Meatless Monday – Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (vegan, gf)

1

 

img_20190518_185351.jpg

Perfect for Game Time!  Right now we have basketball and hockey playoffs – right in the middle of baseball season.  These buffalo cauliflower bites are a crowd pleasing snack that is a twist on the traditional buffalo wings but without the chicken.  They are not meant to taste like chicken but they do taste pretty good. It’s really all about the buffalo sauce. This is a fun recipe that can cater to various tastes and dietary needs.  In my house, we have vegetarian (me) plus gluten free and dairy free omnivores.  Everyone was happy.

IMG_20190516_190555

I posted a recipe for Buffalo Wings Two Ways five or six years ago just before I stopped eating chicken.  It included a recipe for both chicken and cauliflower ‘wings’.  I decided to circle back and improve on the cauliflower recipe and try to give it more of a coating for the buffalo sauce to stick to.  We (me and my test kitchen peeps) went through a few variations and methods but are satisfied with this final version.  Due to my gluten free people, I used half almond meal and gluten free panko instead of flour.  I was aiming for a thicker and crisper crust.  Using white flour or gluten free white flour will result in a lighter crust which some people might prefer.  You can also use a whole grain flour like white whole wheat flour for a few extra nutrients or crushed breadcrumbs for some crunch. Any combination of flour and breadcrumbs will work as well.

20161025_160100 Why cauliflower?  For me the biggest reason is because its not chicken and I still get to have the buffalo sauce. 😉  For everyone else, cauliflower is a chameleon that can become whatever you want it to be.  It’s mild nature allows it to absorb flavors and it can be grated and formed into a multitude of carb free and gluten free foods;  rice, mashed potatoes, pizza crust, tortillas…  Cauliflower is not empty though in spite of its white color.  Its an excellent source of vitamin C and good source of B vitamins.  Click through for 18 Massive Benefits of Cauliflower

img_20190518_185338-1.jpg

BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES

  • 1 large head cauliflower (4-5 cups) 
  • 1 cup vegan milk or water
  • 3/4 cup flour/breadcrumbs (or almond meal, GF panko)*See TIPS.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cooking oil spray (optional)
  • 1 cup Buffalo Sauce(some use butter so check labels) 
  • 1/2 cup Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing (optional)
  • 1-2 cups carrot and celery sticks (optional)

20161025_160300

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.Remove core and cut cauliflower into florets.  Cut the larger ones in half.

IMG_20190518_175329

  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour/bread mixture, garlic and onion powders, pepper and salt. Add milk and stir until smooth.  If it feels too thick (and its not sticking to the cauliflower), add more milk or water. Heavier flour mixtures may need more liquid.

IMG_20190518_180146

  • Using a fork, dip the cauliflower florets into the batter to fully coat and place on the baking sheet. Don’t crowd them, or they will stick together. Spray with cooking oil (optional). Bake for 25 minutes.

img_20190516_190012.jpg

  • While the cauliflower are baking, prepare the veggies and dips

img_20190518_183153-1.jpg

IMG_20190518_183721

  • Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven.  Using a fork, dip each floret into the buffalo sauce on each cauliflower bite and place back on the baking sheet.

IMG_20190518_185135

  • Bake for another 10- 20 minutes.  You can broil for a few minutes for a golden color but don’t take your eyes off of them. They should be tender but not soft.

img_20190516_190555.jpg

  • Serve with your chosen veggies, dressing and some extra buffalo sauce.

Tips:

I used half almond meal and half gluten free panko (as I was serving gluten free people) which made a nice crunchy coating, however, all purpose white flour is a little lighter.    Or feel free to use a combination of flours and breadcrumbs. I also found that dipping them individually into the batter provides better coverage than brushing or stirring them all together.  Dairy free people need to check labels to make sure the Buffalo Sauce doesn’t include butter.  I used Sweet Baby Rays which does not.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_20190516_190555

BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES

  • 1 large head cauliflower (4-5 cups) 
  • 1 cup vegan milk or water
  • 3/4 cup flour/breadcrumbs (or almond meal, GF panko)*See TIPS.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cooking oil spray (optional)
  • 1 cup Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing (optional)
  • 1-2 cups carrot and celery sticks (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove core and cut cauliflower into florets.  Cut the larger ones in half.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour/bread mixture, garlic and onion powders, pepper and salt.
  4. Add milk and stir until smooth.  If it feels too thick (and its not sticking to the cauliflower), add more milk or water. Heavier flour mixtures may need more liquid.
  5. Using a fork, dip the cauliflower florets into the batter to fully coat and place on the baking sheet. Don’t crowd them, or they will stick together.
  6. Spray with cooking oil (optional). Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. While the cauliflower are baking, prepare the veggies and dips (optional)
  8. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven.  Using a fork (since they’re hot), dip each floret into the buffalo sauce on each cauliflower bite and place back on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake for another 10- 20 minutes.  You can broil for a few minutes for a golden color but don’t take your eyes off of them. They should be tender but not soft.
  10. Serve with your chosen veggies, dressing and some extra buffalo sauce.

Tips:

I used half almond meal and half gluten free panko (as I was serving gluten free people) which made a nice crunchy coating, however, all purpose white flour is a little lighter.  Or feel free to use a combination of flours and breadcrumbs.  I also found that dipping them individually into the batter provides better coverage than brushing or stirring them all together. Dairy free people need to check labels to make sure the Buffalo Sauce doesn’t include butter.  I used Sweet Baby Rays which does not.

Meatless Monday – Chicken Fried Cauliflower ‘Steaks’ and Creamy Mash

0

20170730_124206Here’s a vegetarian or vegan twist on the classic comfort food, Chicken Fried Steak, nestled on a bed of creamy mash.  This version has all the yummy flavor with none of the guilt, perfect for your summer barbecue or picnic. Cauliflower, the chameleon of veggies, makes a great couple of center cut ‘steaks’ while the rest is pureed into a silky, creamy cauliflower mash. This recipe makes use of the whole head of cauliflower and requires very few other ingredients, other than spices that you probably already have in your pantry. Now you can make a healthier, lower fat and meat free version of this popular dish.  Its an easy and surprisingly satisfying meal that can be ready in about 30 minutes. You just might lick the plate clean…

20170729_175458.jpg

This recipe serves two adults if prepared as directed but can easily be doubled.  The head of cauliflower is cut in half and two thick planks are cut from the center.  The remaining cauliflower is cut into florets and steamed until very soft and then pureed into a delicious low-cal substitution for mashed potatoes. Even though the puree and the steaks are made from the same ingredient, they taste and feel entirely differently from each other, so its not like eating a plate of cauliflower-even though it is.  You will be surprised.

I have found that cauliflower tends to fall apart once most of the core is cut away, which is why cauliflower mash is such a great idea.  If you are interested in the fried cauliflower and not the mash, you can carefully cut a few more smaller ‘steaks’ from the head before it falls apart and then fry up the remaining florets into ‘nuggets’ that are perfectly sized for small hands.  I wish I had tried this when my kids were little.

20170729_190045

Cauliflower is not as nutrient-dense as many of the other cabbage-family vegetables, but it is still power-packed with nutrition. Most people know it is low in fat and calories but did you know that it has protein?  One cup of raw cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin K (476.2 percent of the RDA) and vitamin C and is a very good source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. A 3 1/2-oz (100 g) serving of cooked cauliflower provides 35 calories, 2.3 g of protein, no cholesterol, 0.4 g of fat, 7.2 g of carbohydrate, and 3.3 g of fiber.

20170729_174801

To boost nutrition, I used white whole wheat flour which is a real thing not a typo.  It is made from white wheat instead of the typical red wheat.  White whole wheat flour is lighter and milder in flavor than regular whole wheat flour which also tends to make everything heavy and can have an aftertaste.  White whole wheat flour also retains most of the fiber and nutrition through processing since its a whole grain flour. Regular white flour is made from red wheat which has been processed to remove the germ, which contains most of the nutrients, and the bran, which has the fiber. I prefer to use whole grain whenever possible, however, you can substitute any kind of flour that you normally use, including gluten free flour mixes.

20170730_123258

TIPS: The cauliflower can be fried in a pan or in a deep fryer, if you have one.  Any leftover oil can be reused if handled properly. Allow the oil to cool down to a safe handling temperature. Strain any food particles floating in the oil by raking through it with a slotted spoon and discard them. While pouring into a container, strain through a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth.  Cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to six months.  The oil may appear cloudy when cold but will clear as it warms up. How To Reuse Cooking Oil20170730_124206

CHICKEN FRIED CAULIFLOWER ‘STEAKS’ WITH CREAMY MASH

  • 1 head cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER MASH

  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2- 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 2 Tbsn vegan butter (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (optional)

CHICKEN FRIED STEAKS

  • 2 Tbsn cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsn milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten OR 2 Tbsn vegan mayo
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose or gluten free)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lighter vegetable oil, (avocado, grape seed or canola, not olive oil)
  • salt to taste

20170729_175249.jpg

  • Trim away outer leaves from cauliflower head. Do not core. Cut head in half lengthwise; cut a 1-inch-thick “steak” from each cauliflower half. Set steaks aside.

20170729_1827321.jpg

  • Cut remaining cauliflower into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water and garlic; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until very tender. Add more water if necessary. Remove from heat; let stand while you prepare steaks.

20170729_184019

  • Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg or mayo in another shallow dish. Combine flour and spices in a third shallow dish. (pie pans work well)

20170729_184505.jpg

  • Dredge one cauliflower steak in cornstarch; shake off excess.

20170729_184551

  • Dip in egg mixture

20170729_184638

  •  Dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Repeat with other cauliflower steak.

20170729_184856.jpg

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add cauliflower steaks to pan and  cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on bottom.  Cover pan to steam the inside of the cauliflower.

20170729_185513.jpg

  •  Carefully turn and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, uncovered, until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt while hot.

20170729_185034.jpg

  • Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup milk, butter. salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach the desired consistency.

20170730_123457

  • To serve, spread cauliflower over a plate and top with cauliflower.  As an alternative, you can thin the cauliflower into a sauce like consistency and drizzle over the top or use as a dip.

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Steaks and Cauliflower Mash

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
20170730_124206

  • 1 head cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER PUREE

  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2- 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 2 Tbsn vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (optional)

CHICKEN FRIED STEAKS

  • 2 Tbsn cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsn milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten OR 2 Tbsn vegan mayo
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose or gluten free)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lighter vegetable oil, (avocado, grape seed or canola not olive oil)
  • salt to taste

 

  1. Trim away outer leaves from cauliflower head. Do not core. Cut head in half lengthwise; cut a 1-inch-thick “steak” from each cauliflower half. Set steaks aside.
  2. Cut remaining cauliflower into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water and garlic; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until very tender. Add more water if necessary. Remove from heat; let stand while you prepare steaks.
  3. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg or mayo in another shallow dish. Combine flour and spices in a third shallow dish. (pie pans work well)
  4. Dredge one cauliflower steak in cornstarch; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture; dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Repeat with other cauliflower steak.
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add cauliflower steaks to pan and  cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on bottom.  Cover pan to steam the inside of the cauliflower. Carefully turn and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, uncovered, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup milk, butter. salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach the right consistency.
  7. To serve, spread cauliflower over a plate and top with cauliflower.  As an alternative, you can thin the cauliflower into a sauce like consistency and drizzle over the top or use as a dip.

Meatless Monday – Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

6

20151019_193128

If you are looking for a dramatic (and delicious) non-meat entre, I have a goodie for you to try this holiday season.  You have probably roasted cauliflower florets before, or maybe you have even made cauliflower ‘steaks’, but what about roasting the whole darn thing? I have seen photos of cauliflower cooked this way but have never tried it until now. All I can say is ‘What was I waiting for?’

20150927_201050

I have called cauliflower a vegetable chameleon before because it is so adaptable and a great substitute for many less healthy ingredients, so I decided to take it a step further and prepare it like a ‘meat’ for roasting. I removed the stem and leaves, brushed the outer head with a thick spicy sauce made with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cayenne pepper and then roasted in a hot oven for almost an hour.  The sauce becomes a spicy and yummy crust and the interior is creamy goodness.  I served it in wedges. Yum!

20150927_181725

Can cauliflower really serve as a main course and not just a side dish?  It’s just a white veggie, so how can it have enough nutrients to be the star of the show?  Well, in comparison it’s not going to have as much protein as a steak but it’s also not going to have all the fat and calories either.  Cauliflower has a surprising number of nutrients for something so pale and unassuming.  One cup cooked = 2.28 grams of protein. Cauliflower is also a good source of fiber, phytonutrients and omega 3 fatty acids, plus vitamin C, a host of B vitamins and minerals (manganese, phosphorus and potassium). Cauliflower is known to help in fighting cancer and preventing cardiovascular disease.  I’m pretty sure that meat can’t make those ‘health’ claims. Just sayin’.

20151019_192940

TIPS:  For an even more colorful display, try using yellow, purple or green cauliflower. This is a fairly spicy and flavorful coating which can be toned down by reducing the amount of cayenne pepper and/or chili powder.  Or you could add a half cup of plain yogurt (any kind) into the spice mix.  I have made it both ways (with and without yogurt) and it looks pretty much the same either way but the yogurt makes the end result a little more mild.

20151019_192822

SPICE CRUSTED WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsn olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsn chili powder
1 Tbsn cumin
4-5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 Tbsn garlic powder)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

20150927_181725

  • Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking dish with vegetable oil. Set aside. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem and place on prepared baking dish.

20150927_182541

  • In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients

20150927_182813

  • Using a pastry brush, evenly spread the marinade to cover the entire surface of the cauliflower.

20150927_182752

  •  Roast about 45 minutes. Check for doneness (it should be easily pierced with a sharp knife).  Cook for another 15 miinutes, if necessary.

20150927_195101

  • For a pretty presentation, move to a serving platter.  Cut into wedges and serve warm.

20151019_193128

 

Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

20151019_193128 

1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsn olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsn chili powder
1 Tbsn cumin
4-5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 Tbsn garlic powder)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

  • Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking dish with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem and place on prepared baking dish..
  • In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients
  • Using a pastry brush, evenly spread the marinade to cover the entire surface of the cauliflower.
  • Roast about 45 minutes. Check for doneness (it should be easily pierced with a sharp knife).  Cook for another 15 miinutes, if necessary.
  • Cut into wedges and serve warm.

 

Meatless Monday – Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Capers and Lemon

2

20150329_205547

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education” – Mark Twain

Move over broccoli, cauliflower is the new girl in town! Although both are superfoods and loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, cauliflower might be considered the smarter, more sophisticated sister. She is also somewhat of a chameleon, standing in for grain in pizza crust and couscous or as a carbfree mashed ‘potatoes’.  Cauliflower can also be pretty flashy, with varieties that are downright out of a Dr. Seuss book in vibrant orange, green and purple. I used white but purple cauliflower would be really striking in this dish.

n-CAULIFLOWER-large570.jpg (570×238)

Photo Credit: Huffpost Living

Here is an easy but elegant 20 minute meal which was inspired by a similar recipe from Martha Stewart.  It’s beauty is its simplicity which allows each lovely ingredient to shine and, of course, cauliflower is the shining star.  The combination of the roasted cauliflower with salty capers. fresh oregano, zesty red pepper flakes and tangy lemon is delicious and satisfying.  For cheese lovers, a sprinkle of parmesan pulls all the flavors together.

TIPS:  This recipe calls for a pan that can go from stovetop to oven, however, if you don’t have a pan that can do both you have two options; cook the pasta then transfer everything to an ovenproof pan OR saute the cauliflower mixture for a few minutes and then stir it into the cooked pasta.

20150329_205532

For my nutrition and health conscious friends who want to delve deeper into the goodness of cauliflower, here is an article that lists 8 Amazing Health Benefits of Cauliflower including heart and brain health.  Surprisingly, it is also a good detoxifyer so don’t be surprised if you see cauliflower start showing up in smoothies… For more cauliflower recipes, check out these grain free recipes: Cauliflower Crust PizzaCauliflower ‘Mac’ and Cheese and Tabouleh.  For more cauliflower inspirations, here are a few more:  Creamy Cauliflower Leek SoupDahl Lentil Soup with Quinoa Cauliflower CakesMorroccan Style Cauliflower and Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Olives.  Obviously, I’m a big fan!

SPAGHETTI WITH CAULIFLOWER, CAPERS AND LEMON

1 lb spaghetti, bucatini or linguini
4 cups cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn fresh oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 Tbsn fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest3 Tbsn capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup parmesan

20150329_194627

  • Cook pasta in salted water for about 8 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining. While pasta is cooking, cut cauliflower into small florets.

20150329_195330

  • In a bowl, combine cauliflower, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, capers and parmesan.

20150329_200303

  •  Toss to combine and set aside until pasta is done.

20150329_202224

  • Sprinkle cauliflower mixture over cooked pasta and stir to combine.  Add 1/2 cup pasta water.20150329_204148

 

  • Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower has spots of golden brown and pasta is heated through.

20150329_205532

  • Toss to combine and add more pasta water if it seems dry. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired and serve with extra parmesan, if desired.

 

Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Capers and Lemon

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

20150329_205547

1 lb spaghetti, bucatini or linguini
4 cups cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn fresh oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 Tbsn fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest3 Tbsn capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup parmesan

  • Cook pasta in salted water for about 8 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining.
  • While pasta is cooking, cut cauliflower into small florets,
  • In a bowl, combine cauliflower, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, capers and parmesan.
  • Sprinkle cauliflower mixture over cooked pasta and stir to combine.  Add 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower has spots of golden brown and pasta is heated through.
  • Toss to combine and add more pasta water if it seems dry. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired and serve with extra parmesan, if desired.

Wheatless Wednesday – Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

3

20150214_200117

Size isn’t supposed to matter, but…   Wait, I don’t know what you’re thinking but I’m talking about cauliflower.  I opened my most recent CSA box to find the largest head of cauliflower I have ever seen. Criminy!  A cauliflower that impressive deserved star treatment.  I had recently made Roasted Cauliflower based on a recipe from Bon Appetit that was delicious and I couldn’t wait to make it again.  This time, though, I opted to keep the florets large (going back to the bigger is better theme) instead of breaking them into small florets.  I was tempted to cut the  head into 5 or 6 thick slices (or cauliflower ‘steaks’) but realized that  13 people were coming for dinner so that idea wasn’t going to work.  Perhaps next time…

Cauliflower

Here is your fun fact of the day.  Did you know that the compact head of a cauliflower is called a ‘curd’?  Nope, me neither.  I learn something new every day, especially when I let my fingers do the walking, aka googling! Cauliflower is a cousin to other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards, although they look nothing alike.  Cauliflower florets are actually undeveloped flower buds which are white because growers make sure the leaves are protecting them from sunlight and preventing them from making chlorophyll.  Otherwise cauliflower would be greenish (cool huh?).  Cauliflower is a good source of fiber and vitamin C and low in carbohydrates which makes it a great substitute for grains and potatoes. I have used cauliflower in place of carbs with great success many times, like in my Cauliflower Pizza Crust (yes, really), Cauliflower Puree (instead of mashed potatoes), a Grain Free Tabouleh (raw, vegan) and even a yummy Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese. In today’s recipe, cauliflower is roasted at a high heat along with olive oil, onions, garlic and thyme and then tossed with parmesan. Mmmm!!! It’s definitely a crowd favorite.  So good!

TIP:  Cutting the larger florets in half gives a flat surface which more easily carmelizes into a golden brown. If you are only serving  a small group, try slicing the head into one inch slices so both sides are easy to carmelize.  I’m definitely trying that next time.

20150214_200117 (1)

PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
1 head cauliflower
1 large yellow onion
8-10 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried Italian Herbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Cut cauliflower into large florets and slice them in half. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet flat side down.

20150214_162650

  • Slice onion into thin wedges, taking care not to remove too much of the stem end.  You want to keep the wedges together, Peel garlic and cut larger cloves in half.

20150214_163823

  • Add onions and garlic to cauliflower.  Sprinkle with thyme and generously season with salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil to coat.

20150214_175207

  • Roast, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes turning them over half way through.

20150214_175045

  • Sprinkle with Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, another 10 minutes.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

20150214_200117

 

1 head cauliflower
1 large yellow onion
8-10 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried Italian Herbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Cut cauliflower into large florets and slice them in half. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet flat side down.
  • Slice onion into thin wedges, taking care not to remove too much of the stem end.  You want to keep the wedges together. Peel garlic and cut larger cloves in half.
  • Add onions and garlic to cauliflower.  Sprinkle with thyme and generously season with salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil to coat.
  • Roast, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes turning them over half way through.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, another 10 minutes.

Meatless Monday – Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

1

Cauliflower Leek Soup2

Craving a bowl of luscious, creamy rib sticking soup but don’t want the extra calories or carbs?  Well this is it! This yummy creation tastes like a delicious, creamy potato soup but without potatoes or cream. Cauliflower has worked so well as a healthy stand in for so many carbs like rice, potatoes and other grains that I thought to give my  Old Fashioned Potato Soup recipe a cauliflower update.  Pureeing some or all of the cooked cauliflower and vegetable broth into a smooth and creamy consistency makes it easy to omit the cream.  You will swear its loaded with cream but it is actually vegan (unless you top it with parmesan).  I loved this soup topped with a drizzle of herb oil whose sharp tang melds nicely with the creaminess of the soup and dry roasted pepitos that add a satisfying crunch.  Parmesan is another yummy option that adds a salty, creamy dimension.  Purists can top with salt and pepper or swirl in a pat of butter for an even creamier consistency. Yum!

Cauliflower Leek Soup13

I paired this yummy soup with a green salad for a completely satisfying meal.  My husband, who often doesn’t feel full without some kind of meat, really enjoyed it and, best of all, wasn’t back at the refrigerator 45 minutes after dinner, which is really telling. Did you know that a head of cauliflower is actually made up of tightly clustered florets which are flowers that begin to form but are halted at bud stage.  They stay white because they are protected from the sun by their leaves, otherwise they would turn green through photosynthesis.  In addition to being cool science,  cauliflower is a wonderful addition to our diet.   It is low in calories and fat, with zero cholesterol but rich in fiber, vitamins (including B complex and C), minerals (manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium) and phytonutrients which are key to a healthy immune system and thought to be good cancer fighters.  Cauliflower is mild in taste which makes it extremely adaptable in cooking. You could call it the chameleon of vegetables.

Check out other GMD  recipes where cauliflower reigns (or fools, however you want to look at it): cauliflower ‘pizza’, ‘pasta’ and ‘rice’.

Cauliflower Pizza

Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower Mac Cheese15

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Tabouleh7

Tabouleh – Grain Free

 

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER LEEK SOUP

Cauliflower and Leek Soup3

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt (if needed)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil(optional)
2 tablespoons minced chives or green part of scallions(optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs(optional)
1/2 cup pepitos (shelled pumpkin seeds)(optional)
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded (optional)

Cauliflower Leek Soup11

  • Cut end off leek and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse under running water while fanning the sections of the leek like a deck of cards to remove any grit. Remove dark green leaves and chop white and light green parts.

cAULIFLOWER Leek Soup9

  • Core cauliflower and chop into small florets.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons olive oil, chives, and herbs, if using. Set aside to marinate.

Cauliflower Leek Soup10

  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and onions, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Cauliflower Leek Soup8

  • Stir in cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cauliflower Leek Soup6

  • While cauliflower is cooking, dry roast pepitos in a small pan over medium heat for several minutes, or until golden and aromatic.  Let cool.

Cauliflower Leek Soup7

  • In 2 or  3 batches, puree soup in a food processor or blender until very smooth, several minutes. You can puree the whole soup for a velvety smooth texture, or, you can leave about a third of the florets for a chunkier, more ‘potato like’ consistency, (i.e. blend 2 batches and leave the last chunky). Stir together and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower leek Soup4

  •  Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle herb oil and top with pepitos and parmesan cheese, if desired.  If you want an even creamier consistency, swirl in a pat of butter before serving.

Cauliflower and Leek Soup3

Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cauliflower Leek Soup1

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt (if needed)
2 tablespoons olive oil(optional)
2 tablespoons minced chives or green part of scallions(optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs(optional)
1/2 cup pepitos (shelled pumpkin seeds)(optional)
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded (optional)

  • Cut end off leek and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse under running water while fanning the sections of the leek like a deck of cards to remove any grit. Remove dark green leaves and chop white and light green parts.
  • Core cauliflower and chop into small florets.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons olive oil, chives, and parsley, if using. Set aside to marinate.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and onions, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is cooking, dry roast pepitos in a small pan over medium heat for several minutes, or until golden and aromatic.  Let cool.
  • In 2 or  3 batches, puree soup in a food processor or blender until very smooth, several minutes. You can puree the whole soup for a velvety smooth texture, or, you can leave about a third of the florets for a chunkier, more ‘potato like’ consistency, (i.e. blend 2 batches and leave the last chunky). Stir together and add salt and pepper to taste.
  •  Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle herb oil and top with pepitos and parmesan cheese, if desired.  If you want an even creamier consistency, swirl in at of butter before serving.

 

Wheatless Wednesday – Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Olives

2

Cauliflower and Garbanzo13
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

Yesterday was a travel day for me (a 3000 mile journey from Maine to California), starting with a three hour drive to Boston Logan, then an almost seven hour flight to SFO into headwinds.  I got home feeling tired but blessed.  No matter how long the day, any flight that lands is a good flight in my book.  I hate flying these days.  It used to be that we only had to worry about the plane breaking mid-flight but now we have much more to worry about every time we get on a plane.  It didn’t help that the ‘Safe Travels” bracelet that my friend, Stephanie, brought me back from Israel was found on the floor, (meaning the threads broke) a few days ago.  I don’t consider myself very superstitious but this kind of freaked me out.  What if it’s an omen? I mean that bracelet has done a good job of keeping the plane in the air for more than a year!  So in desperation true form  I re-tied the strings into a makeshift, albeit awkward, bracelet and put it on my wrist.  I’m now in California so it must have worked, Whew!  So why am I telling you this?  In deciding what to make for Wheatless Wednesday, I took stock of what I had on hand which wasn’t much since I haven’t been home in weeks.  I had done a quick trip to the market for essentials and picked up a small head of cauliflower so I knew that was going to be my feature.  Then I went out to my garden and harvested a few large heirloom tomatoes, a lime, fresh herbs, a couple of red chili peppers and a handful of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo7

A quick check in my pantry yielded a can of garbanzo beans, so I was set.  I had remembered that Gwyneth Paltrow had a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Mustard and Parsley.  I had great luck with Gwyneth’s famous White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup which was delicious so went back to her cookbook. “It’s All Good” to check out the recipe.  Since it’s still summer, barely, (The first day of Fall also known as the Autumnal Equinox is on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, less than two weeks from now.) I decided to swap out the mustard for a dressing made with my fresh herbs and chili peppers along with spices, like cumin and chili powder. First I roasted the cauliflower and garbanzos and let them cool slightly. Then I drizzled them with the slightly spicy dressing and tossed it all with halved cherry tomatoes, olives and fresh parsley.  This is a wonderful, ultra-healthy and satisfying main course, just serve with a side salad.  It also makes a great side dish paired with almost anything.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo6

In her book, Gwyneth also recommends using the tough outer leaves which are usually removed and discarded.  I usually throw them in my green bin or give them to the chickens next door but decided to take Gwyneth up on her challenge.  As suggested, I sliced and sautéed them in butter and garlic.  What could be bad?  I could probably eat my shoes if they were sautéed in butter and garlic… And the result?  I sprinkled them with sea salt – Delicious!  Gwyneth was right. They taste a lot like bok choy but slightly firmer.  The best part is that you get a second dish, two for the price of one!

Cauliflower and Garbanzo11

TIP:  I made this dish more summery by  using fresh herbs and spices in the dressing instead of mustard and I also included red chili peppers, cherry tomatoes and olives for a more salady feel.  If you would like to make Gwyneth’s original dish, omit the spices, tomatoes and olives.  For the dressing, add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon each, Dijon mustard and seeded mustard.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Olives

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cauliflower and Garbanzo12

14-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or 2 cups cooked
1 head of cauliflower
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olives (any type)
1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley
Dressing:
3 Tbsn olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lime juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp cumin (or more to taste)
1 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
1 tbsn chopped red chilis (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cauliflower and Garbanzo8

  • Drain chickpeas and let dry, or dry with towels.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo5

  • Remove the outer leaves from the head of cauliflower, core and cut into bite-sized florets.  Since garbanzos are small, I like to cut the florets pretty small too.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo4

  •  Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo9

  •  Remove from the heat and let cool, slightly, while you make the dressing.  Whisk together the oil, vinegar and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo 10

  •  Add tomatoes, olives and parsley.  Drizzle with dressing and gently combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cauliflower and Garbanzo13

 

100th Post – Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

1

100

Wow, this is my 100th post! I’ve certainly learned a lot since publishing my first recipe, Green Curry Tofu, on November 25, 2013. I had never even been on a blog before starting Goodmotherdiet, so it has been quite a learning curve.  I got a domaine name on WordPress and suddenly, I was a blogger!  Every new techie thing I have learned, has been a major victory, like successfully uploading photos and then figuring out how to make them larger than a thumbnail; or adding links that work and making my recipes printable. I’m even writing code! What? Six months ago I didn’t even know what that was!  My thought processes and food choices have also evolved. It’s been over a year since I’ve eaten meat, other than the occasional free range chicken, and I feel good about the evolution, but I promised myself not to make any permanent changes, or edits to my About Page, until GMD turns one in November.  There will definitely be some edits since I now have a different and stronger perspective than when I started.  It’s interesting how just a simple change in diet can also change your way of thinking.  Anyway, thanks for joining me on this journey.  I hope you’re enjoying the ride…  You can follow me via email by clicking the Follow Me button or you can Like the Goodmotherdiet Facebook Page, both top left of the screen.

be-the-change
Deciding what to feature for my 100th post which happens to fall on a Wheatless Wednesday, was a challenge until I came across a recipe for Cauliflower ‘Mac’ and Cheese  on Tabitha’s Gluten Free Dishes, which is a great blog that I follow.  What is more iconic or American than Macaroni and Cheese? Nothing is quite so comforting as a big bowl of yummy, creamy cheesiness!   How about a Mac and Cheese that has no actual pasta but still satisfies that craving?  Many versions of Cauliflower Mac and Cheese are available including those by Dr Oz and Rachel Ray. Most recipes include heavy cream and cream cheese.  I have opted to make a ‘skinny’ version using non-fat milk and yogurt instead of heavy cream.  Cauliflower is a good stand in for pasta and many other things as it is extremely versatile and good at absorbing flavors while adding a variety of good nutrients and fiber but little fat and no cholesterol.  I have already posted recipes for Cauliflower Crust Pizza  and Cauliflower Buffalo ‘Wings’ and Cauliflower Puree instead of mashed potatoes, all with great success. So here goes…

Cauliflower Mac Cheese15

TIP:  You can use any kind of cheese that you like but a sharp cheddar gives you more bang for your buck than mild, in that it’s stronger flavor allows you to use less cheese (hense fewer calories and fat).  Another way to cut fat and calories is to use 2 cups non-fat milk and increase the butter and flour to 3 Tablespoons each,  or 1 1/2 cups low or non fat milk and 1/2 cup full fat milk or cream.  If you like extra creamy, you can use all heavy cream and even add 2 tablespoons of cream cheese.  To make this vegan, use coconut oil, almond milk and vegan cheese.  I used 1 1/2 cups non-fat milk and 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt with good results.  Several recipes I looked at called for adding cayenne pepper, onion powder, sautéed onions or fresh scallions before cooking, so think about those as options.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cauliflower Mac Cheese13

1 head cauliflower
2  cups mild or sharp cheddar (gruyere, Swiss or your favorite melty cheese)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan (optional)
2 Tbsn butter
2 Tbsn flour (rice, oat or quinoa flour work well in lieu of wheat flour)
1 1/2 cups non or low fat milk  (see Tip above for other options)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F
  • Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese2

  • Cut core out of cauliflower and break or cut into small florets.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese3

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and par boil the cauliflower florets for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese4

  • Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

 

Cauliflower Mac Cheese6

  • Pour milk in slowly, whisking to combine.  Add yogurt one tablespoon at a time,  if using, and whisk into a creamy sauce.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese8

  • Stir in salt, pepper and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Stir over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese10

  • Pour the cheese sauce over the top and stir to combine.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese11

  • Top with remaining cheese, plus parmesan, if using.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese12

  • Cook for 15 minutes or so until the cheese turns golden and begins to bubble. Broil last few minutes to brown the top, if desired.

Cauliflower Mac Cheese16

  • Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for an added kick, if desired.

 

100 Photo Credit: Sonandoconparis.blogspot.com

 

 

Wheatless Wednesday – Tabouleh (Grain Free)

4

Tabouleh7

Raw-Vegan-Potluck.  My friend, Karenna Love,  invited me to a vegan potluck at her house.  I love all things food related and immediately knew what I was going to bring – until I re-read the invitation.  Somehow I missed the ‘raw’ part.  I make a lot of vegetarian and vegan food but other than green salads, I generally cook some or all of my foods.  I was stumped. All my go to foods like grains, beans and legumes need to be cooked.   I thought about going out to my garden and picking fresh produce for a salad but other than lettuce and chard, nothing else is ready yet.  Then I remembered how well cauliflower stood in for wheat in my Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe and decided to make a traditional tabouleh using cauliflower ‘rice’ instead of the usual couscous or bulgur.  The result is delicious and, even though I know better since I ground up the cauliflower myself, I would swear it’s cooked  bulgur wheat not cauliflower.  This is a great recipe for those on gluten or wheat free diets – even for my Paleo friends.    I would definitely make this again-on purpose!

Why eat raw?  Eating fruits and vegetables raw ensures that you get 100% of the vitamins and minerals, including beneficial enzymes.  Cooking can make some foods easier to digest but some of the vitamins and minerals (and all of the enzymes) are lost in the process.  I’m not quite ready to throw out my pots and pans just yet, but I do see how adding more raw foods into our diets is a worthy goal.

Let’s go back to Karenna Love, founder of wonderful website VeganGreenPlanet, and her Raw Vegan Potluck.  I have to admit to a few apprehensions about going to a vegan event when I’m not even vegetarian.  But then I realized that GMD is all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, so I went.  It was an interesting mix of caring and non-judgemental people and great food.   I’m so glad I stepped out of my box. My Tabouleh was well received, which after one taste, I knew it was yummy and potluck worthy. The speaker, Mikaele Holzer, health coach and cleansing expert at Green Your Spirit  was pretty interesting and very personable.   I learned a lot about vegan food, cleansing, and detox.  Both  are amazing women-check them out.

Grain Free Tabouleh

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 head cauliflower

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, small dice

1 seedless cucumber, small dice

1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, minced

3/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1/2 cup fresh mint, minced

1/3 cup olive or avocado oil

3 Tbsn fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Tabouleh5

  • Remove leaves from cauliflower and break into florets.  Discard leaves, core and stem.  Using a food processor, blend florets into ‘rice’.  Or you can use a hand grater.  Scoop into a large bowl.

Tabouleh6

  • If you are using a food processor, you can mince the parsley, cilantro and mint by machine as a shortcut.

Tabouleh4

  • Add the rest of the diced vegetables and minced herbs to the cauliflower.

Tabouleh2

  • Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour onto salad. Toss to combine.  Adjust seasoning (add salt or lemon juice to taste).
  • Serve immediately or let rest in the refrigerator.  Flavors will continue to develop over several hours.

Tabouleh1

 

Buffalo Wings Two Ways

0

Buffalo Wings 14

SUPERBOWL XLVIII. Looking for the perfect SUPERBOWL SUNDAY appetizer for game day? Look no further. I am posting my Buffalo Chicken Wing recipe by request, which is pretty basic but oh so good! They never make it past the first half.  While I was at it I decided to throw in a vegetarian Buffalo “Wing” recipe for our vegetarian friends or our friends who are counting their calories, although these are pretty yummy, but that could have something to do with the buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing. You may find yourself guarding the platter to save some for yourself. The “Wings” are really cauliflower dipped in batter then baked on high heat. They are a fun alternative to regular buffalo wings but without the extra fat and calories (or bones). After all it is cauliflower which is loaded with nutrients and naturally low in fat. ‘ Cauliflower heads also contain numerous health benefiting phtyo-nutrients that help prevent prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers’. (Nutrition-and-You.com). Okay, I have to admit that my house is divided for this superbowl game. Now that the Niners are out, I have to root for my home state, and the Seahawks, but my husband is nursing a grudge and going for the Broncos. It’s always fun to be on opposing sides! Even if you’re not a SEAHAWKS or a BRONCOS fan (or a football fan at all) you can check out the adorable Puppy Bowl on the Animal Planet channel, or at the very least, there are always the commercials…

SHOPPING TIPS:  I don’t eat chicken very often but when I do I try to find organic, farm raised chicken. It is a bit more expensive but you are getting less of the bad stuff, like preservatives and additives and more of the healthy nutrients found in animals fed real food. Plus I don’t like to promote the factory farms. I would rather support the Mom and Pop farms whenever possible.  Wouldn’t it be nice if chickens running around outside pecking at bugs on the ground was the norm and not the other way around?  I  found organic free range chicken wings at Whole Foods, although, they weren’t at the counter. I had to ask for them.  Blue Cheese dressing is traditionally served with buffalo wings and I have provided a recipe for homemade, however, there are some good commercial brands available, like Bob’s and Litehouse.  A shortcut is to buy a commercial dressing (the refrigerated dressings are usually best) and add some fresh, crumbled blue cheese.  My favorite wing sauce is Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce but you can also make your own by combining hot pepper sauce and melted butter. (Several recipes say not to use Tabasco, not sure why, just passing it along)  The cauliflower recipe can easily be made vegan.  Just replace the melted  butter with vegan margarine.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2-3 lbs of chicken wings
Cooking spray for pan
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup Buffalo sauce or 2/3 cup hot pepper sauce mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Wash and dry chicken wings. (Whole wings have to be cut apart at the joint, tips removed. “Party wings”, if you can find them, are already cut for you).
  • Lightly spray bottom of pan to prevent sticking.
  • Mix dry spices together in a small bowl.
  • Place chicken pieces in bottom of pan a single layer.  Sprinkle with half of dry spices.

Buffalo Wings 1

  • Broil for 8 or 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn them over and sprinkle with remaining spices.  Cook another 8 or 10 minutes.

Buffalo Wings 2Buffalo Wings 3

  • Brush wings with buffalo sauce and cook another 5 minutes.  Turn and repeat on the other side. (If too many drippings have accumulated in the bottom of the pan, you can remove some of it with a turkey baster before you turn them, so you don’t lose your sauce into the drippings)
  • Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks

Buffalo Wings 10

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup water
1 cup flour (any kind will work)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 head of cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
1 cup buffalo sauce or 2/3 cup hot sauce mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter)
Buffalo Wings 5 Buffalo Wings 6
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Spray a baking dish with non-stick oil.
  •  Combine the water, flour, and  spices in a large bowl and stir  to make a paste. I used coconut flour which is very absorbent so had to add more water.
  • Add the cauliflower pieces and stir to coat.  Place in a shallow  baking dish in a single layer. Bake for 18 minutes.

Buffalo Wings 9Buffalo Wings 12

  • Brush the buffalo sauce on the baked cauliflower and continue baking  for a few more minutes. Turn and repeat.

Blue Cheese Dressing

  • Servings: about 2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups  mayonnaise
4  ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
 1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
 1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. For a smoother dressing, mix in a blender or food processor. Cover and refrigerate.  Best if made the night before.

Buffalo Wings 13

Wheatless Wednesday- Dhal Lentil Soup with Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes

0

Dhal Lentil Sou[p

Red Lentil Soup with Quinoa  Cauliflower Cakes

I have an ongoing love affair with lentils which come in various colors and sizes.  I’m not picky.  My favorites are the French Green and the Black Beluga, both which hold their shape and don’t turn to mush unless you overcook them. I use them often for salads or side dishes.   I have opted to use Red Lentils which are traditional for this dish. Red lentils are softer and do get mushy which works well with soup.  The original recipe calls a lot of coconut milk.  I don’t want the extra calories so substituted vegetable broth for two-thirds of the liquid.

Dhal is usually served with rice but since its Wheatless Wednesday, I have decided to get more creative and have paired the soup with Quinoa & Cauliflower Cakes.  Since the quinoa cake recipe calls for only half the cauliflower, I thought it would be interesting to add the rest of the cauliflower to the soup, so we get cauliflower (one of my other current loves) two ways.

I got the idea for the Dhal and the Quinoa & Cauliflower Cakes from the ‘Vegetarian Everyday’ cookbook, which is also where I got the cauliflower pizza crust so I had high hopes. I did a test run of the cakes recipe over the weekend while my college boys were still home.  They were quite a hit, very tasty and a great use for leftover quinoa (although other grains would probably work too). This is not a carb free recipe, although they are all good carbs.  The oats are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants, and the quinoa is high in protein, magnesium, iron and calcium and its gluten free. Gluten free oats are available as a gluten free alternative. The quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking to wash off the saponin powder which is a naturally occurring protectant to make the seeds unpalatable to birds.  Rinse until the water is clear and use a fine mesh colander as the seeds are pretty small and you will lose them down the drain.

The recipe also calls for ramps, which are a type of wild garlic usually only available in spring or summer.  I remember buying ramps at a farmer’s market in Maine last summer but didn’t really know what to do with them.  I think I added them to sautéed vegetables.  They are fresh and mild, not sharp like regular garlic.  I was unable to find ramps here in December so substituted spinach and garlic. My taste testers all agreed that the cakes would be even better with a sauce, so I paired the leftovers with a homemade Tzatziki sauce and brought them to a Niners game the next day where every last crumb was devoured.  They were just as good the next day, warmed up in the oven.  The yield is large so feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Dhal Red Lentil Soup

½ Tbsn coriander seeds or ground coriander

½ tsp mustard seeds or ground mustard

½ tsp cardamom seeds or ground cardamom

2 teaspoons curry powder

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp  ground ginger

¼ tsp chili powder

6 dried apricots, chopped

1-2 cups vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk

1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed

3 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

 

2 carrots, sliced

½ -1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Handful of fresh spinach

 

  • If you are using whole seeds, crush them into a powder with a mortar and pestle.  Combine the spices and the apricot into a small bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice mix and saute, stir continuously, until its fragrant.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent.
  • Add the cauliflower and carrots and stir to coat. Then add the lentils and broth.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want it a bit spicier add red curry paste and/or red pepper flakes to taste.  Just before serving add spinach and stir to combine.

Dhal Lentil Sou[p

[/recipe]

Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes with Tzatziki Sauce

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Dhal Lentil Sou[p

Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes with Tzatziki Sauce

(Makes 12 large or 24 small cakes)

1 cup quinoa

1 2/3 cups cauliflower florets

1 large handful wild garlic or ramps (or 1 cup fresh spinach cut into ribbons and 2 cloves garlic, minced)

4 large eggs

1 1.3 cups crumbled feta cheese

¾ cup rolled oats

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp coconut, avocado or olive oil for frying

 

  • Combine 2 ¼ cups water, the quinoa and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 15 minutes or until you see small tails (the germ) on the quinoa seeds.  Drain any excess water and set aside to cool.
  • Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it is a rice-like texture.  Transfer to a bowl and add the quinoa, beaten eggs, ramps (or spinach and garlic), feta, oats and salt and pepper.  Stir until well combined.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Form the mixture into 12 patties with your hands.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.  Add 4 patties at a time and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.  Flip carefully and brown the other side a few more minutes.  Continue until all patties are cooked. Drain on paper towels.

Spinach ribbons
TIp:  An easy way to cut spinach is to stack the leaves and slice widthwise into thin ribbons.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 16oz container plain non-fat yogurt

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 Tbsn olive oil

1 Tbsn lemon juice

1-2 tsp fresh dill

2 cloves garlic

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s watery or too sour for your taste, add a bit of mayonnaise which will thicken it up and offset the sour.Tzatziki can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator several days.

 

Meatless Monday – Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

6

Cauliflower Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Mushrooms and Carmelized Onions

Yes, a pizza crust made with cauliflower!  Much to my carb fearing husband’s dismay, I really like pizza.  He actually likes it too but not what it does to his waistline.  I, however, can’t resist.  I love deep dish, thin crust, thick crust, flat bread, you name it.  So I was very excited to stumble upon this recipe for pizza made with a flour free crust in the “Vegetarian Everyday” cookbook (by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl).  The recipe calls for cauliflower which sounds completely crazy but I couldn’t wait to try it out. I was not disappointed.  The crust also includes ground almonds, which I have learned can be used for half of the flour in most baking and cooking recipes.  Almond flour and almond meal are interchangeable in recipes.  Almond flour is made from peeled, blanched almonds while almond meal includes the skin. I used almond meal that I found easily at Trader Joes.  “It is gluten free.  Half a cup of ground almonds contains 10 grams of carbohydrates, 6 of which are fiber, for a net carb count of 4.  That half cup also contains 10 grams of protein, 23 grams of fat and 273 calories” (www.about.com).  Compare that with 1/2 cup white flour which has 47.7 grams of carbohydrates, 1.7 grams of fiber, 6.5 grams protein, .61 grams of fat and 228 calories.  Since almond meal is nutrient rich but also calorie dense, combining it with cauliflower makes for a nutritious, low carb and surprisingly yummy pizza.

Pizza Crust
1 head cauliflower
¾ cup ground almonds (almond flour or almond meal)
1Tbsp dried oregano
3 large eggs, beaten
Pizza Toppings
 
1 medium onion
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 oz mixed mushrooms (crimini, portobello, etc)
¼ cup olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup any combination shredded cheeses (mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, asiago, provolone )
  • Chop garlic and place in a small bowl with the olive oil and let sit to blend the flavors while you prepare the crust.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.
  • Roughly chop the cauliflower then blend it in a food processor until it’s a fine rice-like texture.
  • Measure 3 cups of the cauliflower mixture and place in a mixing bowl.  Add the ground almonds, oregano and salt and pepper and mix with your hands.  Make a well in the center and add the eggs.  Use your hands to pull the dry ingredients towards the middle until everything is combined and you can shape it into a ball.  It should be more loose and sticky than traditional pizza dough.
  • Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet or pizza pan and form into a pizza shape by flattening the dough with your hands.  Make the edges slightly higher.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

Cauliflower Pizza crust

  • While the crust is baking. Slice the onion and saute the slices over medium high heat in 1 Tbsp olive oil mixture until golden, keeping the rings intact.  Flip them like pancakes to cook the other side.  Break the rings apart and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Saute a few more minutes, then remove from pan and reserve
  • Wipe the mushrooms with a damp papertowel and slice. Sautee them over medium high heat in 1 Tbsp olive oil mixture for a few minutes, or until they start to lose their water. Remove from pan and reserve.

Mushrooms and onions

  • Remove the pizza from the oven.  Spoon the remaining olive oil mixture over the pizza crust, spreading evenly. Add most of the cheeses then top with onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
  •  Return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes. Serve immediately. Does not reheat well.

Cauliflower Pizza