stick of butter. Add yogurt and seasonings and process until blended. Pour into a baking dish and stir in shredded cheese. Bake at 350° until warmed through, cheese begins to melt, and slightly brown on top. Serve hot.

We served our Mashed Cauliflower with a spiral ham, glazed, from Hickory Farms. We also had the freshest deviled eggs after our own homegrown eggs were laid by our very own chickens a day or two ahead of Easter. My youngest daughter and I did a fun activity making Resurrection Rolls.

My mother in law contributed roasted asparagus, salad, and a potato casserole. She also made an iced lemon cake for dessert.

We had a lovely Easter!

What is your favorite Easter food?



Don’t forget the April Customer special and Flexi of the Month! 

Black Bean & Brown Rice Burgers with Spinach, Mushrooms, Bacon, and Cheese

We’re a pretty adventurous family when it comes to trying new recipes and new foods. We don’t mind spicy, we love vegetables, and we’re even okay with meatless options. We don’t subscribe to any one diet other than portion control, focus on protein and vegetables. We try keto, grain, dairy, and egg free recipes, Whole 30, Paleo diet, meatless recipes just because they sound good to us, believing any extreme diet is likely unhealthy, but they each have their good points. We’re up for most anything.

A little while back we went to a restaurant with my parents. Our youngest daughter, nine at the time, shared that she was tired of kids’ menu options that are boring and not particularly filling. She politely asked if she could try the adult menu. We said she could, but imagine our surprise when our nine year old opted to try spicy black bean burgers! That is definitely not something I would have tried with all the other options on a restaurant menu, nor would I have expected from a child! She tried them, though, and not only did she eat the entire burger and sides, but she loved spicy black bean burgers!

I’ve been traveling. My aunt just celebrated her 80th birthday, and my cousin was throwing her a surprise birthday brunch back in New England. One only turns 80 once, and I miss many celebrations because of the distance. I didn’t want to miss this milestone celebration!

My 80 year old aunt, cousins, brothers, and my son and his wife.

Plus, my niece is in Girl Scouts and she’s selling cookies. What better travel staple than Girl Scout cookies from my young niece! And my Lilla Rose bobby pins and hair band!


But, I’m chasing squirrels here…because I had been traveling, and because I’d left sick children who weren’t eating much, there isn’t much in the way of food in the house. While I was away the children and husband survived on a 16 quart pot of chicken noodle soup I’d prepared for the sickies before leaving, and there were lots of eggs from our chickens for the non sickies. Imagine four days in a row of chicken noodle soup and eggs. The family is quite bored with their food options! Yet, yesterday I had appointments, errands, and did I mention not much food in the house? I didn’t have time to prepare a fantastic meal last night.

I had a stash of cooked and frozen black beans, left over frozen rice….and staples in the freezer or pantry. I knew I had to be creative around the time limitations, but not make the family feel deprived.

I decided to make black bean burgers. I consulted with a few recipes before coming up with my own.  I topped them with a spinach, mushroom, bacon, cheese sauce because we had those ingredients too. The family thought they were great.

Black Bean & Brown Rice Burgers, LoveLeavingLegacy Style

  • 4 cups of soaked and cooked black beans
  • 4 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 2 green peppers diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 7 oz can diced chili peppers
  • minced garlic to taste
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of tabasco sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bread crumbs as needed

In the food processor blend the beans and rice. Mix in remaining ingredients except bread crumbs. Then, add bread crumbs a little at a time until the mixture holds a burger form. Form 8-12 burger patties on a broiling pan, and broil til crispy and brown on low broiling temperature.

While burgers are broiling, prepare the spinach, mushroom, bacon, and cheese sauce.

Spinach, Mushroom, Bacon, and Cheese Sauce

  • 1 large poly bag spinach (one that serves 10)
  • 1 large onion
  • minced garlic to taste
  • 4 8 oz packages of sliced portabella mushrooms (My family thinks I should have chopped these more finely.)
  • 12 oz package of turkey bacon
  • 8 oz non fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pepper to taste

In a large pan, saute bacon, onions, and garlic. When bacon is nearly crispy, add mushrooms and saute until almost softened. Add spinach and saute until wilted and incorporates easily into the rest of the bacon/vegetable mixture. In the food processor, blend together remaining ingredients. Add to vegetable bacon mixture, and stir over low heat until melted and creamy.

Serve over Black Bean and Rice Burgers. Serves 8-10. Option: Serve with whole or halved cherry tomatoes on the side.

I love that spring fruits and vegetables are on sale again, and we loaded up on cantaloupe and berries at the grocery store. We served a cantaloupe cubed as a sweet side to our dinner last night.

As I said, my family raved, and they’ve asked me to make them again. Score one for Mom!

Maybe they were just grateful it wasn’t another chicken noodle soup night?

If you try our concoction, tell us what you think in the comments!





Taco Soup Is On!

We’ve sort of had to live out of our storehouse and freezer lately, and needed to be super frugal with our food budget.  Being frugal with a food budget is tough for average sized families, but this is magnified with a larger than average sized family. I’ve learned that it’s a whole lot easier to accomplish this if I have been working on a “storehouse” with dried good foods, canned or frozen foods from the garden we grew, or when there are really fabulous sales that stock the pantry. We actually have two stand up freezers. One is for frozen vegetables and cheese. Another is meats and pre-prepared meals and bread. We also have two refrigerators, each with a freezer. In our kitchen the small freezer is for the small things we need on hand immediately. The extra refrigerator and freezer contain items we need on hand for convenience sake, but not daily.

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

It’s a good thing the weather is changing, and it’s cooler. It means we want to eat soup!

Earlier this week, we cooked some pinto and black beans and prepared this large family version of crock pot Taco soup! It was so yummy, and with nine people eating, there were no leftovers!

Our tomatoes and sweet red pepper were frozen from our garden harvest. All ingredients are items that are purchased in bulk through out the year, except the ground turkey.

Soak and cook 2 cups of dried black beans, and 1 cup of dried pinto beans.

Brown 3 lbs of ground turkey, a large diced onion, a medium diced red sweet pepper, and minced garlic to taste (we love a lot of it.)

In an 8 quart crock pot, put the equivalent of four taco seasoning packets in (if you make your own). Add 2 quarts of stewed diced tomatoes in water, two 7 ounce cans of diced green chilis, 16 ounces of frozen corn, and the cooked beans. Add home made chicken stock until it reaches the top of the crock pot and can still put the lid on. Set the crock pot on low for the day, adding more stock if needed.

Serve with shredded cheddar and sour cream. Tortilla chips and salsa on the side or warm corn bread are nice side additions. Avocado would be yummy too!

Earlier this week, we did our fall rhubarb harvest from our own garden. One daughter cut the stalks into 1 inch pieces and filled an 8 cup measure, while another peeled and chopped 6 Gala apples. We threw it all into the crock pot with a couple of cups of water, a half cup of brown sucanat (brown sugar would work too), and a tablespoon of cinnamon. We put it on low, and let it cook to apple sauce consistency over night. The next morning, and all week, our three daughters topped a bowl of the sauce with oats, and reheated and ate this for breakfast.  They would add more cinnamon and brown sucanat to taste as they felt it needed. Rhubarb is very tart!

Photo credit from

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Budget minded people might like to consider how to bundle Lilla Rose products. Already assembled bundles are available on the Lilla Rose website, but you can also create your own! Have you considered how to pair similar style products together? Or to pair a head scarf with a pair of bobby pins or a flexi clip? How about a hat and a flexi? Or even a scarf and flexi. Here are some examples, as well as the November Flexi of the Month and November customer special.


These are while supplies last. Flexi clips are all in extra small size.

Nina braided 8 with espresso stick in medium. Tranquility hairband. Note how I paired with turquoise earrings and shirt.

A cute scarf rolled for a hair band and accessorized with an extra small flexi clip looks cute on a side fishtail braid!

Pair a scarf with an extra small flexi, a hair band, upins, bobby pins, or another flexi to coordinate your look for the day! What a great gift idea!

The November 2017 Flexi of the Month, also has coordinating bobby pins and upins. The Customer special, for a $125 purchase, includes a silver carry case, bobby pins and special Poinsettia brooch. What a beautiful collection to keep for yourself or gift to one of the ladies on your gift giving list!