Cauliflower, what’s the big deal anyway?

April 24, 2014

“The Real Meal Revolution”… “Tim Noaks”… “Banting”… “High fat, low carb (HFLC)”. 

These are just some of the phrases I have heard over and over again the past couple of months. It seems like Tim Noaks’ newly suggested way of eating has become a foodie trend. I, myself, am hooked.

One of my favourite things I have discovered while following this eating plan is how cauliflower can be used in so many ways. I used to hate this bland tasting veggie, now it’s one of my staples which can always be found in my fridge.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and folic acid, and, for those of you watching your weight, it’s also extremely low in calories – one cup only has about 27 calories (compare that to 204 calories in a cup of regular white rice!) Check out this article for a more in-depth look at the health benefits of cauliflower.

Below are three simple cauliflower ideas to help minimise you carb intake, all super simple to make and a definite must try…

1.) CAULIFLOWER RICE
photo 1

Ingredients:
– 1 head of cauliflower
– 100g butter

Method:
1.) Start by cutting the stem off the cauliflower and then chop the crown into smaller pieces.
2.) Next you can either use a cheese grater or a food processor/blender to pulse the cauliflower until you reach couscous consistency.
3.) Place the ‘rice’ in a small pot of water and enough water so it is just covering it.
4.) Cook covered for ±20min.

Variation: 
* You can also add 1/2 a tin coconut milk and a spoon of fish sauce to your pot for you thai inspired dishes. 

2.) CAULIFLOWER MASH
photo 2

Ingredients:
– 1 head of cauliflower
– 100g butter
– 300ml milk
– Salt & pepper

Method:
1.) Steam the cauliflower until it is mushy.
2.) Use a stick blender/food processor to puree the cauliflower until it is smooth.
3.) Continue to puree while you add the milk and the butter. Blend into it is smooth and silky.
4.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Variation:
* Add garlic and rosemary while you blending you cauliflower for a unique taste.
* For a real treat try a bacon and smoked gouda variation. Add 4 slices of cooked bacon and 1/3 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese when blending your cauliflower. 

3.) CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST
photo 3

Ingredients:
– 1 head of cauliflower
– 1 egg
– 120g  soft style goats cheese

Method:
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.) Roughly chop cauliflower and process in a food processor/blender. Mix until a fine “rice” like consistency is achieved.
3.) Add cauliflower to boiling water to steam for about 6-7mins. Strain in a fine mesh strainer. Then place in the middle of a clean large dish towel and let cool.
4.) Next, pull the sides of the dish towel together and twist to squeeze the remaining moisture out.
5.) In a large mixing bowl use a spatula (or your hands!) to mix the strained cauliflower, egg and goat cheese. You can also add fresh herbs if you like such as basil and oregano.
6.) Combine ingredients well and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
7.) Use your hands to form a thin, even layer. You can keep the sides raised a little higher as a “crust”.
8.) Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 35-40mins.
9.) Finally your crust is done, now you can add whatever topping your heart desires.

Variation:
*Try adding some mozzarella & parmesan cheese for a decadent cheesy base.

xxxx
Enjoy, EJ

Cracker Jacker: Carb-free nutty crackers

January 14, 2014

These seed crackers are the perfect alternative to your normal bread crackers. I will be honest with you though, they are not the ‘strongest’ crackers. They break quite easily but they definitely do not lack tasty perfection. They also PACKED with omega oils!

Ingredients:

  • 200g sunflower seeds
  • 60g flax seeds
  • 100g seaseme seeds
  • 2 tbsp psyllium husks (Can be found at most health stores.)
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

1.) Prevent the oven to 160 degrees.
2.) In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and leave the mixture to stand until it is thick. About 10min.
3.) Spread the mixture out as thinly as possible on a baking sheet or tray. The mix should have no holes in it.
4.) Bake the tray for an hour. You may need to rotate it away from hot spots in the oven every now and then.
5.) After an hour, and possible a few turns, it should only take another 15-20min until it is seriously crispy.
6.) Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled break them into any size you like and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 16 crackers.

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Creamy simmered chicken with olives, salami and capers.

January 5, 2014

Yes this creamy food is “diet food” can you believe it!? And it tastes unbelievable. I’m busy trying out this new diet called banting, it’s low carbs and high fat. So far it’s working brilliantly and everything tastes too good to be true. This creamy chicken is definitely a winner.

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Ingredients:

  • x2 chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (I used yellow)
  • 10 slices salami cut up
  • 80g butter
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Method: 

1.) In a large, heavy based frying pan sauté the onion, pepper and salami in the butter until slightly brown.
2.) Add the capers, olives and stock and boil until reduced by half.
3.) Add the cream and reduce by a third.
4.) Drop the chicken pieces into the sauce and simmer for 2-3min.
5.) Season with salt and pepper and serve.

** You can do the exact same recipe but swap the cream for good quality tomatoes, tinned or fresh.

Enjoy
xxx EJ

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