Crunchy Top Fauxtatoes

By November 3, 2010 May 9th, 2020 Christmas, gluten free, side dish, Thanksgiving, vegetarian


One of my favorite Thanksgiving foods in my former fat life was Crunch Top Cheesy Potatoes. One of the main ingredients was Cream of Chicken Soup. Knowledge is power; now that I am aware of what certain foods do, I am able to get past the cravings!
Crunchy Top Fauxtatoes

MSG is a slow poison and it is in everything; Lay’s potato chips, Doritos, Campbell’s soups, Ramen, Canned Gravy, frozen dinners, frozen pizzas, salad dressings (especially low-fat varieties). Tons of ‘reduced’ or ‘no-fat’ foods are laced with MSG to make up for the flavor lost when fat is reduced. If you don’t see MSG on the label, you still aren’t safe; the word ‘Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein’,’Accent, ‘Aginomoto,’ ‘Natural Meat Tenderizer,’ is just a sneaky name for MSG. Glutamic acid in MSG is known as an excitotoxin; this means it excites the brain cells. It causes brain cells to fire too much until they are exhausted and die.

This causes us to be addicted to the MSG ‘fix,’ which is why Lay’s Potato Chips claim, “I bet you can’t eat just one.” Lay’s knows they have the upper hand on your brain chemistry. This excitotoxin effect in our brain causes ADHD, autism, and Alzheimer’s. This process of over-exciting the brain depletes our brain of serotonin (the feel-good chemical in our brain and gut). Headaches and migraines are the main complaints of MSG consumption, which makes sense because low serotonin is the Migraine headaches are caused in part by changes in the level of serotonin. Serotonin plays many roles in the body, one of which is the effect on blood vessels. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict (shrink). When serotonin levels fall, the blood vessels dilate (swell). This swelling can cause pain or other problems. Many things can affect the level of serotonin in your body, including your level of blood sugar, certain foods, and changes in your estrogen level if you’re a woman.

MSG downregulates our body’s leptin production (our appetite suppression), so it makes us hungry sooner. Hoe can this be? Well, MSG stimulates the pancreas, which in turn increases insulin production even though there is no need for insulin. This will cause our blood sugar to rise too much and then drop. When our blood sugar drops, hunger is stimulated (which is why you don’t want to eat too many carbohydrates either). Overproduction of insulin will cause insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.

1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup butter
3 TBS Cream Cheese
1/4 cup beef/chicken broth
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup crushed almonds
1/4 cup almond flour
2 TBS butter or coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. “POTATOES”: Place cauliflower flowerets in a food processor. Pulse until larger “rice” sized pieces (click HERE to find the one I use) (or shred with a cheese grater to resemble shredded potatoes). Transfer the cauliflower to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.

CHEESE SAUCE: In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cream cheese and broth. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheeses, stirring until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, pour over the veggie, and stir to combine.

TOPPING: In a small bowl, toss together crushed almonds, almond flour, and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheesy cauliflower. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cauliflower if tender. Makes 8 servings. I LOVE THIS DISH!

Traditional Crunchy Top Potatoes = 370 calories, 27g fat, 12g protein, 19 carbs, 3g fiber
“Healthified” Crunchy Top “Potatoes” = 307 calories, 27g fat, 12g protein, 5.6 carbs, 3g fiber

Crunchy Top Fauxtatoes

Testimony of the Day

“Maria, it’s amazing – after just one day on the supplements no bleeding or pain during and after #2 for the first time since August! Thank you :)”

To get started on your path to health, click HERE. 

Another Client Testimony

“Hi, Maria! I have to tell you about a recent doctor’s visit. I told my doc that I’d started working with a nutritionist (you) and changed my diet rather dramatically and he asked a bunch of questions about it. I told him that I completely eliminated both sugar and grains. He seemed really pleased about that and kept asking questions. I told him that he may be horrified by this, but I added way WAY more fat into my diet. He said that he wasn’t horrified at all, and really pleased to hear it. Then he looked through my chart and told me that I’d lost about 13 pounds since the last time I’d been in (maybe a year ago). We decided it would be good to get some blood work done at this time, just to see where I compare to my last blood workup.

He left a rather long-winded message on my cell phone last night, and suffice it to say, he was waxing lyrical about my results. He said they were really, really great all around. Even my thyroid labs which had been a problem in the past. He ended the diatribe by saying that with regards to my cholesterol, he joked that he was going to hang the results on the wall to let everyone gawk at. haha! -MJ”

Crunchy Top Fauxtatoes

Maria Emmerich

About Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Laura says:

    I was looking for a dish to take to my in-laws for Thanksgiving that I could eat. This looks perfect!

  • Thanks Laura! Let me know what you think!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • K says:

    I just found your blog today, so is it too early to say that I love you? Seriously, my holidays are really looking up this year! 🙂

  • Thanks Soooo much K! You totally made my day;)))

    Keep posted! I am posting tons of holiday recipes this November and December;)

  • Amanda says:

    Made these for Thanksgiving! Best faux potatoes ever! I am going to use this recipe all the time!! I am a diabetic and your website is absolutely the best! Thank you!!!!

  • Thanks Soooo much Amanda! I love these too! Even my 2 baby boys ate these yesterday at Thanksgiving.

    Happy Eating and let me know what other recipes you try!

  • Rachel says:

    I LOVED these!! My husband (who is very skeptical about all the healthified recipes I make) devoured these too! He said they tasted better than the regular mashed potatoes he made!! Thanks so much!

  • You are welcome Rachel! We are eating the leftovers tonight!;)

    Even my boys like it!

  • Angelika says:

    Hi Maria,

    I have a fat related question, if I may. BTW I made those and I absolutely love them!! However, even though I support and endorse the paleo diet (and its variations), like most people I still shiver at the mention of full fat in products. I understand the low fat and no fat fad is flawed. My problem is that when I pick up a full fat item (cream cheese, cream, cheeses etc) I look at the fat content and while saturated fat doesn’t scare me, the trans fat does. And all those products show a content of 0.1-0.3g of trans fats. Am I picking the wrong product or is that a negligible amount of the trans fats?? Thanks
    BTW. I’m never buying mayo ever again! 🙂

  • Thanks Angelika!

    That is a great question, however the trans fat that is naturally found in real foods such as red meat isn’t the same as the chemically made hydrogenated oils.
    And there is no need for concern on them.
    Happy eating!

  • Jenni says:

    Maria, have you tried using any other crushed nut (other than almonds) for the topping? And do you usually crush your own almonds? How small should the pieces be?
    Planning on making this for the family tonight!

  • Thanks Jenni!
    I LOVE pecans on them!

    I crush the almonds so they are all different sizes so it provides lots of textures.

    Happy Eating!

  • Jenni says:

    Thanks! I made this last night and it was delicious 🙂 Everyone loved it, next time I’m using pecans!

  • Marilyn says:

    Great recipe and what a wonderful substitute for potatoes. Made it for supper tonight and not one complaint from anybody. Love eating food that is good and good for you. Bon Appétit !!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for your site! Great ideas that has helped me expand our low carb menu!

    I have a question about cheese sauces..this is my third attempt at a cheese sauce–one was the faux tatoes, one the Philly cheese steak, one was an Alfredo sauce. They all tasted great but I couldn’t get any of them to incorporate right. The cream cheese doesn’t melt into a smooth sauce but is clumpy/bumby. At first I thought this may have been from cheap low quality cream cheeses but I just used organic pasture fed and got the same result. Also the cheese I add melts but the butter and oil separate out of the sauce.

    While they all taste great and we love them I’d like to be able to have a presentable cheese sauce for guests. What am I doing wrong?


  • jmwhite60 says:

    This looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it!!

  • laurie says:

    I started eating this way but I’m not hungry now at meal times. What do you do small portions ? Wait till you are hungry? What to do?

    • cemmerich says:

      This is a good thing! You are keto adapted. You can intermittent fast (skip a meal). Or eat smaller portions. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    This was so good!