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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Creative with Cauliflower

By Momma Chef

As a fellow busy parent, I know that time is a precious commodity for today’s families. You need to make dinner in a flash and with these recipes, each of which takes six minutes or less to prepare, you can.

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

This recipe was created when I was on one of the 10 different diets I’ve tried this year. This one suggested cutting carbs by substituting potatoes with cauliflower. Little did I know how much I would love the potato-free version of this dish!  


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag cauliflower florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 container Trader Joe’s mirepoix mix (contains chopped onions, carrots, and celery)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Steam cauliflower florets in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.
  3. While the cauliflower is steaming, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate oven-safe skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add in ground meat and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Then add in Trader Joe’s mirepoix mix, 1 tablespoon salt, and the chopped rosemary. Cook another 2 minutes, mixing everything together.
  6. When cauliflower is soft, mash with a fork and add in 1 tablespoon salt. Remove the meat from heat, spread the cauliflower mash over the mixture in the skillet, and bake for 25 minutes.

Serves 6 or more.  


  • If you can’t find the mirepoix mix, you can use 1/2 onion, 3 carrots, and 3 celery stalks—all chopped.
  • If you prefer mashed potatoes over cauliflower mash, substitute 3 cups mashed potatoes.
  • I normally like to make my dishes in one pot, but this one is so ridiculously delicious that it’s worth using the extra pot! It is best made in a cast-iron skillet. If you don’t already own one, it’s worth buying. I got mine at a discount store, and I use it all the time.

Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). Find her at and at