The Versatile Cauliflower

For the last few years people have been posting recipes using cauliflower instead of things like rice, couscous, pizza bases and mash – and I thought, hmm I like cauliflower, but really, is it going to live up to those delicious carbs? Well, in an effort to eat less of these types of carbs I decided to try it, and low and behold – it is delicious! The first dish I made using cauliflower as couscous my boyfriend took one mouthful and said – ‘This is BETTER than couscous’, I kid you not.

cauliflower

So how do you do it, and what do you do with it?

It is really easy! For ‘couscous’ and ‘rice’ it is essentially the same process – just the application that differs. Grab yourself a cauliflower – I find that half a cauli is plenty for the two of us, with some leftovers so multiply accordingly. As I have a Thermomix I cut the half into four pieces, and pulse it in two batches. The ‘pulse’ or ‘turbo’ button is handy because it blitzes it at high speed for a short burst. It normally only takes 3-4 bursts.
Cauliflower ‘rice'

Once it is blitzed it will resemble rice or couscous and from here toss it into a frying pan with some olive oil/coconut oil or butter. I also like to sauté some garlic or onion first then add the cauli, and toss through some coriander or parsley depending on what I am serving it with. Below are some ways I have used it recently.

Cauliflower ‘rice'

I have made it into ‘couscous’ and put some baked chicken and brocollini on top.
This was so easy, and delicious – the chicken and brocollini were cut up and baked for 30 minutes with lemon, five spice and garlic.

Baked Chicken with Cauliflower ‘couscous'

Next I made it into ‘rice’ (same as couscous really) and used it as a base for a stir fry..

 IMG_6631

And one of the best to date – a Sheppard’s pie – with cauliflower mash, instead of potato. The amazing benefit of this is that it stays so moist, where potato tends to go a bit dry, especially if you make enough for left overs and reheat it the next night.. mmmm.

Cauliflower Sheppard’s Pie

So how do you make mash? Cut up the cauli, put it in a pot with water to cover it, and bring to the boil. Boil for around 5 minutes of until a knife easily pierces the cauli, then strain. If you have a blender or Thermomix, throw it in there, with a few tablespoons of butter, or oil of your liking, and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a high powered blender grab your masher and do it by hand.

We made a yummy savoury mince with peas, carrots, celery, zucchini and tomato paste, covered it with the yummy mash, and some cheese and baked until golden – around 25 minutes. It was so tasty!

All of these dishes are paleo, gluten free, and deliciously healthy. They can be easily altered to add your favourite flavours or veggies as well.

Let me know if you have a favourite way to use cauliflower!

M x

An open letter to Kate Langbroek

Dear Kate,

I was listening to your drive show this afternoon on my way to the shops, and I could not have been more furious and disappointed. For those who did not hear the show around 4.15pm on Mix 102.3 in Adelaide – here is what happened.

Kate who has been undertaking a weight loss challenge for the past week, and is apparently struggling with it, stated that tonight to curb her appetite she wanted to take a sleeping pill and just go to bed so she could skip dinner.

This is wrong on so many levels, before you even consider the fact it was said in a public forum.

To suggest that being sedated is the only way to lose weight, or maintain willpower, is irresponsible and disrespectful to the many people out there that work hard to eat a wonderful healthy diet, and exercise.

To suggest in such a public forum, with impressionable listeners that this is a viable option is again irresponsible. When you consider the incidence of eating disorders, as well as the incidence of prescription drug overdoses, you should be ashamed.

To suggest that eating a healthy diet is ‘boring’, is misguided, and ill-informed. Perhaps listeners could send in some healthy, but equally delicious recipes for foods you are struggling to give up?

A caller said that he had had wonderful success in this past week following Hypnotherapy to curb his cravings, and the way you told him his new life – 8kg lighter sounded boring, was so dismissive and rude. His suggestion was much more constructive than pharmaceutical sedation, and would frankly make a more interesting radio segment. I would like to hear your feedback after undertaking some positive options – and maybe that is a way out of this, to atone to your producers, your listeners, and Hughsey. Try something different. Report back on it in a respectful way.

Hughsey tried time and again to change the subject, and dissuade you from this course of action, before the producers came in and ended the segment thankfully.

I realise there are many challenges when it comes to changing habits surrounding food, and I truly hope you manage to come to a place where you are happy with yourself, and with food.

Miranda.