• Lindsey, EDRD

OH guess what? My birthday falls on Easter this year! I feel like over the course of, ahem, 30-something years, this has happened a fair amount. Am I mad? Not at all! I love Easter.

I have all the Easter eggs and candy set. Initially I just bought one pack of empty eggs, but then I realized it's pretty lame for each kid to only get three.

Sometimes I can be a fun mom...sometimes.

What do you usually have for Easter dinner? Around here it's typically ham, cheesy potatoes, and a veggie. While cheesy potatoes are delicious, I felt like trying out a new recipe that gives all the vibes of cheesy potatoes, but with a nutritional twist. We're making baked cauliflower. Ranch cauliflower. CHEESY ranch cauliflower, with a creamy sauce made with...cauliflower. You get me?

Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower

-3 cups water

-2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon or 2 bouillon cubes

-3 12 oz bags fresh cauliflower florets (or two heads of cauliflower, cut into florets)

-4 oz cream cheese

-2 teaspoons ranch dressing mix

-1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

-8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add bouillon and one bag of the cauliflower florets (or 1/3rd of florets if you chopped it yourself). Let simmer over medium high heat for at least 10 minutes. Remove from heat and either get out your food processor to puree that, or be lazier like me and just stick in an immersion blender and go to town 'til it's smooth.

Return pan to heat, turn down to medium heat, and stir in cream cheese. Whisk it until it's melted and smooth. Stir in ranch mix and pepper, then lastly half of the cheddar. Stir until sauce is smooth and cheddar is melted.

If your pot is big enough, you can toss in the remaining two bags of cauliflower, or, just put the cauliflower in the dish in which you're going to bake it- I used a pan that's about 8x10. Either way you do it, mix the florets with that cheesy sauce, cover, and bake for an hour. Also, I just realized that I could've made the sauce in my Le Creuset and put the whole dang thing in the oven. Oof.

I don't add any extra salt to this recipe since bouillon has a fair amount already. If you don't have any bouillon to use, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Remove foil, sprinkle on remaining cheddar, then kick oven up to a low broil. Place the baking dish in the oven and check every minute- when the top is deep golden brown, remove from oven and serve!

Pictured with baked salmon and roasted green beans with tahini.

My kids devoured this. It is an incredibly kid-friendly recipe that feels fancy for some reason, but really it's a snap to put together. Yes it takes awhile in the oven, but that just means you have no excuse for not folding your laundry and giving the bathroom a wipe-down, er, maybe that's just me.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 223 calories, 5 grams carbs, 18 grams fat, 10 grams protein, 473 mg sodium. Compare this with typical au gratin potatoes, where a similar serving is 400 calories and 27 grams of fat.

Consider making these as a side dish on Easter, or really any day of the week. You could easily make this into it's own meal by adding a protein or additional veggies- cheesy chicken broccoli ranch hotdish might be coming to our menu rotation!

  • Lindsey, EDRD

Over the years I've planted many, many bulbs. It's always a total mystery as to what's going to survive the winter and dare to poke up come spring. Yesterday was warm-ish and sunny and I was peepin' around the yard to see how things were going.

Something's happening! Are they daffodils? Crocuses? Tulips? Weeds?? Time will tell.

I'm still on the spring-ish food kick and this past week I made something that would be the PERFECT spring breakfast. Or brunch. Or dessert really. We're also using a major shortcut thanks to my ever-favorite Kodiak Cakes pancake mix.

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze

1 cup Kodiak Cakes buttermilk pancake mix

2 heaping tablespoons raisins

1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup shredded carrot*

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup unsweetened milk (I used almond but any type will work)

2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional)


4 oz cream cheese

1 tablespoon agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey

*I wanted small shreds of carrot so I used the side of my grater.

Heat a nonstick electric griddle to 350 degrees. Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl (minus the glaze ingredients) just until combined. Try not to stir too much or too vigorously- this can make the pancakes a little on the tough side. Ladle out batter into four large pancakes (or 8 small ones- who am I to tell you your business?).

When the tops of the pancakes start to show tiny bubbles, flip them over and cook for another few minutes, or until both sides are deep golden brown.

For glaze, place cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in increments of 15 seconds, stirring in between. Once it is melted and stir-able, add in the sweetener of choice. Spread evenly over pancakes and serve warm.

I mean COME ON. I don't think I can do any better than this. I love carrot cake. I love cream cheese frosting. I love pancakes. This is the best of all three, while still packing in fiber, a bit of healthy fats thanks to the nuts, and technically yes, some veggies to boot.

Makes 4 large pancakes. Per 1 pancake (plus glaze): 354 calories, 55 grams carbohydrates (including 9 grams fiber), 12 grams fat, 10 grams protein, 135 mg sodium