I’m in foodie heaven right now! 🙂
The one thing that I’m not sure meat-eaters know is that being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on flavor, creamy texture, or fullness. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the omnivore’s box. It’s not easy at first; but if you give meatless, low-carb recipes a try, you’ll find a low-fat, low-salt, flavorful way to enjoy your food without compromising your nutritional health. With that being said ….
Introducing my Cauliflower Cups!
Now I’d love to think that I was the first person to come up with this concept – you know, that writer’s ego thing – but since cauliflower recipes have been booming for awhile now, I’m sure there’s something similar out there to choose from. It’s a super simple method. The biggest challenge is preparing the cauliflower, which isn’t a difficult challenge at all.
Cauliflower is water-based. So, in order to get it to bind together well, it’s important to squeeze all the water from it, or as much water as you can, before baking it for your recipe. And the recipe is not really a recipe at all since it really doesn’t matter what vegetables you choose to saute for the filling. I think sauteing the vegetables is an important step though since boiling them might introduce more fluid into the cauliflower cup that you just diligently squeezed out.
Not a fan of cauliflower? Join my club! I wasn’t at first either! But I’d never given it a chance to prove that it could be an asset to my nutritional lifestyle in such a delicious way.
Alright any meat-eaters out there! I’m challenging you. Tomorrow is Meatless Monday. Why not let this be a stepping stone to get you started cutting fat, sodium and carbs from you daily meal plan? Don’t worry, I’m not into converting people to the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. But we could all – vegetarians included – eat a little less salt, sugar, and fat right? Okay, for whomever pleases, here’s the recipe:
1 medium/large head of cauliflower
4 to 5 tablespoons of cornstarch (more if needed. I’m notorious for cooking without measuring. 🙂 Test a tablespoon of your mixture in a frying pan to determine if it’s binding properly)
Veggies: whatever you like! For these beauties I used celery, carrots, corn kernels, frozen turnip pieces, chopped: purple onion, green peppers, and one skinned zucchini. Any veggies will do. Spinach, chopped broccoli, red peppers … have fun!
Cheese: Yep! I love cheese! The only dairy cheese I use is mozzarella, but any cheese will do, and Go Veggie is a great melt-able veggie cheese for anybody limiting their dairy.
Seasonings: I used garlic powder, Salt Sense (watching my sodium intake), curry, black pepper, and paprika.
Process: Cauliflower into small, crumb-like texture
Microwave: until soft. For the med/large cauliflower I used, it took about 8 minutes in my microwave. I wouldn’t recommend boiling because it adds more liquid that you’ll need to squeeze out.
Saute: After you’ve chopped your veggies, saute them in pan spray (less fattening than oil) until … well until you have them like you like them. There’s no set rule. If you prefer oil, olive oil works great!
Cool cauliflower crumbles: Until you can handle it for squeezing
Squeeze: If you have cheesecloth great! I don’t so I used a clean washcloth, put portions of the cauliflower crumbles in, and squeezed out as much water as I could. Then I seasoned with dry seasonings.
Press: seasoned cauliflower mixture into muffin shapes in the muffin baking deal (what in hell are those called?)
Bake: On 350 degrees, 25 degrees less if your oven is more powerful, bake for about 10 minutes, 15 minutes maximum. It doesn’t take long for the cauliflower shape to brown.
Fill: cauliflower cup with veggie and cheese filling. And get creative! You can add beans or tofu pieces to your mixture if you like. No, no, no – no meat. 🙂 This is about trying something meatless remember? Add shredded or crumbled cheese on top and bake again for 5- 10 minutes – just long enough for the cheese to melt. Everything is already cooked, so you don’t need much time.
For tofu: I buy extra firm tofu, squeeze out as much water as I can, slice into thin squares – then slice again into triangles if I’m feeling ambitious – then spray pan spray and pan fry; flipping so that both sides of tofu are browned. Great protein addition!