Now that I have been eating vegetarian meals most days of the week, I wanted to share a handful of my yummy creations, failed attempts & my new found love for veggie burgers and cauliflower!
Hubby is Indian (as if my last name and his frequent pictures on this blog haven't given it away already) and he loves flavor! I love spice and flavor!! We need our culinary experiments to include a heck of a lot of taste or both of us are out of the game.
First things first, I discovered I like brussel sprouts and cauliflower! I never had them growing up and the handful of times I had experienced either were a non-flavorful, disgusting attempt at making a meal. I didn't know the possibilities of using cauliflower. Hubby has been super excited about these revelations as these are among his favorite vegetables!
I first discovered I liked cauliflower this past Christmas after eating my uncle's cauliflower casserole. I recreated that dish and then put the leftover cauliflower in a soup. I decided I liked it so much that I bought more and made buffalo cauliflower bites!
Over the course of this experiment, I also tried (and thoroughly enjoyed) veggie burgers, bean sprouts, homemade veggie dip, tofu, smart bacon & Quorn "chicken" nuggets. Oh man, talk about a flavorful, palate expansion adventure! I'll explain more about the food above in another post, but because I'm so excited about my recent crush on cauliflower, I thought that would be a good place to start.
Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
* 1/2 head of Cauliflower
* 1 1/2 cups low-fat shredded cheese
* Salt & pepper
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Boil cauliflower. You want to boil it for a long time as you will be mashing the cauliflower to create the casserole. Then drain.
3) Mash cauliflower with a fork until it looks like stringy mashed potatoes.
4) Transfer to an over safe casserole dish. Add in the cheese and salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower so that it is covered with the cheese.
5) Back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Voila! Yummy, cheesy casserole. We ate ours with a ton of fresh, healthy, non-cheesy fruits and veggies and created a meal. This would make a wonderful side dish.
Kitchen Sink Soup!!!
* 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1.2 tsp ground corriander
* 2 tsp cumin
* 2 tsps chili powder
* 1 bay leaves
* 2-4 garlic cloves, minced (depends on your tastebuds!)
* Handful of spinach
* Handful of raddishes
* 1 cup carrots, chopped
* 1 cup lentils
* 1/2 yellow onion
* 1/2 head of cauliflower (or a whole, your choice!)
* 14 oz. can of tomatoes (I used Rotella for extra flavor!)
* 5-6 cups of vegetable broth
1) In a crockpot, combine your vegetable broth and all of your spices. If you prefer to sautee your onions and garlic, do so. Sometimes I do and sometimes I opt not to!
2) Add all the chopped vegetables and the lentils to the pot (save the spinach).
3) Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6-8 hours.
4) About a half hour before you're going to eat, add in the handfuls of spinach (or kale) into your soup.
5) Top with cheese (or not if you're vegan!) and enjoy!!!
We ate ours in a delicious bread bowl and topped it with parmesan cheese. It is delicious and will definitely clear your sinuses, especially if you're not feeling well! The recipe above can be adapted to accomodate what you have in your refridgerator. I am calling this the kitchen sink soup as I put in whatever veggies I tend to have on hand (zuchinni, broccoli, asparagus etc) and I keep the broth the same!
I also tried cauliflower as a buffalo bite, which was a recipe I found from skinnytaste. Normally I adapt recipes and this time, I stayed the course. I have a VERY spicy palate and this was a bit too much buffalo sauce for my taste. I also didn't love it. I enjoyed the healthy idea and made her skinny texas cheese fries (minus the bacon) to go with it - but I ate the fries much faster than the buffalo bites. I did take them in to work for lunch the next day, so they were good - just not my favorite. I'd give them a try for a healthy pub grub appetizer during the Super Bowl weekend if you're feeling brave!
Enjoy! I hope you're able to incorporate some of these yummy, warm recipes this weekend during the super bowl. If you're in New England we may be getting snow on Sunday and these yummy cauliflower recipes will warm you heart & be a super healthy dish for your Super Bowl Party!
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!