Cauliflower seems to be all the rage this year. I absolutely love it and find it to be a great addition to many dishes. I recently made a braised beef dish. I added 2 cups (a half of a head) of cauliflower rice to the dish. It melted in and added texture, fiber, and a white vegetable!
Cauliflower may be underestimated for its health benefits containing a rich assortment of vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients and antioxidants that help keep our immune system strong. Cauliflower is also a watery vegetable that helps to hydrate the body.
Purchasing cauliflower rice is simple as most grocery stores have it now ready in bags. Also at Costco there is a big bag of 6 individual pouches in the freezer section (organic). To make your own cauliflower rice could not be simpler — just roughly chop some up and put it in a standing chopper, chop to desired consistency.
Cauliflower rice can be steamed by adding about ¼ inch of lightly salted water to a frying pan and adding the vegetable in. Let it cook until it pales, then strain it (about 5 minutes). The cooked cauliflower can then be stored for various uses: add it to scrambled eggs, to a smoothie, in a stew or meat dish, with quinoa or rice.
A popular low carb dish right now is using cauliflower to make cauliflower mash as an alternative for mashed potatoes. The key to making a different and deeper tasting dish is using nutritional yeast as one of the ingredients.
Nutritional yeast is not a baking ingredient, but rather an ingredient that became popular in vegan cooking. Nutritional yeast is a flaky, powdery product that is savory. It adds a nutty component to dishes and is terrific as a thickener. When I make a white sauce now, I use nutritional yeast and it takes it over the top. If you have not used it before you can find it at Thrive Market (online grocery), Whole Foods, Sprouts and of course Amazon.
To make cauliflower mash, it is simple.
1 whole organic head of cauliflower cut into large pieces
½ cup full fat coconut milk, or whole milk (organic only)
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried oregano or herb of choice
1 handful parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper
¼–½ t cumin
-> In a large frying pan place the cauliflower pieces. Add enough water to coat the bottom of the pan, about ½ inch. Put a teaspoon of sea salt in the water.
-> Set the pan to medium high heat. Cover and let it cook the cauliflower for about 5 minutes. (Cauliflower should look pale and a little soft. Does not need to be mushy).
-> Drain the cauliflower, and then in a large chopper, place the cauliflower with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse several times to get to desired consistency.
Taste for seasonings.
I use it as a base for any protein, and a clever addition to that is to use it as a layer in lasagna!
You can use the same recipe for sweet potatoes, but I like to bake the potatoes and then scoop the meat out.
Recipe by Janet Neustedter
Here4You Health Coach