FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy

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? ”

Easy Easy Quinoa Burgers!!

August1

This was the second time I made these and they were a big hit with my boys!!  London thought they looked like the “Nuggets” he sees his friend Janey eating at school, and so he was double excited when I cut the patty up into bite size “nuggets” for him.  He ate two burgers by himself and asked me to put them in his lunch this week.  This made me swell with burger pride, as you can imagine.  Getting a 2.5 year old to eat quinoa is tricky, and by tricky I mean I have to trick him.  So for him to request this is slightly monumental.  The only thing he ever requests for school is Pizza or Pancakes.  Neither of which he has ever had in his Tiger Lunch Bag.  Back to the burgers…

First of all – I made these because I had way too much leftover Quinoa and couldn’t bear to eat it plain again.  I remembered I had a burger recipe somewhere in my notebook, and I am glad I found it.  The recipe was for Greek style burgers but I made a more Italian version because we just had Greek Souvlaki two nights ago – too much Greek!!  Here is what I did:

put all of the following ingredients into a food processor:

two small raw carrots – cut up

1 cup of cooked quinoa

1 can of rinsed and drained Great Northern White Beans

1/4 cup dried breads crumbs (Italian are great if you can find organic!!)

Egg Replacer (the equivalent of one egg – lightly beaten)

1 teaspoon Bragg 24 Sprinkle (or Italian Spices of your choice)

salt to taste (I almost never cook with pepper, but go crazy if you like it)

The original recipe calls for pulsing your food processor until combined but still chunky – I blend it until it is really smooth and almost paste-like.  Make the mixture into patties with your hands, if it’s too sticky cool it off in the fridge first.  I used leftover Quinoa so it was already cold.  That helps. In a large skillet or frying pan heat up about two tablespoons of olive oil and cook burgers on medium heat until browned and cooked through on both sides, about 10 minutes per side.

I served these without buns or bread because they are already pretty high in Carbohydrates, but my husband went for some toast slices anyway and he was very happy.  I made guacamole and grilled some onions, green peppers, red chili pepper, and garlic to serve on top.  I also used my leftover Souvlaki Cilantro dressing on it (cilantro, soy yogurt, lemon, olive oil) which I thought was a great flavor profile for the rest of the dish.  But really – it’s a fried patty – you can eat it alone and it would be good.  Wrap lettuce around it, or put BBQ sauce on it, or cut it up and throw it in a salad.  It’s versatile.  Go crazy.  And remember to always choose organic products – it’s always worth it!!  Enjoy!

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “I could eat these everyday for a month.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Can I please have more burger? Can I please have another burger? I want more food.”

so I don’t forget what inspried me…

November30

I used this Giada recipe the other night to make what turned out to be a great dish!
Giada’s Pasta Primavera

Giadas Pasta Primavera

Giada's Pasta Primavera

It was a huge hit. I didn’t use the tomatoes because I forgot, but I did roast the veggies and use Brown Rice Pasta from TJ’S. Yum. Zeke made his famous Stuffed Pizza and I made a simple salad with Ann Gentry’s Vegan Ranch Dressing. (that’s another post. It’s so good!! You’ll never go back) My whole family was happy and full. Hard to do considering they are convinced that everything we eat is weird and gross.

Husband Rating 4 stars: gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “It’s-a guud.”