Quick & Healthy Dinner Ideas: Italian Dishes with Mashed Cauliflower {plus dessert!}

Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow #FrozenFavorites

I've been reassessing dinner time in our household lately. You see, Hubby is working really hard right now and he comes home exhausted. He has always been responsible for dinner for our family because he's the chef. Now that I'm working a less stressful job, I'm looking for some quick and healthy dinner ideas for our family so I can start helping. After last week's surprise lunch date, Hubby is thinking I might be able to pull it off. headed to Sam's Club to pick up some frozen meals so that I could create a few healthy dinner ideas of my own.

FYI: During February, Sam's Club has special pricing on Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow. Lean Cuisine Italian flavors 4 pack is $6.98 (from 7.98), Lean Cuisine Asian 6 pack is $9.98 (from 11.25), and Skinny Cow vanilla and cookies 'n cream 20 pack is 8.98 (from 9.98). 

Quick & Healthy Dinner Ideas #FrozenFavorites @LeanCuisine

I already knew that Lean Cuisine made some great meals and I was thinking that they might be just as yummy for a dinner as well. I picked up some of the Asian flavors that I loved back in September when this healthy eating began, but this time I also found Italian flavors. That gave me even more inspiration for a romantic date night!

Lean Cuisine chicken parmesan & mashed cauliflower #FrozenFavorites

Lean Cuisine meals are great for a quick and healthy lunch. I take them for lunch often when Hubby and I aren't going to eat together, and keeps some at home as well for days when we have a short lunch. I took them a step further and added a healthy side with mashed cauliflower "potatoes"! Our eating plan is extremely low on carbs, but who can eat Italian without pasta so we treated ourselves this time and added a vegetable.

Lean Cuisine spaghetti with meatballs & mashed cauliflower #FrozenFavorites

The mashed cauliflower is so easy to make and really quite yummy. I cut up the cauliflower head into small pieces and boiled until soft. I added butter spray, lowfat milk, and Kernel Seasons bacon cheddar flavor (hey, I was trying to be creative here!), as well as salt and pepper. I "mashed" the cauliflower and voila – Mashed Cauliflower. This was my first try and it was a little lumpier than I would have liked, but it worked out well because Hubby likes his mashed potatoes lumpy. 😉

Skinny Cow desserts without guilt #FrozenFavorites

When it was time for dessert, I wanted to treat Hubby with a "bowl of ice cream" (his favorite) so I mashed up a Skinny Cow cookies 'n cream ice cream sandwich for him in a bowl and added a few conversation hearts. I have been whining to him about not getting chocolate covered strawberries this year for Valentine's Day so I added a sugar-free strawberry jello to my vanilla ice cream sandwich. It was a neat, sweet treat – with no guilt! 

Hubby is really liking this new plan I have in place to start cooking more and he loves that I'm trying to creative as well. He thought this was a great way to have a healthy dinner low enough in calories that you can also enjoy a sweet treat!

How would you create a romantic date night with a quick & healthy dinner?

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Nestle Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow #FrozenFavorites #CBias #SocialFabric. All stories and opinions are my own.


  1. Sarah L says:

    I use an old fashioned potato masher with both potatoes and cauliflower. I don’t like lumps. I add a tablespoon of cream cheese to get a smooth taste.

  2. Mer says:

    Mashed cauliflower sounds yummy. I think it would be fun to experiment with different seasonings.

  3. Terri says:

    I haven’t made mashed cauliflower but I love cauliflower. I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. ANN*H says:

    I think to buy these type healthy food are more costly. We love califlower all sorts of ways but I dont know if they would eat mashed califlower ?? we will have to try that one out

  5. Karen Glatt says:

    I like Mashed Cauliflower! I have made it before, and it is delicious. Also to avoid lumpy mashed potatoes, just buy the already made mashed potatoes. They are so much better. I like to make Crock Pot meals for my family. I just made pulled pork in the Crock Pot for Valentine’s Day and everybody loved it!

  6. Lumpy potatoes are the worst thing you could possibly eat! My jaw is currently on the floor with that statement! haha

  7. Greta says:

    Can you believe I have never had mashed cauliflower? Of ourse, we usually just eat cauliflower steamed.

    • janet says:

      I like it raw, actually. This was my first experiment with mashed.

  8. Amy says:

    Haven’t had mashed cauliflower in ages. Need to try it again…it’s nice and low carb. 🙂

    • janet says:

      I was surprised that I liked it even though I know I like cauliflower. I think we’ll be having it more often now…if I’m the one cooking. 😉

  9. Gena says:

    I’m sure this would be really good! I wouldn’t tell my hubby beforehand, but he would like it! lol

    • janet says:

      Depending on the seasonings, I bet you could make it taste very similar to potatoes!

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