Pressure Cooked: Low Carb Cauliflower “Hamburger Helper”

I’m not a big fan of what this dish is called, but the name does describe it better than something like “beef and cauliflower casserole”, right? Regardless of the name, it’s tasty, simple, and pure comfort food. Make it yourself for a one-bowl meal that keeps the carbs low and satiety high: a delicious melding of protein, fat, and fiber.

I began this dish by steaming a whole cauliflower in my Instant Pot and, once cooled sufficiently, chopping it into small florets. If you haven’t cooked cauliflower in your electric pressure cooker yet, you have to try it – easy, quick, and did I already mention easy? Note: the base recipe contains instructions for cooking a whole cauliflower, but I prefer steaming it for 2 minutes rather than zero – the cauli turns out softer.

After the cauliflower is prepped and left to cool, ground beef (or sub an equally tasty combination of ground bison, mushrooms, and TVP – I have previously tried both) is browned in the pot, and set aside.

The next steps involve making the cheese sauce: whisking flour (I chose almond) into melted butter and milk, letting it thicken, then removing the inner pot from the heat and stirring in shredded cheese. The sauce becomes thick and creamy (and – don’t tell anyone – I like to add extra cheese!). I’ve also left the pot in place, rather than removing it to add the cheese (and skipped the “wipe it out” step after browning the meat), and the cheese sauce turned out fine.

The final step is to stir in the cauliflower and beef, heat through, and serve.

I’ve made this several times now, and with the most recent version, I added about a cup of peas – and it was a tasty (high fiber and protein) addition. The peas were frozen, so I heated them before adding them to the casserole; this should also work well with frozen mixed veggies.

Yes, making this dish yourself is a little more work than browning meat and adding boxed ingredients, but this version doesn’t come with any of the “extras” that the processed one does, like lots of sodium; sugar; corn starch; and palm oil; as well as additives like sodium phosphate, silica dioxide, and annatto. When you make your own meals, you control the ingredients…so you can ensure that it’s good, wholesome food. That’s reason enough for me.