Carrot-Parsnip Puree with Cauliflower “Breadcrumbs”

Recently, I posted a Cauliflower “Pizza Crust” recipe in which raw cauliflower florets are food-processed until they are the size of “tiny pebbles.”

That culinary metaphor seemed okay at the time, but it didn’t turn my imagination in any other direction.

Then I made more pizza and had cauliflower pebbles left over—three cups, in fact.

What to do with all that cauliflower? While staring at it, another metaphor came to mind: “coarse breadcrumbs.”

Now dieters can only make limited use of real breadcrumbs—too many carbs, too many calories. But why couldn’t I substitute cauliflower “breadcrumbs” instead?

It was one of those “aha” moments.

So I had a topping. Now what about a base? That choice was easy: one of readers’ favourite recipes on this blog is Cauliflower-Carrot Bake. I decided I’d do a carrot “something” and this was the result…

Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 4-6 servings

Cooking tip: I used all 3 cups of cauliflower (roughly 1 small head) in this recipe, which was a lot. You could use less. You could also vary the quantities of carrots and parsnips, depending on what you have in your fridge.

Ingredients for the Purée

  • 3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
  • 3 parsnips, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 4-6 cups of water
  • ½ tsp. minced ginger
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cooking spray

Ingredients for the Topping

  • 1-3 cups cauliflower florets, raw
  • ½ cup sheep romano cheese, grated
  • Salt, to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, put water and chopped carrots, parsnips, and onions.
  2. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft—about 30 minutes. (You could also do this in the microwave or use roasted vegetables.)
  3. While vegetables are cooking, make the cauliflower breadcrumb topping.
  4. Put cauliflower florets in a food processor.
  5. Pulse until florets have been reduced to the size of coarse breadcrumbs. (Don’t overdo it as you don’t want purée.)
  6. Put into a microwavable glass or plastic bowl.
  7. Microwave for 8 minutes. (Don’t add water.)
  8. Add grated cheese and salt, if preferred.
  9. Mix and set aside.
  10. Drain cooked carrots, parsnips, and onions and put in the food processor. (Note: if you make the dish in the order recommended here, you don’t have to clean the processor after finishing with the cauliflower. It doesn’t matter if a little cauliflower gets into the purée.)
  11. Add ginger, garlic, cumin, and cardamom.
  12. Process until smooth.
  13. Taste, and add salt as preferred.
  14. Spray a shallow baking pan (I used a 10″ x 6″ pan) with cooking spray.
  15. Spread purée in the baking pan.
  16. Top with cauliflower and cheese mixture.
  17. Bake in a 350° F oven for 25-30 minutes or until purée starts to bubble. (If you wish, you could brown the topping under the grill.)

For Weight Watchers: The only points in this dish comes from the cheese—4 points in total. The point-value per serving will depend on how many servings you make.

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