Posts tagged cauliflower
Cauliflower 'Cheese'.... fat free!

This is the recipe that has got me most excited in recent weeks!!

…And this is why!

...it’s quick to whip up, it uses two basic cheap ingredients, it freezes well, it’s so versatile as a sauce in so many recipes or even as a stand alone dip!

This would make a perfect ‘lightened up’ pasta bake or really anything that would use a regular cheese sauce. I made cauliflower cheese because to me that’s classic comfort food and it’s what I craved. You could add other vegetables or substitute the beans for the peas. I had some beans needing using up so I added them for extra protein and texture.

I can’t take full credit for the 'cheese' sauce as it has appeared in various guises around the Internet, and I tweaked this spices and removed the oil to make it my own.

I want to point out, that you could add some fat (see this recipe which was my main inspiration) and but I wanted to see what the texture was like without. Also, I prefer adding the fat component of a meal by way of ingredients such as nuts and avocados as opposed to adding unnecessary oils into sauces etc. That is simply my preference. 

Recipe: Cauliflower cheese

Serves 2

Ingredients- Sauce:

  • 2 small fist sized white potatoes- chopped on to smallish pieces (approx 350g)

  • 1 heaped cup chopped carrot (approx 150g)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • juice of half a lemon

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast*

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Other ingredients: 

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 courgette

  • 1 can white beans (or beans of choice or peas)

Method:

Boil the chopped carrots and the potato for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. (I used a food processor for the carrots and potatoes and then only cooked them for five minutes or so).

Meanwhile mix the rest of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. 

Chop the cauliflower and courgette into smallish pieces and lay evenly in a medium sized glass oven dish.

Once the carrot and potato have cooked, transfer to a blender/food processor and add the remaining ingredients. I found the veg retained some cooking water, so add only a little extra water to start with as you do not want the sauce to be too runny, add extra if needed. 

Pour the sauce into the oven dish to fully coat the veggies. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes until the top is golden and the veg cooked through.. Serve immediately with a side salad if desired.

*Do not skip or substitute the nutritional yeast, this is what gives the sauce it's cheesy flavour. I use this brand and it can be found in most whole food stores in the UK and online. It's a good store cupboard ingredient to have on hand for dairy free cooking!

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The most versatile vegan quiche... four ways!

Wow... I owe you a recipe!!  Yeah this was once a recipe blog ;-)

I have so many recipes I want to share, and even more than I want to test out... but I have so many other things I ask want to share and only so many hours in the day to do it all!  Plus Wholeplus to manage on top of all that!

I hope this makes up for it! It was one of my favourites versatile creations during December. A spin off from this recipe that I knew at the time held so much more potential, and so it is that 'potential' I want to share with you today. I also featured festive variation using parsnip instead of cauliflower in my column in Definition Magazine in the November issue last year... yummy!

This recipe is also perfect for this time of year. Comforting yet light and tummy friendly, and perfect for a lunch or dinner. Packed with protein but without weighing you down... Winner!

When it comes to recipes, you surely know how high ease and versatility rate on my scale of importance by now! This does not disappoint... I promise! (even though the method looks longer than usual... it is really simple!!

I've called it a quiche, thought I guess it's not really in that it doesn't have a crust or use eggs, it's also lighter than a quiche with the chickpea/cauli infusion going on. It's definitely not a pie or fritatta either...so what else would I call it? Quiche is definitely the closest.

I've provided the base recipe below and all the addition options beneath. These are my flavours...but try experimenting with whatever takes your fancy or you happen to have to hand. You'll see in these photos I made single serve size quiches in jumbo muffin cups. They worked really well. You could make a big batch to freeze!

Recipe: The most versatile vegan quiche

Make 1 x 8” pie dish or 3-4 single serve jumbo muffin sized

Basic ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour

  • 1 tbs flax

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp general mixed seasoning

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ tsp baking soda

  • half a head of a small-med cauliflower (equal to 1 cup grated)

  • ½ a onion sliced thinly

  • 1 cup water

Options- add one of these (or more than one if making mini quiches):

  • 1/2 cup black beans (I teamed this with a smoky chipotle sauce and nutritional yeast)

  • 1/2 cup corn and sliced red onion (I used frozen corn and added paprika)

  • 1/2 cup sliced red pepper and sun dried tomatoes (I teamed this with fresh basil)

  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach (I teamed this with garlic)

  • 1/2 cup sliced courgette (I teamed this with dried italian herbs and fresh rosemary)

Method:

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.  Chop the onion finely and grate/process the cauliflower (to a rice like consistency) and add both to the dry mix, then add the water and mix through well.

If you are making mini quiches, separate the batter now.

Stir through your chosen additions (add flavours at the same time as the other ingredients in previous steps if more appropriate to do so) 

The mixture should be thick and clumpy but easy to spoon into a tin. I used an 8” silicone cake tin, but you could also use a metal one with removable bottom, or large silicone muffin cups.

Press the mixture firmly into the pan but leave the top quite rough for some nice texture. Bake at 180C for approx 30 mins until the tops is nice and golden, or around 20 minutes for mini quiches (keep an eye on the colour).

Serve either hot or cold. This ‘quiche’ holds together really well when cold so would also be great for picnics/lunchboxes. It also freezes well and can be reheated in the oven.

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I've entered this recipe into the Health Bay Recipe Challenge because I reckon this hits the spot for both health and taste!  What do you think?

 

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Crazy 'porridge-thats-not-really-a-porridge'!

For the month of November I went grain free, it's almost come to its end and I will report in more detail next week, but other than a couple of mini slip-ups it's been pretty much plain sailing.

The main thing I knew I needed to get my head around was breakfast, and in particular porridge (and stuffing handfuls of granola in my face!). This wasn't too difficult really since I knew I could make buckwheat and quinoa porridge versions but it's also nice to change things up from using those food which are grey areas for some on a grain feee diet.  Also, I have been experimenting with low carb quite a bit and so wanted an alternative option.

Sometimes I enjoy a green smoothie for breakfast, and then just pick at things during the morning until lunch, hmmmm not always the best plan but often what happens when I am making Wholeplus goodies. However when I have a proper breakfast, I love something warm and comforting, particularly during the winter.

This crazy 'porridge' concoction really knocked my socks off And even my mum, who is usually pretty sceptical when it comes to my crazy vegetable combinations, actually agreed it was pretty good and couldn't even guess the main ingredient initially! The textures are spot on with the softness of the cauliflower and the chewier desiccated coconut. 

Once I added some cinnamon, vanilla, a handful of berries and a little sweetness you'd never know that the trusty old cauliflower had been up to his old tricks again hiding in my meals!  The best bit is it's so easy... just like making regular porridge really.

Now I want to know your craziest way to make a bowl of 'porridge-thats-not-really-a-porridge'!

I have made so many 'hidden cauliflower' recipes now... is should write a book ;-)  

Here you can find more recipes I have tagged with cauliflower. (some are normal... some a little more off the wall!)

Recipe: Cauli-coconut porridge

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cauliflower grated finely
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or other)
  • ½ cup dessicated coconut
  • spices- ½ tsp cinnamon or vanilla to taste
  • 1 tbs syrup of choice or sugar free berry jam
  • Berries or others toppings- optional

Method:

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for approx. 5 minutes until cooked. Blend slightly with a stick blender if you prefer a smoother texture.

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Lemon & blueberry lightened up summer porridge!

It's been a beautiful sunny few days… though as I sit down to write this there has just been a huge downpour! Let's hope that's not the picture of things to come.

As it's hotting up my breakfasts tend to get lighter, but since I love my hot bowl of the porridge I don't want to give it up just because it's summer. This is a lovely way of lightening it up and putting a spring in your step. I posted a similar recipe for caulk-porridge a while back (I think- unless I just imagined it) whilst I was on the candida cleanse and this uses a similar base of cauliflower.

The cauliflower and the oats go together really well in texture, but if you're not a big fan of the flavour of cauliflower or use a bit too much you can end up with a slight cauliflower undertones in some recipes. However in this case the flavours of the maca powder, lemon and the blueberries (the lemon in particular) are a winning combination.... Beautifully summery and also a great compliment to the cauliflower. This bowl also contains chia seeds to thicken it up and add an extra nutritional boost. It works really well to help create the thick creamy texture too.

Recipe: lemon and blueberry summer porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 floret of cauliflower (approx ½ cup once finely grated)
  • ½ cup non dairy milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 drops stevia
  • 1-2 tbs chia (to suit preferred thickness)
  • 1 tsp maca powder (optional but mellows the flavour of the cauliflower even more)
  • handful of fresh blueberries
  • lemon zest for topping

Method

Grate the cauliflower finely and add this to the milk in a pan along with the oats. Cook for approx 5 minutes adding lemon juice, stevia, maca and chia seeds after a couple of minutes.

Ensure the porridge is well mixed and your preferred thickness (add extra water or chia)

Serve in a bowl topped with blueberries and lemon zest.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

 

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Chickpea cauliflower quiche

This recipe was a huge success. One of my biggest successes of recent weeks, I think because it turned out so much better than I anticipated. The flavour, the way it held together, the fact that it was a bit different from the typical savoury dishes.

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The recipe ingredients list was actually based on a 'fried chickpea patty' recipe somewhere on the net that I thought i'd saved to Evernote to credit the author when i came to write it up but I can't find the reference anywhere. Thought to be fair I did tweak the ingredients and the presentation of the finished dish is totally different so I guess you could say I've made it my own.

I love fresh rosemary and we have it growing in the garden so it was a welcome opportunity to use it. I imagine this would also work all with other fresh herbs of choice. Other veggies could also work too... leek, peas, maybe some thinly sliced pepper. Why not go crazy and totally change up the spices... I can see myself making a spicy morrocan style version in the not so distant future!

I've called it a quiche, thought I guess it's not really in that it doesn't have a crust or use eggs, it's also lighter than a quiche with the chickpea/cauli infusion going on. It's definitely not a pie or fritatta either...so what else would I call it? Quiche is definitely the closest. I actually think its better than a quiche. Ok I am biased.  You tell me what you think once you've made it! :-)

I ate this hot the first day (it still cuts beautifully whilst warm) and then cold straight from the fridge the second day. Yum Yum Yum! It would also be fab with a mushroom gravy or cashew cream.

One last little note... did you see my side bar?  I have just put together an ebook of my top 10 sugar free recipes when you sign up for my newsletter thatIi publish one or twice a month. The newsletter contains news, special offers, recipe round ups... you know the sport of thing. I'd love it if you would share the love across your social networks and join me there.

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Recipe: Chickpea cauliflower quiche

Makes one 8” pie dish

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tbs flax
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp general mixed seasoning
  • ½ heaped tsp dried mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • half a head of a small-med cauliflower (equal to 1 cup grated)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ a courgette sliced into thin half moons
  • ½ a red onion sliced thinly
  • 1 large spring of fresh rosemary- chopped roughly

Method

Mix the top 7 dry ingredients together and set aside.  Chop the courgette and onion and set aside. Grate/process the cauli (to a rice like consistency) and add to the dry mix, then add the water and mix through well. Stir through the onion, courgette and rosemary last.

The mixture should be thick and clumpy but easy to spoon into a tin. I used an 8” silicone cake tin, but you could also use a metal one with removable bottom. This would work in a pie dish but I’m not sure how well it would remove from the pan.

Press the mixture firmly into the pan but leave the top quite rough for some nice texture. Bake at 180C for approx 30 mins until the tops is nice and golden and feels firm.

Serve either hot or cold. This ‘quiche’ holds together really well when cold so would also be great for picnics/lunchboxes. I haven’t tied freezing it but I imagine it could be.

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I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

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Dip ya bones!!

It's very nearly halloween...and this is my second seasonal post! Look at me go, this must be a first.

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It nearly didn't happen as this dip had originally been planned as a 'monster mash' of sorts  after I was inspired by this recipe by the PPK and wanted to create my own.  I tried a couple of different ingredient combinations but it just wasn't holding up the way I wanted to. I was so close to scrapping the whole thing BUT it tasted good and i didn't want to waste my efforts before binning it so I thought i'd spread a bit on some raw veggie sticks and crackers...and then it was suddenly obvious. I had made a yummy dip!

Happy times after all :-) 

The first time I made this I used sweet potato and kale, then the second time I made it with cauliflower and kale. Both work well and you can sub roughly the same quantities for each. The photos show the cauli version and so that is what i have based the recipe below on.

If you not a fan of kale... you could go for this bean and pea dip, even quicker to whip up! 

I think my main mistake in failing in the monster mash was not allowing the veg to drain and dry well enough- particularly the cauli version. If you want to try and make some little monsters, be sure to pat the veg dry before blending, then try piping it through a large piping nozzle and decorating.  If it fails...well, you have a fab dip ;-) 

Oh... a quick note on the crackers! I made a 'human' variation of this peanut butter dog cracker recipe still using the spelt flour and ingredients as noted but adding extra salt, spices and some nutritional yeast to taste. You could also use this gluten free cracker recipe which I think would also work really well. Use a bone cutter for the ultimate effect!! :-)

Last but not least!  Let me welcome my little monster friend to you all. I carved him this morning to sit at the reception desk of the wellness centre where I work. I know I should have been studying but sometime other things take priority... and I got a little carried away. We've been playing a 'name the monster'  game over on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so why not join in! What should we call him (or her).....?

 

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Recipe: Halloween dip (1 large dip or 4 small monsters)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups chopped packed kale
  • 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs cashew or almond butter
  • salt and pepper (plus other spices if desired) to taste

Method: 

Cook the kale and cauliflower for approx. 8 minutes unit cooked (steam to retain nutrients). Drain (see note) and add remaining ingredients to the pan. Blend with a hand blender or transfer to a small blender and blend until creamy and green!

Best served immediately whilst hot with raw veggies or crackers or decorate as desired. 

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Sweet Cream... (surprise!)

The 'surprise' part intrigued you...right?

Well check this out.... fruits and veggies in one sweet little dish! Er, where are the veggies you might ask?  The cream topping. Cauliflower is playing its tricks again!

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Cauliflower is so crazy versatile, not simply due to it's mild (slightly earthy but easy to cover up) flavour, but it's pure creamy colour makes it perfect for desserts and light sauces.  All you need is a good blender to whip whip whip....

Add a few subtle flavours to hide any hint of caulifloweryness (you can taste test as you go along) and you are good to go within minutes. 

Spoon over fruit, or even a hot autumn fruit pie or crumble.....mmmmm.... pie!

 

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Recipe: Sweet cauli-cream

Makes 1 heaped cup

ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated cauliflower (approx 5 large florets)
  • approx 2/3 cup non dairy milk* (or water plus 1 tbs almond/cashew paste)
  • 2 tbs syrup (i.e brown rice syrup, maple syrup, agave) I used BR
  • 2 tsp coconut oil*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Grate the cauliflower of pulse it in a food processor until fine chopped. Add to a pan along with the liquid and simmer covered for 5-7 minutes until cooked. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth. Add a little extra water/milk if needed to achieve desired consistency. Check for flavour and add extra vanilla, spice or sweetener if needed (or if sensitive tastebuds can detect the cauliflower!)

*I also made an alternative version using 2tbs 60% coconut milk powder mixed with boiling water in place of the non-dairy milk and coconut oil. It worked really well and the slight coconut taste also helped offset the cauliflower (it doesn’t taste at all coconutty in the end).

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Choc-cauli pizza pie​

Did you see the cauliflower pizza crust recipe yesterday? No...? go check it!

Well now you have a sweet version too! I couldn't resist the temptation of trying two totally different variations. 

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This sweet version involves a simple 'raw' fruit topping that would make the perfect afternoon treat and the topping itself is simple to whip up in 5 minutes if you pre-baked the base in advance. I made my base the day before but I reckon it could also be made further in advance and frozen. Make lots of them and have a garden party picnic! Perfect finger food and perfect for using up all the summer berries. The crust itself stays soft not crispy, so it you'd like more crunch you could add buckwheat groats or seeds or nuts of choice.

This sweet version is served cold and is much more robust than the hot savoury pizza so can be sliced and served easily to be picked up with fingers....no knife and fork required!

For the cream topping I've used my magic coconut flour 'cream' trick but you could use any topping of choice or even thick whipped coconut milk- make a thick coconut cream by standing a can of coconut milk in the fridge to let the solid part settle, siphon off the liquid part and just using the solids whip it with a little sweetener to form a topping, or use this stuff- more on that in another post as its my new favourite product!!

On a side note...i'm now off on a mini holiday until Saturday and i'll be without internet, so i'll catch up with everything once i'm back, there will a scheduled post documenting my 'Months Inspirations' for July with you on Thursday too.... isn't life amazing! At any given moment we are literally surrounded by an abundance of miracles and inspirations (ok, now maybe that's the hippy holiday feelings talking!) :-)

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Recipe: choc-cauli pizza pie

serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked cauliflower puree
  • 1/4 cup almond flour*
  • 1/4 cup oat flour*
  • 3 tbs cocoa
  • 2tbs nut butter (I used hazelnut)
  • 1/4 tsp stevia
  • topping:
  • 1/3 cup 'coconut cream'
  • fresh fruit of choice
  • sprinkles, coconut, cacao nibs to decorate as preferred.

 *Note: this would probably work with other flours- just aim for a finer and denser combination.

Method:

Mix the base ingredients together to form a smooth dough. The dough will be a bit sticky but easy to smooth out into a circle using wet hands, flatten to approx. 5mm thick.

Bake the base on a lined baking sheet for 10 mins 180C.

Meanwhile prepare the coconut cream and slice the fruits.

One the crust has pre-baked, allow to cool fully and then apply the toppings.

Note: The crust stays firm (unlike the savoury crust) as the toppings are served cold. The crust is soft not crispy, so it you'd like more crunch you could add buckwheat groats or seeds or nuts of choice.

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