September 11, 2012

Better-than-your-Picaddilly's Carrot Souffle

I don't know about you, but I grew up eating lunches and dinners with my family (especially when my Mee Maw and Pee Paw were around) at Picadilly Cafeteria.  In case you've never been to - or heard about - a Picadilly, it's essentially a cafeteria where you walk through the line and pick out your salad, entree, vegetable (or two...or my case), bread, and dessert.  In case your interested, here's a sample of their menu selections.

When I was a kid, I ALWAYS picked out a Jell-O bowl (you know the kind cut into little squares) and carrot souffle.  The rest of my choices would vary from visit to visit, but I could NEVER go without picking up both of my favorite items.  Looking back, I don't really understand my fascination with the Jell-O bowls...maybe it was the combination of the whipped cream with the Jell-O, I'm not quite sure.  Regardless, the carrot souffle is a dish that I still dream about as an adult.  For a kid that didn't really enjoy cooked carrots growing up, Picadilly's carrot souffle was like heaven (and dessert) wrapped in the guise of a vegetable!

Although the official website describes the carrot souffle as "subtly sweet" and "one of Picadilly's most popular dishes," I can assure you that there is nothing subtly sweet about the cafeteria's version of the dish; and honestly, that's probably why it's one of their most popular dishes!  So, when I started looking into recreating the dish, I expected it to contain quite a bit of butter and sugar.  However, I DID NOT expect the traditional Picadilly recipe to have:
  • 8T (yes, that's TABLESPOONS) of butter;
  • 1C of white sugar; and
  • 2T brown sugar.

WOWZA - that's quite the nutritional profile, isn't it?!

My version is just as delectable as my memory recalls, but with only 1T Smart Balance, 1/4C sugar-free maple syrup, and 1-3 packets of stevia, it is MUCH healthier.  Plus, my version includes the added protein of organic plain Greek yogurt, reduces the cholesterol by only using egg whites, adds a flavorful punch with nutmeg and ginger, and pumps up the nutrition with the addition of raisins and unsweetened coconut.

I'd say that's a home run on all accounts, wouldn't you?!

Better-than-your-Picadilly's Carrot Souffle
Serves 6

1 lb. carrots, peeled and diced
1/8C plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
2 egg whites
1T Smart Balance (or butter)
1/4C sugar-free maple syrup (or regular)
1-3 stevia packets (I only used one)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1T all-purpose flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/8tsp nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch salt
1/3C raisins, soaked in boiling water to reconstitute
1/4C unsweetened, shredded coconut

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Boil the carrots until tender (6-8 minutes).
  • Drain and place the carrots into a food processor.
  • Pulse until lightly pulverized.
  • Add the plain Greek yogurt, egg whites, Smart Balance, maple syrup, stevia packets, and vanilla extract.
  • Process until smooth.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  • Process until smooth.
  • Add the reconstituted raisins and coconut.
  • Pulse 2-3 times, just to incorporate.
  • Pour into a non-stick baking dish.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve warm - as a side dish for dinner - or with a drizzle of maple syrup, and a dollop of vanilla ice cream, for dessert!

(See, I wasn't kidding when I said she was always around when food is being prepared!)

Question of the Day:

Did you eat at Picadilly (or a similar type of cafeteria) growing up?  What are your memories of eating there?
Have you ever dared to make a souffle?!  If so, what kind?  Cheese?  Chocolate?  Carrot?!

Ally and Bo


  1. Oh my gosh that looks amazing! And Lola is so adorable in these pictures. I have made a chocolate souffle, but this looks so much better!

  2. Oh my gosh that looks amazing! And Lola is so adorable in these pictures. I have made a chocolate souffle, but this looks so much better!

    1. Oooooo - chocolate souffle! I might have to look into that for a future post ;)