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