Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday's Supper - Cauliflower Couscous

Can I tell you how excited I am to be bringing back Saturday's Supper? Seriously! I am excited for this. I LOVE to cook and I LOVE to share what I'm cooking. Oh yes, I bake from scratch, I can make my own bread, I can blend up my own sauces, make up my own recipes, and so much more. Food is so important to me not only because it's what helps fuel your body and mind but also because it's one of the ways I personally show love. I think there is nothing more fantastic than sitting down at the dinner table with those who are important with you to enjoy something wonderful you have prepared with your own hands. AH feel those hippie peace and love vibes... :)

Anyway, before I lose you thinking that these segments will be all fluff and no filler here we go. I actually want to share a recipe I found in Grain Brain. My husband actually asked for this book for Christmas and since I'm all for him trying to better his (and by that I mean our) health I ordered it. He's read through part of it and in doing so we've made some attempts at cutting back on gluten.

Now, before you call the GF police on me hold on. Let me say that 1) we don't have celiac or a medical reason for cutting back on gluten and 2) we're not cutting it out completely. I have friends who are GF for medical reasons and they have shared that unless you have a medical reason for cutting it out completely it can actually be worse for your body to cut it out entirely. I don't know all the science behind it so I would highly encourage you to talk to your doctor or other medical professional before deciding to completely eliminate any food from your life. We're not eliminating gluten we're just cutting back. For example we rarely ever get plain white bread and this past week we used corn tortillas for enchiladas instead of flour. No biggie.

Ok back on track... In the back of Grain Brain there are some recipes. We have tried a few and they turned out to be good. The one that I know will become a staple for us is the Cauliflower "Couscous". Holy cow you have GOT to try this! I am a fiend for rice and could eat it for days but my calorie counter says that wouldn't be wise. On the flipside I can have the same amount of Cauliflower "Couscous" as rice and have far less calories. Plus all the nutrients in cauliflower makes this a win. Sub out those crazy carbs and make this recipe tonight! Even my husband who only selectively likes cauliflower said this was a win!

Cauliflower "Couscous"
by Grain Brain

For a tasty substitute for starch vegetables like mashed potatoes, rice, or traditional couscous, try this dish made simply from cauliflower.

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

My baby food processor. :)
In a food processor, process the florets from the cauliflower until they resemble small grains, or grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater (using the large hole shredder) until the entire head of florets is grated down and you're left with the stalk to discard.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, garlic, pine nuts, and parsley, and saute, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower begins to brown.

Note: For extra flavor, you could add pitted chopped olives or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese to the cauliflower while it's cooking.

Modifications
* We used garlic salt instead of the fresh garlic only because I was too lazy to chop up garlic.
* We added some pepper while it was cooking.
* We didn't add pine nuts because we didn't have any and it was just fine
* We also used dried parsley because I didn't have fresh and it was good
* I had to cook this in two batches. I thought my pan was pretty big but it seemed to work better in two batches. It already took quite a bit for the cauliflower to cook down and start browning but maybe I just had a huge thing of cauliflower to work with. I processed mine and ended up with, I think, 6 cups of processed cauliflower.
* I did process the stems with the florets as I can't stand the idea of just throwing them away.
* I think you could easily change the flavors of this recipe depending on what you're eating. I could imagine some warm Indian spices to pair with curry or maybe some Asian spices. MMM. I bet you could even turn this into the base for a fried "rice"! Brown up the cauliflower and add other cooked veggies, meats, or whatever you put in fried rice. MMMM... I may have to try that soon.

Served with a delightful tilapia with lemon and dill. MMM!!!

What are your favorite carb substitutes? What fills your plate instead of the typical potatoes, bread, or rice? If you have a recipe to share I would love it! Especially if it's something delightful and healthy!

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