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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cauliflower Power

I have a confession to make: I'm not really a vegetable lover. I only eat them because I should or I'm supposed to. But recently I've discovered new ways to veggies that I really enjoy. I have found cauliflower to be very versatile and an easy vegetable to add to any meal. It can also mimic the texture and taste of several grains and starches.

Here are a few recipes and ideas to get you started, but don't let that limit you! You can replace frozen cauliflower with fresh on any of the recipes. Frozen cauliflower will be impossible to shred with your cheese grater so use a food processor with it. A pound of cauliflower has 24 grams of Carbohydrates, 10 grams of Sugar and 11 grams of Fiber

Riced Cauliflower - This is super fast and simple and can be added dozens of different recipes. Break apart the cauliflower head into individual florets. Steam cauliflower florets in the microwave for aprox. 4.5 minutes with a small about of water. Drain the water and use a potato masher (that is what I do) or a hand mixer until it is the consistency of rice. Now you can have it on its own or use it use with one of the meals below. You could also use a cheese grater on the head before you microwave it. But I like the consistency better with the potato masher. You could add Parmesan cheese or herbs and have it as a side dish.

Chili over Riced Cauliflower - I LOVE chili and I was missing the beans in my Chili once I went grain-free, but served with cauliflower solved that. Riced cauliflower satisfies the need for that missing texture and makes it very filling.

My Fast Track/Grain Free Chili Recipe:  I make my Chili with Ground Turkey, 1/3 Cup diced onions, 3 garlic cloves diced, 1 can stewed tomatoes, 1 can water, 1/4 Cup pumpkin puree, chili spices, 1 fresh jalapeno, balsamic vinegar. I got the pumpkin idea from a BFCer on Facebook and it is a great addition! I promise you will not taste pumpkin, but instead it adds great flavor. I brown the turkey, with onions and garlic first, add seasonings and then the stewed tomatoes, water and pumpkin. Let simmer. Before serving add a scoop (aprox. 1/3 Cup) of riced cauliflower to a bowl, topped with the Chili and grated cheddar cheese.

Mashed Cauliflower -  A great substituent for mashed potatoes. Steam the cauliflower longer and mix it with whatever you add to normal mashed potatoes (cream, butter, cream cheese or salt). Use a hand mixer, mixer or even a blender to make it creamy and smooth. A little liquid, like olive oil or chicken broth with help mix it smooth.This is very easy to do! A little bit of Coconut Flour will be a great thickening agent for gravy too.

Cauliflower Couscous/Tabouli Salad - Chop raw (uncooked) cauliflower into very small pieces, the size of couscous. Toss a 1/4 Cup with your regular salad to give it new texture. I saw a similar salad in the Make it Paleo book pg. 258 and it looked great. You can also use it just like you would bulgur (which is not allowed on Fast Track) in a tabouli salad.

Cauliflower Sushi - This is another GREAT idea from Make it Paleo (pg 244). Just replace the sticky rice in your sushi roll with rice cauliflower. I bought all the tools to make sushi for the Hubby's last bday, so I will definitely have to try this out. This is brilliant idea!

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole - This is an easy favorite that is usually made with rice. Shred a 1/2 pound of raw cauliflower with your cheese grater and use it to replace rice in your recipe. Bake it in the oven with with chicken breasts, broccoli florets and a cheese sauce. You kids probably won't even notice the rice isn't actually rice.

These are two cauliflower recipes that I've been using for awhile and have complete details at the link:
Cauliflower Cream Soup - We love this soup in my house and it is perfect for the Fall. The Vegan Hubby especially likes this recipe.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust - The trick with this one is getting the crust crispy before you add the toppings. It may take a few times to get it right, so don't fret if the first time isn't great.

Leave a comment if you have an inventive way of using cauliflower. It has really made my transition to grain-free much easier! If you haven't entered my Coconut Care Package giveaway, be sure and do so before Friday evening right HERE.

24 comments:

  1. Wow Amber! What great ideas. I do "LIKE" cauliflower too. Never thought of adding it to chili...def gonna try that! Thanks for the great post!

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  2. Someone's been doing some cooking!!! LOL. I can't wait to try these! Thanks for the shout out on the chili. :)
    Carey

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  3. I make Faux-tato soup with cauliflower- it rocks!! Boil the cauliflower in chicken broth and seasoning of choice- I use garlic pepper and tony's- until it's very well done- mushy. I put in the blender/processor with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, white cheddar and a little heavy whipping cream (do this is several small batches) then put back into pot with the chicken broth you boiled cauliflower. Add more cheese and heavy whipping cream to get to the texture you like- serve with bacon crumbles, green onions and cheddar cheese on top! My entire family and most of my friends eat this!

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  4. Wow that faux-tato soup sounds good. And I am going to have to try the cauliflower with the chili thing. I don't have any other recipes for cauliflower - the pizza crust is enough for me. I do actually use it as a sandwich bread sometimes, not just as pizza crust, so there's that!

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  5. What a great post. I mentioned the pumpkin chili recipe to my hubby and he said BLACH! I should not have mentioned the pumpkin.
    Maybe I will try for me.
    Have a great day :-)

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  6. Thank you for posting. I had to step away from the FT program because it was just too much for me and causing me to cheat all the time. With your recipes, I may just have another go at it! Thanks Amber!

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  7. Love me some cauliflower! I made a Faux-soto the other night! Sauteed a leek and some mushrooms, tossed in some riced cauliflower, added some chicken broth and let it simmer til I had risotto--or Faux-soto, as I called it! It was delish!

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  8. Ooohhh these all sound great. The mashed potato is a huge hit in my house. But as fall moves in I love the idea of the soup.
    Thanks everyone for the ideas.

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  9. Thanks for all the ideas with cauliflower. I made the pizza crust tonight. My pizza stone cracked in the oven, so weird. But, the pizza crust was good. I'll definitely make it again and I'm going to make the chili, sounds wonderful! :)

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  10. Amber thanks for the reminder about cauliflower. I try to stay away from starch at night, so I definitely think I need to add in some cauli. I'm definitely gonna try your chili...been craving chili lately. I think it's that time of year. Thanks for the post. great ideas. have a good weekend too. :)

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  11. wow! Ive not been really good about eating veggies either but out of guilt broke down yesterday and bought two heads of cauliflower to try the mashed cauli. then literally logged on here about an hour after I got home and saw this new article! Imagine my surprise! seemed like the universe confirming my decision to buy that darn cauliflower lol can't wait to try them all amber!! thanks so much for posting new ideas, things were getting a little mundane and sketchy over here menu wise...

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  12. I made Faux-fried rice last night- it was pretty good- even the teens ate it! Shredded the raw cauliflower and cooked in my microwave steamer- then sauteed with some seasame oil, mushrooms, green onions, lite soy sauce and then put in a an egg slowly to scramble/fry- served with chopped grilled chicken breast- it was tasty!!

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  13. I love cauliflower...all veggies really. Great recipes-I'm excited to try some of them

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  14. Hey Amber I wanted to comment on my eggs- I think they would keep in th fridge just fine. They would taste more like hardboiled eggs at that point, but still ok.

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  15. Hey Amber let me know if you use Dawn's egg recipe and how they taste in the fridge. You took that question right out of my mouth :) I think I will try to bake one at a time in the toaster, on the oven setting, first. I was going to do it this morning, but I know that as soon as I pop it in the toaster, my daughter will call to pick her up from her Baton thing! I'll try for lunch or breakfast tomorrow.
    Carey

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  16. Great ideas Amber. I loved the mashed cauliflower I recently made. I will definitely try some of these too!

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  17. I can't wait to try the cauliflower chili. This is just in time for the cooler weather ahead. These are great ideas. Thanks

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  18. Hey Amber! Have been reading your posts but not commenting in a long while... need to get back on FT. (Did the online program with you & others in Jan.) Name was BFCFT.

    Anyway- I made a Shepard's Pie tonight using the mashed cauliflower idea instead of mashed potatoes. Browned ground turkey with mushrooms & onions. Added a packet of gravy (that I mixed w/ 1 cup water.) Simmer 10 mins & then put on bottom of casserole dish. Then layer of mashed cauliflower (instead of mashed potatoes.) Then layer of shredded cheese. Baked 30 mins. Mmm...!!! Kids loved it too! Felt like good comfort food.

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  19. Amber,
    I made your cauliflower/chili tonight and it was wonderful. You can't taste the pumpkin at all. I did change it just a bit by using ground beef and diced tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes due to the lower sugar count. It came together quickly and tasted great, I also added a dollop of sour cream too.
    I think I'll try the Shephard's Pie recipe next. I hope you get more recipe ideas.

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  20. Hi, thanks for sharing this awesome information. Really appreciate it.

    How to lose belly fat for women

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  21. Tracy Allen sullivanNovember 14, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    I made your lasagna tonight & was thrilled. I did my own turkey "sauce" but it was lovely & my son & husband enjoyed it too. Think it will be even better tomorrow. Love all the cauliflower ideas. I reheated leftover cauli-mash in the oven with cheddar cheese on top, it was very au gratin!

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  22. Hello Amber, I made the cauliflower pizza base tonight and at day 14 of B.F.C.F.Track it was the best thing I've tasted in ages. Thank you so much for all of the recipies. Will be trying those for which the ingredients are around where I live.
    Bye,
    Carol.

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  23. This recipe has been such a life saver, easy to prepare, tasty and nutritious. I have tweaked it a bit for our taste; this is a staple in our home. My husband loves chili!

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