FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy
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Cauliflower “Rissoto”… a healthy Italian makeover: Day 75 of my 90 Day Food Journey

March20

Well, It’s been a loooong journey… but it’s still going. To say that I am busy right now is an understatement. I WISH WISH WISH I had more time to post everyday. Mostly because it helps stay me focused on what I’m eating and how my body and mind are changing for the better, but life happens while you’re making other plans, right? I have so many things I want to talk about, and about 10 draft posts waiting to be written, but I’m going to put up a quick post about a fantastically healthy dish my husband made the other night… Because at the end of the day – I hope to remember, inspire, and share our healthy food choices. So here it is…

Cauliflower “Risotto”

deliciously created by ForkandBeans.com

This dish is vegan, grain and gluten-free.  Good start.  Zeke made it pretty close to the original recipe and I loved it.  BUT I have made a few changes to this recipe as I think I would have loved it even MORE if it had these tweaks.  My changes are in bold in case you want to omit them and try it the Forks and Beans OG way.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 medium head of Lightly Steamed cauliflower, chopped in a food processor (or your VITAMIX!)
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained, divided (I prefer Great Northern Beans) we used Garbanzo/Chick Peas
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb sundried tomatoes (we used Oven Roasted Tomatoes now on sale by the jar at Costco – thank you Costco – I will always love you)
  • 1 Tb capers (I love capers like they are candy – I added about 1/4 cup to my plate  – I may have an olive problem)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
  • toasted pinenuts, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat 1 Tb olive oil on medium heat until warmed. Place the shallots, garlic, and thyme inside and saute for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and translucent.
  2. Place 1/2 the can of beans and vegetable broth into the pot and simmer for 5 minutes!
  3. With an immersion blender (or if you do not have one, use a regular blender or your Vitamix!), gently blend all of the contents together in the pot until creamy and smooth.
  4. Add grated cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes, remainder beans, and spinach. Cover with a lid and allow to heat through for a good 5 to 15 minutes. Waiting to throw the spinach in until 5 min before you’re ready to serve.
  5. Add the capers before you serve and garnish with toasted pine-nuts.

The main thing I want to stress about this dish is that if the cauliflower is raw it really doesn’t feel like Risotto.  It’s still GREAT, but I don’t think it should be called Risotto because then your brain in disappointed.  If the cauliflower was lightly steamed before chopping and THEN steamed longer at the end I am confident that it would be truly a perfect Faux Risotto.

 

This dish is very similar in flavors and texture to an amazing NON-vegan dish I have made many times in the past By Giada De Laurentiis: Veronica’s Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce.
Giada’s has cheese – a LOT of cheese, and also takes a long time to make. It’s very prep heavy. I have made it for many people many times and everyone loves it, but I don’t make it that often anymore, because there’s no time for all that prep AND I am no longer eating cheese. Details, details. Honestly, I have missed this dish, but NO LONGER!! Because the Cauliflower Risotto gives me the exact same Italian fix and comfort food feelings that I need and crave!! I am so excited about this. Thanks to my husband for continuing on the hunt with me for great new healthy, vegan food we can easily make at home.
Try this!! You will be amazed. I promise. I was.

The journey is NOT over yet…. Stay with me!

D-

Husband Rating 4 stars:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star stars : “It’s a pretty good replacement for Risotto”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces: “Thumbs up Papa! this is so yummy! Mommy, can I have a banana? ”

The Vitamix has arrived! Day 56 of my Food Journey.

March1

Well… Everyday my intentions are good in that I will put up a quick Food Journey Post – and everyday seems to be crazier and crazier. Sadly, this blog is the very last thing to get done, as you can see by my 2 week absence. Actually – my nails are the very last thing to get done, but it’s been so long since that’s happened it’s not even on the list anymore.  But here’s the latest up-to-date goings on regarding the clean, vegan, organic, sugar-free food in The Kamm Fam household.

If you know my husband Zeke, then you already know that he can get intense about things.  More intense than me, which is pretty darn extreme. He recently decided that we need, let me stress NEED, a Vitamix Blender.  Well, right this moment money is tight, and those babies are not cheap – and we already have a blender, food processor, mixer, and juicer, so do we really NEED another appliance?  Turns out we do. As my husband puts it: “we are losing money by NOT having a Vitamix.”  A bit overboard, but he’s very persistent when he has his mind set on something.  Well, turns out my always thoughtful and generous In-Laws, Mark and Angela, have been waiting for the perfect thing to give us as a housewarming gift, and after finding out that Zeke was on a mission, they decided to save me from one more argument about needing to wait.  I love them for many reasons.  This is just another one.

So last Tuesday, while Zeke and I were eating our way through Portland on a  business trip, our brand spanking new (refurbished) Vitamix arrived on our doorstep! Needless to say, we celebrated by eating yet another fantastic meal in one of Portland’s countless vegan restaurants.  I love living 3 hours from the only city in the world to have animal-free fine dinning everywhere you turn.  Pure coincidence? I think maybe the universe is just looking out for us. I love Bend, but most of the food in our town is meat and potatoesque.  Paleo athletes everywhere you turn and beer drinking bar-food everywhere else.  Happy and fun, but not our idea of clean eating.  Sorry Bend, it’s the only thing you are lacking.

What started out as a 90 day Food journey has just been combined with a 30 day Vitamix Journey to finish it smoothly.  Literally – super smooth style.

Me with the newest member of our Kitchen.

Me with the newest member of our Kitchen.

We have already used our new gadget 7 times in the last three days.  Have we saved money yet? Probably not, but it’s been really fun trying out all the features and options and learning how to make new things that simply weren’t possible before.  It really isn’t just a blender.  It’s a Food Transformer!  We already have made smoothies, milkshakes, soup, and sauces.  Last night I made a cheese sauce for the Vitamix Macaroni and Cheese that was SO good, I felt like I was back at Dodger stadium pumping guilt-free Velveeta Cheese sauce all over my nachos.  You won’t believe the recipe.  It’s so easy and so good… it’s totally worth the half a grand my wonderful In-laws dropped on this machine.  Here it is – straight off the Vitamix website:

Not-So-Cheese-Sauce

notsocheesesaucemainjpg

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) canned pimentos, drained
  • 2/3 cup (70 g) whole raw almonds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 3 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.

Okay – so that’s it.  3 Minutes.  4 if you count the time it takes to squeeze the lemon and put everything in the container. Can you believe it?  I made TJ’s Brown Rice Penne Pasta, Steamed Broccoli and Blanched Kale to go under this sauce. We also added some Field Roast Frankfurters cut up for fun (and extra protein.) Half way through the meal I decided I wanted extra sauce for the steamed broccoli.  How indulgent!  Extra cheese sauce to smother my veggies with?  Teaching my son to cover up his greens?!?  Well did you see that list of ingredients?  Next to actual fresh broccoli and kale, there really isn’t a list of healthier foods around.  How amazing.  I am totally sold on this thing and, once again, my husband was right.  I am going to make this sauce tomorrow night for my annual Oscar party with my Mom. I’ll be bringing tortilla chips and nacho (or “not-so”) cheese sauce to try out on her, as she is one of the best cooks I know, and is always happy to try new things.

If you have any great vegan Vitamix recipes that you want to share… PLEASE let me know .  I am all over this appliance.

Until I can pull it together again for another post… Happy Clean Eating!
D-

Husband Rating 3.5-4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star stars : “It’s like a cheese milkshake. I love this Vitamix!”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces: “Pretty good – but too lemony”