Spiced Up Steak & Imposter Potatoes

Grilled Tri-tip with mashed cauliflowerI’ve been on an organizing spree lately. I’ve brought order to the pantry, the grocery list and the calendar. I know when to thaw meat and when to buy fresh produce. I know what we’re having for dinner two weeks from now — and I love it. No matter what else is out of my control, I can still prepare a good meal and for the most part, ensure my family is sitting down about 6 p.m. for time together — but more on that later. Right now we need to talk about dinner. 

Last night’s grilled tri-tip was absolutely delicious thanks to a spice rub I added to the meat about two hours before grilling. The Santa Maria Rub recipe is fantastic. The sugar in the spice rub will caramelize on the outside of your beef during grilling. It’s sooo good!

The sliced beef was placed atop a mound of mashed potatoes cauliflower. My son shoved several spoonfuls of the “potatoes” into his mouth before I asked, “Do you like those?” His reply was enthusiastic and wholehearted — and then I said, “They’re not potatoes! You’re eating mashed cauliflower.” He paused for a good two seconds, wrinkled his nose, said something about not liking cauliflower, and then proceeded to clean his plate and ask for seconds. I have to admit, if it weren’t for the smell of cooking cauliflower, I may have been fooled by these mock mashed potatoes, too! Give them a try — I’m betting you’ll love them. And they’re low-carb!

Imposter Potatoes (mashed cauliflower)


  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower florets
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • Prepare cauliflower according to package directions.
  • Add cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, butter, salt, pepper and parsley to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Drain cooked cauliflower and add to the other ingredients. You may need to add a little at a time, depending on the size of your food processor bowl.
  • Pulse until a smooth, creamy consistency.


Serving suggestion: slice grilled beef and place atop a mound of mashed cauliflower. Drizzle with beef juices and top with chopped parsley.



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  • comment-avatar
    Jacqueline @ Deeprootsathome.com May 27, 2015 (2:54 pm)

    Jennifer, I love the idea of cauliflower as a potato substitute! I’m going to make your recipe this weekend! Yum!!
    Thanks 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko May 27, 2015 (4:36 pm)

      Enjoy! The only difference is the odor of cooking cauliflower! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Weekend Cowgirl May 28, 2015 (1:04 pm)

    I have never tried the cauliflower, but have been wanting to. Seems easy enough. I am just worried about “cowboy” liking it!!!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko May 30, 2015 (7:19 am)

      As long as he’s not around to smell it cooking, he may not know the difference! 😉

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