Why Meatless Mondays?…
Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.
Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…
How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...
This week …it’s a Cauliflower pizza base, cauliflower, rice, walnut and red pepper dip and cauliflower cheese…
Cauliflower and broccoli are both delicious vegetables…They come from the same family Brassicaceae…however broccoli is a member of the Italica cultivar group, while cauliflower is part of the Botrytis cultivar group…
I think I need to take a course in Olericulture…so much is the same but different…like cauliflower and broccoli…
As a family, we love most vegetables both my grandfather and my father had vegetable gardens and I myself have dabbled in England I had an allotment for a while I also used to grow fruits and vegetables in raised beds, pots, grow bags, on window sills and hanging baskets…I still have pots of herbs growing and fruit trees here and my aim is to cultivate some of the rarer Thai fruits…
Cauliflower Pizza Base…
- 1 medium head cauliflower.
- 1 egg, large.
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
- 1/8 tsp salt.
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
- 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
- Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in a food processor in 2 batches, until “rice” texture forms.
Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.
Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.
Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.
Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.
Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.
Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.
Slice and enjoy!
Let the kids help you can never second guess a child and what they will like. Encourage them to help prepare their food…They are more likely to eat what they help prepare.
THE VERSATILE CAULIFLOWER… I love it! x…I really like this pizza base and it may be because I am not a fan of the traditional pizza base…I loved the crispy edges where the cheese browned my family didn’t like it as much as a traditional Pizza base…
And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion.
A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice.
Sea Salt and a squeeze of Lemon Juice.
Either grate or blitz in a food processor ( but not too fine) you want some texture.
Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.
Use Tablespoon Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.
Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.
All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.
If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to the oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian food.
Eating Mexican AND WANT TO ADD SOME AUTHENTICITY……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.
This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.
To store...I make a batch and keep it in the fridge during the week but keep it in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.
Make any white sauce and add grated cheese and some mustard…A white sauce is essentially Béchamel sauce traditionally made from a white roux and milk.
- 500ml whole milk
- 1tsp English mustard powder
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 100gm mature cheddar, grated
- 50gm parmesan grated
Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer to thicken to a smooth sauce, stirring constantly.
Take the sauce off the heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheddar and half the Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour over your steamed cauliflower and broccoli and sprinkle over the remaining cheeses. I also add little cherry tomatoes around the edge or tomato slices…
Cook under the grill until the sauce is bubblier and the top is golden brown about 15-20 minutes on 180/200 oven.
I didn’t run out of tomatoes...lol…hubby doesn’t like tomatoes so I always leave a gap…
We love roasted or cauliflower florets in batter…nice and crispy with a dip it makes a nice snack or light lunch with a glass of wine…just saying…I have a new addition to my pantry a lovely pomegranate molasses… this molasses came from Iran with some Sumac…I wanted to try an original to get the taste as I haven’t cooked with sumac and the last time I had pomegranate molasses was when I was in the UK…
This lovely Red Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip will be a great accompaniment to the Roasted Cauliflower…
To Roast a small head of cauliflower break in florets…
Toss cauliflower florets with a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a small baking sheet and roast in a pre-heated oven at 220C (convection)/200C (fan-forced) for approximately 18-20 minutes until cauliflower is cooked and golden. Remove from the oven.
For the dip:
- 2 red Bell peppers
- 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes and crushed black pepper
- To serve: Mint leaves, crushed walnuts, chilli flakes, olive oil…
Place bell peppers on a small, rimmed baking sheet. Rub with olive oil. Roast peppers in a pre-heated oven at 220C /200C (fan) for approximately 20-25 minutes until the peppers are blackened and cooked. Remove from the oven and transfer capsicum to a bowl. Cover with cling film or foil to steam the capsicum as it cools. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove and discard the core, skin and seeds.
Place the red pepper flesh, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky ish dip.
Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl/dish. Create swirling dips with the back of a spoon and drizzle with extra olive oil (if using). Top with crushed walnuts, chilli flakes, mint leaves. Serve warm with pitta bread or your favourite bread.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Can be warmed for a few seconds in the microwave before eating…if preferred ours never lasts that long…
That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx
Thank you for reading this post If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx