Tag Archives: cauliflower

Cauliflower to the Stage!

Untitled-3
In my pantry today:

  • 1 M head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1.5 c frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, chunked
  • 1 M-L red onion, chunked
  • 1 M-L jalapeno, chunked w/seeds
  • 1.5 c parsley w/stems
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1.5 c chicken broth (bone broth if’n you got it)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cumin
  • dash asafoetida

I was in the mood for Indian. Specifically, cauliflower and peas. If I wanted this meal to be culturally relevant, it’d be served over rice and/or with naan… but, y’know, carbs. Thankfully cauliflower is a too open-minded piece of produce to let this be a delicious pipe dream: it will star in the show both playing itself, and in the role of rice.

garliconionjalFirst thing: Haphazardly dice garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Don’t hurt yourself, but enjoy knowing that it doesn’t matter how pretty these look before heading into a food processor. Put them in the pan with both oils, turn heat up to M for 10m then reduce to ML. Add parsley, mix. Let them mingle until translucency happens.

caulTake your cauliflower florets to the food processor first. In small batches, pulse only enough to break it up into near-rice consistency. Pour it all into a bowl and set aside.

Return to the pan, increase heat to M and add your spices. Coat everything and let it cook for about a minute. Turn off heat, let the pan cool for a minute then throw it all in the food processor until all that remains is a wet paste. Return it to the pan, add diced cherry tomatoes, broth, and peas. Bring to boil over M then reduce heat to L. Stir in cauliflower. Bring it back up to ML while you fold it all together, then when it returns to a simmer cover and turn to L. Walk away for 15-20m, then come back and… CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE:

  • Turn off the stove and let it sit for the day in its own warm mess until dinner
  • Turn the heat back up to M until your desired consistency is reached, serve
  • Turn off stove for an hour. Decide you’re hungry, cook a quick chicken breast and have dinner for lunch.

Untitled-2This ended up being better than I’d initially hoped, with all the right levels of spice (for me: if you’re generally a wimp, check your jalapeno seeds at the door). I couldn’t wait until the dinner hour to eat a hearty portion.

What I did right: Cauliflower as its own rice means more phytonutrients and less sugar. I’m always happy to include turmeric and coconut oil in any reasonable fashion, and hiding parsley was a win-win.

What I did wrong: Forgot to marinate a chicken breast in advance, thinking “since this is for later I’ll wait on choosing/cooking a protein.”

What I might do next time: Pulse the cauliflower even more lightly so it’s chunkier. Add a little chili powder and/or fenugreek.

Advertisements

Stuffed Cauliflower

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lg head cauliflower
  • 1 c quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 c finely shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, in thin spears
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

stuffedcauliflowerSo this one is a doozy of a dish that I both went into suspecting and came out knowing with which I can do better. I will master this. It might not have helped that I decided to go my own way with the stuffing (as opposed to the scant every recipe online). I don’t blame myself, of course, I blame my cupboards. Regardless, the fundamentals won’t change. Start out by getting the bottom greenery off of and core out of your cauliflower, then wash it before submerging it for 15m or so in a large pot of boiling water laced with all of the above slated turmeric. Take it out and let it cool for another 10 or however long it takes you to complete the following:

Mix together 3/4 c quinoa with all the cheese and above-listed seasonings then set it aside. There will be time, too, to make the sauce to top it before baking.

  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 2/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2/3 c tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Chunk up your onion and garlic and let cook in ghee over ML heat for 5-10 minutes. Puree like hell in the food processor. In the pan from which they came, heat the olive oil and pour the pureed contents back in. Cook over ML (erring on the side of M), scraping off the bottom as you go and adding in the coriander and cumin. Make it into a cohesive paste and begin adding your liquids while heating, now, to full M. Add the cayenne last then let sit until the big white head gets  turned upside down then stuffed gently and lovingly with the mixture from a couple paragraphs back. This is a little more difficult than it sounds like it might be — you see from the picture up there that a full stuff will take some training. Put in glass baking dish right-side up, cover with sauce and remaining quinoa and bake at 425° for 1 hour. 4 spoons for taste and aesthetics — when I figure out how to better stuff this thing, we’ll see about making it 5.

Naked Stew

In my pantry today:

  • 1 can chicken breast
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 can white potatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 c small cauliflower florets
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, minced into near-paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced into near-paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red hot chiil powder
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • pinch asafoetida

nakedsoupThe hardest thing to do here was mince the garlic and onion into a near paste-like consistency, but even that was more patience than skill, and to be perfectly honest opening all the cans might’ve actually been more difficult. Either way, this stove-top stew is an easy way to wile away a winter witching hour.

Start your minced garlic and onion in a pan on ML that already hosts your melted ghee/oil. Turn the temperature almost up to M and let it sit, stirred, for a few minutes while you open all those cans and drain/rinse everything in them. Go back to the stove and sprinkle in the asafoetida, turmeric and half of your coriander. Mix well and add chicken. Mix again until all the chunks are broken up and everything is covered in the pan contents; add cauliflower and let simmer on ML for just a minute or two, then add cream of chicken soup. Mix, begin slowly adding broth as you stir in each subsequent can of stuff. Add the rest of your coriander and the red hot chili powder and keep on stirring while you slowly increase the heat to M/M-H until everything comes to a slow boil. At this point, reduce heat to L, cover and let cook until the cauliflower is tender. The only think keeping this from being more than a 4 spoon dish is that I would prefer fresh over canned anything if given my druthers.

Alfredioliflower Bake (Or, “Cheese is the New Meat”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package mini cheese ravioli
  • 1-1.5c cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 c unsweeteened almond milk
  • 2/3 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

alfredibakeMince your garlic and onion, then put in ghee on ML for as long as it takes for them to look apologetically droopy. Add 1.5 c milk and cornstarch and increase heat to MH until a boil barely begins to yawn, then reduce the temperature back to ML. Start stirrin in them cheeses. Well, 1/3c of the mozzarella and 3/4c of the Parm (the rest will go on top). Stir in the salt, other cup of milk and intermittently between said stirrings get your ravioli boiling to almost al dente. Drain and put in a baking pan. Break up any cauliflower florets that are obnoxiously large and tuck them into the pasta. Then drench it all with the cheesy sauce, then top said sauce with the remainder of your cheeses and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Bake in a 350* oven for 20-30m (or until hot).

 

Roasted Roots (ft. Cauliflower)

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 medium red potatoes
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • onions
  • garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 /2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

It’s cold and I felt like neither going to a grocery store nor like overcomplicating the already brisk atmosphere. What was already in the kitchen that I could toss in the oven? This one’s almost in no need of directions — just cut everything up, toss it with olive oil then with the blend of above seasonings (adjust anything to taste, of course). Roast in a 350 oven° for 40m (or so). 4 spoons!

Aloo(ve Affair) Gobi

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c cauliflower florets
  • 3 c cubed potatoes
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 medium green chile
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

I forgot to get a prettier picture before this was all there was left in the pan. My bad.

After recently falling in love with this dish from my favorite local spot, I have had the usual seemingly-never ending infatuation with all of the reasons beyond its deliciousness why I am in love with it:

meatless! dairy-less!
cauliflower! potatoes!

Because though I am not a staunch vegetarian, I have been cutting back on meat enough to know what a difference it makes in my health to do so. To naysayers who decry vegetarians for that lack of essential dietary elements (protein! calcium!) I posit that you either click the links above, or research on your own what’s actually available as nutrients in all the stuff that grows outta the ground.

That being said, let me continue into this current love affair.

Ok, so prep is gonna take a bit over the skinny minute. Finely mince your onion, garlic, cilantro, chile (I just used a jalapeno) and tomato. Put oil in a pan on ML with chile, garlic and onions. Let cook until the onions are translucent; stir in turmeric so that everything begins to glow like the sun. Add mustard seeds, tomato and cilantro and dial it up to M until you hear the seeds crackling. Turn the heat back down to ML and stir in the ginger-garlic paste, cumin and coriander. Add tsp by tsp of water to this process if at any point you begin sticking to the pan (well, not YOU. You know what I mean.).

This is what my dish wants to resemble when it looks in the mirror.

So in the 15-20 minutes or so it takes for those onions to get translucent, get the stars of your show ready. Disarticulate a medium head of cauliflower, set aside. Peel potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces (I tried to strive for cubes, but I am also realistic about my fine motor skills).  Stir them into the (assumed ready) almost paste-like mixture in the pan. Once coated, it’s the florets’ turn. Stir in about 1/3c water to make their union more pleasurable. Add another 1/3c water and let the pan come to a gentle boil on M, then stir and reduce heat to ML until everything is fork-tender. Even were you to make some of the grievous missteps which I did not mention here (I am still learning you, potato.), this dish will garner silent smiles and 4 spoons!