This is something my wife is experimenting with. We like cut up cauliflower microwaved to “just cooked”, often a minute or two less than the microwave bag would recommend. For cauliflower mashed potatoes, she cooks the cauliflower a little longer and softer (but not to mushiness), and then mashes the vegetable with the tines of a fork.
You can also use a potato masher, as shown here.
The asparagus is also microwaved minimally, and the buffalo sirloin we described here.