Tag Archives: cauliflower

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

As promised, here is a recipe I made for pizza with a cauliflower crust. I was at a Weight Watchers meeting a couple of weeks ago and I heard someone mention making a pizza crust with cauliflower. I was intrigued! My husband is doing his Atkins thing, again,  so he’s avoiding bread like the plague. I however still want my bread! But to be nice I researched the alternatives using cauliflower. Now I will say, it’s not like normal pizza crust. It’s not bread! But, it is still really good! I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome and my husband loved it. So I guess it was a success. I have made it twice now so it’s a keeper for sure.  And for those of you out there crinkling up your noses, it doesn’t taste like cauliflower! Honest! It is a little soft but hardens a bit when it starts to cool out of the oven. 

Made with crumbled chicken sausage

Made with crumbled chicken sausage & cheddar cheese topping

What I really like about this is you can put anything you want on it to make it a pizza. I used chicken sausage, some tomato sauce and some cheese. Incredibly delicious! So be daring, make some cauliflower crust pizza today! It’s worth it! Honestly the hardest part is shredding/chopping the cauliflower. Don’t be scared. It’s a taste sensation!

Crust before baking

Crust before baking

Ingredients:

2-3 Cups shredded or finely chopped cauliflower (I used my shredder attachment on the food processor)

2-3 large eggs, if they are on the small size of large, use 3, beaten

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1½ teaspoon fennel (this really makes a difference, I didn’t use it the 1st time but did the 2nd time, so invest in a jar)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder (more if you desire!)

Directions:

1: Finely chop, shred or rice cauliflower until you have 2-3 cups of cauliflower. Add the eggs and shredded cheese.

2. Add the spices and mix well.

3. Press the mixture into a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t fill up the entire sheet, mine didn’t the first time I made it) First time I used a cookie sheet. Second time I used a stoneware baking sheet. I think the cookie sheet worked better. It’s up to you though.

(Make sure it’s as flat as you can get it with no holes showing through.)

4. Bake at 450º for about 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown and crisp on the edges it’s good. You can cook a little longer if you want.

5. Remove from oven and add desired toppings. Be careful with sauce, don’t over-sauce as it will make the crust too soggy. I used about ½ cup sauce and spread it thin over the crust. I topped it with chopped chicken sausage and part-skim mozzarella. Use whatever you want!!

6. Bake until brown and cheese is bubbly! (about another 5-10 minutes, just keep an eye on it)

Makes about 8 servings

Made with sliced chicken sausage & mozzarella cheese

Made with sliced chicken sausage & mozzarella cheese

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Best Garlic Smashed Cauliflower, Ever!

So I have been totally slacking in my blogging duties. I apologize. I have many recipes to add and I’m going to start with this one. I love mashed potatoes. My favorite veggie of all time. But what I don’t love is the calories that go with it. For a while I have seen a few recipes from different sources that combine a potato and cauliflower. I know I’ve posted a recipe for my smashed cauliflower before but this one blows it away! I’m not kidding. The majority of the recipe is cauliflower which is low-calorie and good for you. But you will swear there is no cauliflower in this when you taste it. OMG! Oh and it has a bunch of garlic in it too! I made this last night as a side for our pork chops. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of it before we demolished it. The recipe makes 4 servings and the picture I have here is what was left. Needless to say I will most definitely be making this again, soon! One of the recipes I found used buttermilk but I didn’t have any so I used fat-free half-and-half. You can definitely use buttermilk or regular half-and-half, whatever you wish. But the great thing about this is that there is about 100 calories per serving! I know! So without further ado here is the recipe I came up with.

(See I told you there wasn’t much left!)

INGREDIENTS:

1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

4 cups cauliflower florets, washed (a small head is probably fine)

¼ cup milk of your choice (buttermilk, half-and-half, regular milk…)

2 tablespoons butter substitute (I use I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, light)

 6 cloves garlic, peeled

salt and pepper to taste (I did find that it does need salt so you may even want to add some to the water)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the cauliflower, potato and garlic into a pot large enough to hold it all. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. When it boils, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes. Making sure the cauliflower is very tender and soft.
  3. Drain and return to pot. Add the milk and butter. 
  4. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash till smooth! Add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve and be ready to be amazed! Makes 4 servings or 2 very large ones! 

Cauliflower au Gratin w/Panko Crusted Flounder

Today’s post I have to give props to Biz at My Bizzy Kitchen. (see the original recipe at My Bizzy Kitchen)The cauliflower au gratin part of the recipe is from her blog and it is so good I had to rave about it today. I had to make a few changes to the recipe only because I didn’t have all the exact ingredients. Original recipe called for skim milk, I didn’t have any so I used fat-free half-and-half; original recipe had mozzarella cheese and blue cheese, I used swiss and gorgonzola, which I had. It still came out great. I also didn’t cook the sauce long enough for it to thicken but it still came out great. There were no leftovers which is a good sign it was edible! I served it with panko crusted flounder fillets. For these I just dredged the fillets in a little soy flour, dunked in egg/milk mixture and then coated with panko bread crumbs. Just fry them in a large pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. You don’t need a ton of oil so don’t go freaking out that it’s fried. I used olive oil also. Actually the entire dish is pretty low-calorie.  Lots of protein and vitamins!

Flounder frying in very little olive oil

Cauliflower before baking

So before you look at the finished photo remember, the sauce was a bit watery! But, I also discovered that it tastes great poured over the fish as well! (no pic of that of course!) So all in all I would make this again. Very easy actually and cooked pretty fast. Oh also, the original recipe called for cooking the cauliflower first on the stove in water. I cooked mine in the microwave. Less heat since I was using the stove for the flounder and the oven was heating up for baking the cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite size pieces

1 cup fat-free half-and-half

1 tablespoon butter (I used a butter substitute)

1 tablespoon flour (I used soy flour)

3 ounces shredded swiss cheese (You can use mozzarella, monterey jack or cheddar too)

1 ounce crumbled gorgonzola cheese (You can use blue cheese too)

1 tablespoon Italian bread crumbs (I used panko)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe container with about ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6-8 minutes, checking halfway through to see if it’s tender. Drain water when done. Set aside.

2. While the cauliflower is cooking melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook on medium heat for about 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, making a white sauce, stirring constantly. (Here is where I apparently didn’t cook it long enough. You can raise the heat a bit and keep stirring until it thickens up a bit. Don’t worry if it doesn’t. It’ll still taste good.)

Cauliflower au gratin!

3. Remove saucepan from the heat and mix in the other cheeses until they all melt. The gorgonzola or blue cheese may not melt all the way but that is fine as it will continue to melt in the oven. Add the cauliflower and mix well. If it’s easier to mix the cauliflower in the casserole dish you are going to use that is fine. That’s what I did. Top with the bread crumbs and bake at 425º for 15-20 minutes. I put the broiler on for a minute or so just to brown it up a little more. The cheese should be nice and bubbly! Serve

Voila! Flounder and Cauliflower au Gratin!

Makes about 4 servings.

Mock Fried Rice (revisited)

Hi everyone! This is a repost of a recipe that I had pretty much forgotten was sooo incredibly awesome. I made it again the other night and had it leftover for lunch two days in a row. And yes I know some of you are going, ewww… cauliflower. Stop it! Give this recipe a try. Honestly it tastes nothing like cauliflower and it certainly doesn’t look like it. That is the first step. Your brain sees fried rice so it convinces you it’s fried rice. But it is so much healthier for you! I made it this past week with chopped up chicken sausage. So it was sort of like pork fried rice, but with chicken sausage. Either way it was delicious. I had been making smashed cauliflower alot and was tired of it. I also grated the cauliflower by hand this time with a hand box grater. No more. Next time it’s back to the food processor. I managed to grate my finger as well. Not fun. I had the cauliflower in the fridge for about a week or more and I figured I’d better make it soon. So when I went to cut it up it started to crumble a bit so this recipe was perfect. And of course once again, I left out the green pepper. I hate green peppers.  So try it this weekend, this week, soon! It’s a great meal or side dish. 

**

Ok everyone who loves fried rice stand up! Stay standing if you love or even like cauliflower! And stay standing if you hate cauliflower! This recipe will make you question your taste buds! I am not joking. I found this recipe in George Stella’s “Livin’ Low Carb” cookbook. I of course tweaked it to my liking. He calls for diced green bell peppers in it but for all of you who know me, I hate bell peppers of any color! I know, I know, what kind of Italian doesn’t like bell peppers? Me! Anyway, this recipe is incredible. We make it quite a bit now too. If you weren’t told what it was you would think it was fried rice for sure. I also add either chopped shrimp, chicken or pork to it to make it even better. Usually about  ½ cup of whichever you choose is great. Cooked shrimp, cooked chicken or cooked pork. I am actually making it tonight and I have to improvise again. There are scallions in the recipe and I’m out of them! Which never happens because John loves scallions. But I do have red onion which he also loves so I am going to try that with it today. We shall see what happens. Also the recipe calls for you to grate the cauliflower. Use a food processor with a grating blade if you have one. This makes it soooo easy. I tried it the first time with a hand grater on the largest holes and needless to say I was sorry! It’s so hard to grasp the cauliflower when it gets smaller. Use a food processor or be careful with the grater!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups raw cauliflower

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

2 tablespoons finely diced green bell peppers (ewww….)

4 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green and white parts)

½ cup cooked chopped shrimp, chicken or pork (or leave it out if you want to go vegetarian)

¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 large eggs, beaten (I have used 2 and it seems fine also)

salt to taste if needed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grate the cauliflower using a food processor!!! Use the grating blade. Take my word for it!

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pepper and 3 tablespoons of the green onions and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the cauliflower, shrimp, chicken or pork, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender

4. Add the soy sauce and stir. (Looking more like fried rice now isn’t it!) Add the eggs to one corner of the pan but don’t stir for 1 minute. This allows the eggs to cook for a bit, which will prevent them from completely breaking up and disappearing into the mix.

5. As soon as the eggs are soft-cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and gently fold the eggs into the mixture. Add salt or more soy sauce to taste. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon scallions and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Buying Fresh Fruits & Vegetables at Their Peak (Part 2)

As promised here is the list of when it is the best time to buy fresh vegetables, when they are in season.  What are the best vegetable to buy now? Or in 3 months from now?  Right now in Florida where I live the corn is just starting to come out where in the north it won’t be at its best until August or September. I remember when we spent the summers in Maine as kids and we couldn’t wait for August because we’d go to the farm stands and get all of that delicious sweet yellow and white corn, fresh from the farms. It was so crunchy and sweet and you could eat 2 or 3 ears at a sitting without any problem.  Some vegetables are great all year-long which is a good thing! I hope this information helps out when you’re shopping. Another thing when you are buying items at their peak they are usually the best price as well. So keep that in mind as well! Happy shopping and eat your veggies!

  • Artichokes: March-May: Look for heavy, compact, plump globes. Large tightly closed, fleshy leaf scales. Good green color. Heavy for size.
  • Asparagus: March-June: Look for tightly closed buds. Straight, tender, rich green stalks. Open tips and angular or ridged spears are signs of over maturity.
  • Green/Wax Beans: April-October: Look for crisp, long, straight, blemish-free pods.
  • Lima Beans: April-August: Look for bright color for the variety. Crisp, dark-green, well-filled pods.
  • Beets: June-October: Look for firm, round, smooth, deep red-colored roots. Fresh-looking tops. Avoid those with long roots and rough, scaly areas on surface, because they are tough, fibrous and strong flavored.
  • Belgian Endive: October-May: Look for firm without bruises. Color should be white with greenish cast.
  • Broccoli: October-May: Look for firm, closed, dark-green florets. Firm, tender stalks. Yellowing green-colored heads of broccoli are over mature.
  • Brussel Sprouts: October-November: Look for miniature, compact, bright-green heads.
  • Cabbage: All Year: Look for well-trimmed, solid heads. Heavy for size.
  • Carrots: All Year: Look for firm, bright-colored, smooth, clean, well-shaped. Avoid rough, cracked or green-tinged roots.
  • Cauliflower: September-November: Look for bright-green leaves enclosing firm, closely packed creamy-white curd or florets. Avoid bruised or open florets.
  • Celery: All Year: Look for fresh, crisp branches. Light green to green color. Should not have wilted, rough look or puffy feel to the stalk.
  • Corn: May-September: Look for fresh-leaved, green husks. Plump, milky kernels. Avoid cobs with small or large, dented or shrunken kernels.
  • Cucumbers: May-August: Look for bright, shiny green; firm; well-shaped.
  • Eggplant: August-September: Look for firm, heavy, smooth, even dark purple. Free of bruises or cuts.
  • Lettuce: All Year: Look for fresh green leaves with no wilted or bruised areas. Heading varieties of lettuce should be medium weight for size.
  • Mushrooms: November-April: Look for dry, firm caps and stems. Small brown spots or open caps are still good in flavor.
  • Okra: May-September: Should have tender, bright-green, bruise-free pods, less than 4½ inches long. Pale, faded, hard pods are tough and fibrous.
  • Onions: All Year: Look for well-shaped; hard; small necks. Dry paper skins. Free of green spots or green-depressed leathery areas. Crisp green tops. Two to three-inch bleached-white roots.
  • Parsnips: October-April: Should be small to medium size; smooth-skinned; firm. Decay and bruise free.
  • Peas: April-July: Look for well-filled, bright green. Swollen, light-colored or gray-flecked pods contain tough, starchy peas.
  • Peppers: All Year: Look for good shape; firm exterior; thick flesh and bright, glossy skin.
  • Potatoes (White): All Year: Should be fairly smooth; well-shaped; firm. Free of most blemishes. Avoid bruised, sprouting, shriveled or green-tinged.
  • Potatoes (Sweet): September-December: Look for thick, chunky, medium-sized with no bruises or decay. Should taper at the end.
  • Radishes: May-July: Look for medium-sized (¾-1 inch diameter); good red color; plump; round; firm; crisp. Bright-green tops.
  • Spinach: March-May: Look for large, bright, blemish-free leaves with good green color. Yellowing indicates the start of decay. Avoid leaves with coarse stems.
  • Squash (Summer): June-August: Look for bright color; smooth; glassy skin. Heavy for the size; firm; well-shaped.
  • Squash (Winter): September-November: Should be heavy for the size. Hard, good-colored, unblemished rind.
  • Tomatoes: May-August: Should be well-formed; blemish-free; plump. Over all rich red color and slight softness.
  • Turnips/Rutabagas: September-March: Should be small to medium size; smooth; firm; heavy. Few leaf scars at top and few fibrous roots at base. Purple-tinged white ones are turnips. Yellow-skinned, larger roots are rutabagas.

Smashed Cauliflower


When I first tried smashed cauliflower I hated it. Normally I really like cauliflower so I was upset that I didn’t enjoy this side dish. It was a popular side for Atkins diets and anyone looking to lower their carbs, but I thought it tasted nasty. No flavor at all! Till now that is. I have played around with various recipes and have finally come up with one that my husband and I both love!  It’s an easy recipe but it does take some prep time, but it’s worth it. I have also used broccoliflower and even the orange cauliflower in this recipe. It’s a lower calorie version as well. Feel free to use full fat ingredients if you don’t like the fat-free or light ingredients. I use FF Half-and-Half and light ingredients. The amounts of the ingredients can be increased or decreased evenly depending on how big your cauliflower head is. And if you don’t have ricotta cheese or cream cheese you can leave it out. It taste so much better with these cheeses though! It’s goes well with any main dish: fish, beef, chicken, pork. Give it a try!

INGREDIENTS:

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small pieces

1-2 TBS butter or butter substitute

1-2 TBS fat-free half-and-half or 1% milk (or whatever you have around)

1-2 TBS fat-free or light ricotta cheese

1-2 TBS fat-free or light sour cream

1-2 TBS light cream cheese

1-2 wedges light Laughing Cow Cheese (I like the garlic & herb one but any flavor is good)

1-2 scallions chopped (green and white parts)

3-4 cloves of garlic chopped (you can use less if you don’t like too much garlic)

1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese (for topping)

Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1: Place cut up cauliflower, garlic and scallions into a microwave safe container and cook on HIGH for about 6-8 minutes until cauliflower is tender and soft. Stir halfway through cooking time.

2: In a food processor or blender place cauliflower mix, butter, ricotta, half-and-half, sour cream and Laughing Cow cheese and blend until very creamy. It will still be a little grainy but should be on the creamy side. I usually have to do this in two batches in my food processor. I also sometimes need to add a little more milk to make is creamy. Adjust as needed.

3: Place the mixture into a small casserole dish, deep pie plate or any oven safe baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese. The mixture is still usually warm at this point. Then place the dish into a 350 degree oven until top gets brown and sides bubble a little. This may take about 20-30 minutes.

4: Remove from oven and serve! My husband likes to add hot sauce to his as well.



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