Occasionally, I get an urge for some great comfort food. Things like pasta or fried chicken with mashed potatoes. I’ve found ways to make most of them work with substitutes that are lower in carbohydrates. To be honest, nothing is quite like pasta although a few are on the market that are low and taste pretty good.
Still, for a pasta or potato substitute, I keep coming back to the good old cauliflower. When it’s fresh or even frozen, the flavor is mild and works well with sauces. If you let it sit too long in the ‘fridge, it gets a stronger and not as pleasing taste. The same is true with turnips and other related vegetables.
When I saw this recipe for Chicken with Bacon, Ranch Dressing, and Penne Pasta, I was tempted to make it with a lower carb pasta, but I didn’t have any. So, I used cauliflower, and it came out great. Put that one in the make-often file. This uses pre-cooked chicken, store-bought Alfredo sauce and ranch dressing, so it comes together quickly. I used Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) Alfredo Sauce and Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb spices.
I used my smaller bread loaf/casserole pan to bake this, and it filled it up to the top. I suggest at least 1 quart, but if you add anything else to it, use a 1-1/2 quart baking dish.
Cauliflower & Chicken with Bacon Casserole
10 oz. bag frozen Cauliflower
1 cup Chicken, cooked and cut into small cubes
3/4 cup Alfredo Sauce
3 tablespoons Ranch Dressing
3 slices cooked Thick-sliced Bacon, broken into pieces
1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped or sliced
2-3 Sweet Mini-Peppers
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 teaspoon Garlic Herb Spices
2 tablespoon chopped Parsley (optional)
Pre-cook the cauliflower according to instructions on the bag. I usually steam mine in the microwave for about two minutes. They do not have to be done, just partially cooked.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.) Prepare a 1-quart baking dish by buttering the inside or spray with baking spray.
Heat a small skillet, add a splash of olive oil, warm, and add the onions and chopped mini-peppers. Sauté for 2 minutes until onion is partly done.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cauliflower, chicken, bacon, onions, and peppers. Stir in the Alfredo Sauce, ranch dressing, and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley if you wish.
Makes 2 hungry hippo servings or 3 average servings.