Brown Butter and Crispy Sage Cauliflower Mash

Holidays are a season where calories don’t count, but it never hurts to have a few healthier dishes at the table. With this toasty brown butter cauliflower mash, potatoes won’t even be missed.

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 Tbsp chopped sage + 7 whole leaves 
  • 1 head cauliflower florets  
  • 1 garlic clove – chopped 
  • 4 oz fat-free cream cheese  
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper  

Prep the Butter

Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and leave it be. Let it melt, and when it starts to brown around the edges, add the chopped and whole leaf sage. As soon as the sage leaves are crispy (about 30 seconds), remove them with a slotted spoon to a folded paper towel. As soon as the butter is brown and nutty, turn off the heat. Be careful not to let it burn. This butter can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. 

Make the Mash

Cook the cauliflower in a steam basket on your stovetop until very soft. Transfer to a higher speed blender with the garlic, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and 3/4 of the sage butter. Blend until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. When ready to serve, transfer to a bowl and top with the remaining brown butter and whole sage leaves. 

Roasted Maple Creamed Corn

Using maple instead of sugar and lower fat ingredients make this Christmas favorite a little healthier. The best part is that it tastes as good as the full-fat version and only takes about 5 minutes to make! 

  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat Irish butter – softened
  • 1 lb bag frozen roasted corn – thawed (check out Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light cream, plus more for thinning 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt – to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • Parsley – optional

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the thawed corn, maple syrup, cream, salt, and pepper and stir together. Bring to a slight boil for one minute, then lower the heat. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining tablespoon of butter with the flour until it becomes a thick paste, then and add to the corn. Cook for about 2 minutes until thick. If it gets too thick, add a little more light cream until desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl. Top with Parmesan and parsley.  

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Squash

There’s nothing more suitable than squash to serve with your turkey and ham for the big day. It’s the perfect side dish without being exactly traditional. Plus, it’s healthy and you’d never know it! 

  • 1 large butternut squash 
  • 2 medium acorn squash 
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt 
  • Pepper 
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • Pinch red pepper flake, to taste 

Prepare the Squash

Heat oven to 450F. Peel the butternut squash. Cut off the rough ends, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into two shorter halves then cut into 1-inch sticks and moons. Cut the ends off the acorn squash then cut in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Slice into 1-inch moons. Keep the skin on these! 

Prepare the Seasoning

Place all the squash on a large sheet pan lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the squash, then sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Drizzle the maple syrup and sprinkle the cinnamon and red pepper flake. Toss together with your hands until all squash is coated in the oil and spices.

Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is slightly soft and caramelized. 

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Andrea LeTard is the creator and author of Andrea’s Cooktales, an heirloom cookbook. She is also a personal chef, small party caterer, and cooking instructor. Andrea has been featured on Cooking Channel, Today Show, and Local Memphis Live. She was chosen as a Top 100 Contestant on MasterChef Season 6. Her recipes are “next-generation southern”—fun and fundamentally southern with a modern twist. Follow Andrea on Facebook, Instagram (@andreas_cooktales), and her video blog series at