Sandy's Kitchen: Cauliflower

Showing posts with label Cauliflower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cauliflower. Show all posts
Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater... okay maybe not with pumpkin... but I did make some delicious Mexican cauliflower rice using only a few ingredients so it felt like I was cheating! What I mean by cheating is making the recipe quicker and easier to make than the traditional method. I know it isn't your traditional Mexican rice, but it sure is yummy and that is what matters! Right?!


This recipe makes 6 (3/4 cup) servings so you will still need another Green and a half for the day. I had grilled Southwestern shrimp leftover so I decided to use this rice to make a delicious salad! No boring salad for me! I used 7 ounces of grilled shrimp (1 Leanest), 1 1/2 cups lettuce (1 1/2 Greens), 3/4 cup Mexican cauliflower rice (1 1/2 Greens), and 2 tablespoon of light ranch dressing (1 Healthy Fat) to make my salad.


To season the shrimp, I used 1/2 tsp Stacey Hawkins Southwestern seasoning and 1 tsp Stacey Hawkins Roasted Garlic Oil. Then I skewered the shrimp and threw it on the grill. I love Stacey Hawkins seasonings because it takes the guess work out of determining how much of THIS spice and THAT spice I need to create a certain seasoning blend. Not to mention, they taste great! You can purchase her seasonings HERE!


Quick and easy Mexican style shrimp salad with a drizzle of light ranch dressing!


I also enjoyed broiled tilapia seasoned with Stacey Hawkins Citrus Dill Seasoning, Garlic Gusto Seasoning, and a tsp of her Roasted Garlic oil which gives it more garlic flavor! I added 3/4 cup of roasted broccoli and 3/4 cup Mexican cauliflower rice to complete my Lean and Green for the day! Delicious, quick and easy meals! Trust me... you don't have to eat the same thing over and over again!


To make the Mexican cauliflower rice, use already grated or riced cauliflower. It will make your life easier! I used this one from Trader Joes and love it! They actually have fresh or frozen grated cauliflower. This particular one was in the frozen section.


Add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the partially frozen cauliflower to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.


Salsa is your main ingredient! Well... besides grated cauliflower of course! This is why I call this cheater Mexican cauliflower rice! The salsa has all the ingredients (tomato, onion, green chilies, jalapenos, and spices) you need to make this cauliflower rice have Mexican flavors. Add your salsa and additional cumin and stir until combined. That's it! Ready in less than 15 minutes! Enjoy!


Cheater Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups cauliflower rice (9 Greens) ~ I used partially defrosted Trader Joes riced cauliflower
3/4 cup salsa (12 Condiments)
1/2 tsp taco seasoning (1 Condiment)
1 tbsp Stacey Hawkins Roasted Garlic Oil or olive oil (3 Healthy Fats)

Directions:
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Add cauliflower and cook for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
Season with salt and pepper if desired, but subtract from your condiments.
Add salsa and taco seasoning stirring until combined.
Divide into 6 equal portions.
Enjoy!

Makes 6 Servings (3/4 cup)
Each serving provides
1 1/2 Greens, 2 Condiments, and 1/2 Healthy Fat per serving
(Still need 1 1/2 Greens more such as 3/4 cup broccoli)


Sometimes I just want a delicious grilled cheese sandwich, but I don't want all the carbs that come with eating traditional white or wheat bread! I also don't want to sabotage all the hard work I put in to staying on plan! So what is a girl to do?

Come up with another alternative!

These "bread" slices made from grated cauliflower are actually pretty tasty! No, they don't really taste like bread, but it sure does help hold all that yummy cheese and sliced turkey breast together! I find that cauliflower can mimic a lot of  different foods such as pizza crusts, breads, pasta, etc so it just so happens to be one of my favorite veggies right about now!

I do find these "bread" slices to be a little bit more time consuming than using regular bread and you do have to be extra careful with flipping them over on the skillet. But that's okay! My health will thank me later!


I used my large electric griddle to cook these babies up. It allowed me to cook all four slices at once so it took less time to make them. Just remember to be very patient and careful when flipping the slices. You don't want the slices to fall apart! Get them nice and golden before you flip them. Once you have your slices done, top with cheese and turkey slices and cook until the cheese has melted. Delish!

The recipe below makes two yummy servings so make sure you have someone to share it with or you could always save the other one for tomorrow! Stick it in the fridge and then heat it up in the skillet again the following day! Serve with 1 Green of your choice to complete your Lean and Green meal!


Grilled Turkey and Cheddar "Sandwich"

Ingredients:
2 cups grated cauliflower (4 Greens)
1 egg (1/3 Lean)
1/4 cup freshly grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese * (2 Condiments)
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning (1/2 Condiment)
2/3 cup shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese (2/3 Lean)
7 ounces thinly deli sliced turkey breast (1 Leanest)

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine grated cauliflower, egg, Parmesan cheese, 
and Italian seasonings. Mix until evenly combined. Set aside.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
Spray with cooking spray. Scoop the cauliflower mixture into a small patty and place on the skillet or griddle. Repeat to form a second, third and fourth patty. These are your "bread" slices.

Press down on the pieces with a spatula and cook until golden underneath,
about 5 minutes. Flip carefully and cook until the other sides are golden, about 3 minutes more.

Top a cauliflower slice with 1/3 cup cheese and 3.5 ounces of turkey. Place a cauliflower slice on top. Repeat with the other two slices. You will have two sandwiches. Cook until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes more per side.

Makes 2 Servings
Each serving provides
1/2 Lean, 1/2 Leanest, 2 Greens, and 1.25 Condiments per Sandwich

(You still need 1 more Green and 1 Healthy Fat for the day.)

* If you can't find freshly grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese, use regular Parmesan cheese. It would then be 2.25 Condiments per serving.


I absolutely love grated cauliflower, especially when it is used as rice.
Trader Joes and a few other grocery stores sell pre-packaged grated cauliflower ready to use! Customers were going Ga-Ga over them! I remember when Trader Joes first started selling them, they were always sold out and it took some time before they had them in stock again! It was crazy! I guess I can understand why so many people loved them... they were convenient and required a little less prep work when preparing meals. I have used the pre-packaged grated cauliflower, but I actually prefer to grate it myself. I think it saves a little bit of money and it is so easy to do with a food processor. No matter if you purchase cauliflower already grated or if you grate it yourself, there are some creative ways to eat it such as avocado cauliflower rice!


This avocado cauliflower rice is creamy and delicious! It kind of reminds me of yummy guacamole mixed with rice since it has cilantro and lime in it. This is the perfect side dish that is sure to be a definite crowd pleaser! Keep in mind that if you are following the Optavia 5 and 1 plan, you need to choose a Leanest Lean to accompany this dish since this it already contains 2 Healthy Fats. Some great options are fish, shellfish, ground turkey or other meat that is more than 98% lean.


Start off by mashing 1 1/2 ounces of avocado with a fork.  Add fresh lime juice, garlic powder, salt and chopped cilantro. Set aside.


Heat a tsp of oil in a skillet. I used Stacey Hawkins Roasted Garlic oil to give the cauliflower more flavor. I love her flavored oils! If interested, you can purchase it HERECook cauliflower rice over medium heat for about 5 to 8 minute in a covered skillet.


Add the avocado mixture to the cauliflower rice. Stir until combined and heated thoroughly. If you have the cauliflower rice already prepped, this side dish is ready in less than 15 minutes! It is a nice change from eating plain cauliflower rice! I served it with grilled tilapia seasoned with Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle Seasoning Blend. What a delicious Lean and Green! Enjoy!

Avocado Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:
1 1/2 ounces avocado (1 Healthy Fat)
2 tsp fresh lime juice (1 Condiment)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (1/4 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (1/4 Condiment)
1 tsp Stacey Hawkins Roasted Garlic Oil or Olive Oil (1 Healthy Fat)
1 1/2 cups raw grated cauliflower (3 Greens)

Directions:
In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. 
Add lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and cilantro. Stir until combined. 
Continue mashing to get the mixture as smooth as possible.
Set aside.

Add 1 tsp oil to a medium sized skillet and heat over medium heat.
Add grated cauliflower. 
Cover skillet with a lid so that the cauliflower steams and becomes tender. 
Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add avocado mixture to the cauliflower.
Mix until cauliflower is evenly coated. Heat thoroughly.

Makes 1 Serving
Each serving provides
3 Greens, 2.5 Condiments and 2 Healthy Fats


Nothing beats comfort food like mac and cheese! I absolutely love mac and cheese, but I don't love all the carbs and calories that come with it! Those I can definitely live without! This recipe is a great alternative to traditional mac and cheese and it tastes pretty darn good if I do say so myself. You still get the same great taste from the gooey cheese sauce, but without the starch from pasta. 

I gave this mac and cheese a little kick by adding some green chilies, green peppers and taco seasoned ground beef. Mexican Mac and Cheese! Sometimes you need to add a little variety to your meals!


And why did I need comfort food on this very day? Not that I needed a reason to make comfort food, but if I had a reason, it just might make me feel better. Okay... probably not, since this dish is totally on plan and I have no guilt whatsoever in devouring it because yes... that is what I did. Not a morsel left on my plate. It just felt like I was cheating, even though I wasn't.


Now this is what I saw outside in my backyard! A cloudy rainy day in Vegas screams comfort food!


Not only was it raining, but there was hail! In the month of May! Now if that doesn't scream comfort food, then I don't know what does.


I cut up the cauliflower into small bite size pieces and cooked them until tender. You can use frozen or fresh cauliflower for this recipe, but I used fresh.


I added canned green chilies, green peppers and jalapenos to the cauliflower, but feel free to use red peppers instead of the green for extra color.


Then add taco seasoned ground beef.


Stir it up and set aside because it is time to make the best part! The cheese sauce!


Add all the ingredients for the sauce and stir until smooth.


Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and ground beef mixture.


Give it a good stir and make sure all the bits and pieces are coated with the cheese sauce. You wouldn't want any piece to feel left out!


Pour it into a casserole dish.


Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
7.5 oz cooked 93% lean ground beef, fat drained (1 1/2 Leans)
2 tsp low sodium taco seasoning mix (4 Condiments)
5 cups cooked cauliflower, cut into small florets (10 Greens)
1/2 cup chopped green chilies (1 Green)
1/2 cup green or red peppers, diced (1 Green)
1 oz pickled jalapenos, chopped (1 Optional Snack)

For the sauce:
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (1 Condiment)
4 tbsp or 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese (4 Condiments)
1 tsp dijon mustard (1 Condiment)
1 tbsp Kraft reduced fat grated parmesan cheese (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese (1 1/2 Leans)

Topping:
1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese (1 Lean)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 inch square casserole dish lightly with cooking spray.

Combine cooked ground beef with taco seasoning mix and 3 tbsp of water in a small skillet. Heat over medium high heat. Cook until sauce thickens, about 4 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine seasoned ground beef, cauliflower pieces, green chilies, green or red peppers and jalapenos. Set aside.

Pour cashew milk into a medium sized sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the cream cheese, dijon mustard, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Stir until combined and cream cheese is melted. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese. Continue cooking until cheese is melted and sauce is nice and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower beef mixture and stir until everything is coated with the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into a prepared dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Divide into 4 equal portions.

4 Servings with 
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 2.75 Condiments and 1/4 Optional Snack per serving

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I absolutely love curry so I wanted to try it on some roasted cauliflower. Wow! It was delicious! It was sooo good that I had to have it 3 days in a row! Yes, it was that yummy! I just love how curry adds a warm spice flavor, along with the smoked paprika, and bring boring cauliflower to life.


Hubby gives it two thumbs up too! He is one of the reasons why I had to make it again... and again.... and again. I think by the third day, we were ready to move on to a different veggie :)


It is so easy to make! You could use one medium head of cauliflower and cut it up into bit sized florets or you could buy the cauliflower already cut up and ready to go in the produce section.


I used three different spices: curry powder, smoked paprika and garlic salt. I think they make a nice combination of spices. Feel free to use regular salt if you don't have garlic salt. As for the smoked paprika, I would rather stick with smoked paprika rather than regular paprika because it gives a sweet smokey taste.


Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the bowl of cauliflower. Toss the oil and cauliflower around in the bowl. Try to make sure all the cauliflower florets get covered with the oil as much as possible. Pour the cauliflower into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.


Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower in the bag. Shake the bag and massage the cauliflower with the spices so that all the florets are covered.


Pour the cauliflower onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil.


Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, turning once half way through. Mmmmm... delicious curry roasted cauliflower!


Curry Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups raw cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets (9 Greens)
1 tbsp olive oil (3 Healthy Fats)
1 tsp curry powder (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic salt (2 Condiments)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Combine oil and cauliflower florets in a gallon size Ziploc bag and shake the bag until combined. Try to make sure all the florets are coated with oil. Then put the curry powder, smoked paprika and garlic salt in a small bowl and stir until combined. Pour the spice mixture over the cauliflower florets and shake the bag until all the pieces are coated with the spice mixture.

Spread the cauliflower florets on prepared pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Bake for about 25 minutes; stirring halfway through.

3 Servings with 
3 Greens, 1.7 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat per Serving


  This cauliflower alfredo is creamy and delicious with a great mild flavor. You can use this sauce with green beans, cauliflower "rice", shiratake noodles, zucchini noodles, and so on . Or try pairing it with shrimp or chicken!


Straight from the blender!


One serving of sauce served over 6 oz diced grilled chicken and 1 cup of spaghetti squash.


Look at that creamy goodness!


 I stored the left overs in these Rubbermaid containers. Just put one serving (1/2 cup) of sauce in each container and then freeze. That's it! When you are ready to eat, thaw and re-heat.

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:
1 tbsp garlic, minced (3 Condiments)
1 tbsp light Land O' Lakes butter with canola oil spread (1 Healthy Fat)
3 cups cauliflower florets - I used frozen (6 Greens)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups lower sodium vegetable or chicken broth or water to limit your salt intake (1 1/2 Condiments for broth)
1/2 tsp salt (2 Condiments)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (1/4 Condiment)
1 tbsp Kraft grated Parmesan cheese (1 Condiment)

Directions:
Saute garlic with butter in a large non-stick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes until garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Set aside.

Bring the water or broth to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower and cook 7 to 10 min or until fork tender. If using frozen cauliflower, follow the cooking time on the back of the package. Do not drain.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer cauliflower to a blender. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid, garlic/butter, salt, pepper, almond milk and Parmesan cheese to the blender. Blend or puree the sauce for several minutes or until smooth. Serve hot!

Makes about 3 cups or 6 (1/2 cup) servings)

1 Green, 1 and 1/3 Condiments, and 1/6 Healthy Fats per 1/2 cup serving

*Add a laughing cow cheese wedge, if desired to increase your healthy fat serving. 1 light laughing cow cheese wedge is 1/2 a healthy fat.

* I made it a meal by adding 1/2 cup sauce, 1 cup spaghetti squash and 6 oz of chicken (which needs 1 healthy fat). 


I really love potato salad, but potato salad is higher in carbs. How I miss potatoes, but alas ... I found another substitute. Cauliflower is an awesome alternative to potatoes and it is much lower in carbs. Cut up some florets and you are golden.

Now for the mayo? I got a substitute for you too! Plain low fat Greek yogurt! You can still have that creamy goodness of potato salad without adding only 1 or 2 tbsp of light mayo because yogurt counts as part of your Lean rather than a Healthy Fat. Add a little bit of Dijon mustard, pickles, salt, pepper, paprika, hard boiled eggs and you got a wonderful faux potato salad. The entire recipe is 1 Lean and Green but I like to split it into 3 equal portions. I mean I love potato salad, but not enough to have a big bowl as my entire meal. If you divide it into 3 portions, then you will have 1/3 Lean, 1 Green, 1 Condiment and 1/3 Snack. You would still need 2/3 Lean such as 4 oz of chicken or 4.6 oz of tilapia. Here is a chart that will help you determine how much 2/3 Lean would be:


I have this printed and posted on my fridge!


Cook your cauliflower in boiling water. I used frozen cauliflower and followed the directions on the back of the package.


Drain the cauliflower and pat dry. Cut the cauliflower into small florets or chunks. Place in a medium sized bowl.


Add two chopped pickle spears which you must deduct from your Snack for the day.


Add chopped hard boiled eggs to the mixture. You can always buy the eggs already hard boiled at the grocery store if you want to save time.


Combine the yogurt with Dijon mustard, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Then add it to the cauliflower mixture. Toss until combined.


Great for those hot BBQ grilling parties!

Cauliflower Salad

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups or 9.5 oz cauliflower, cooked from frozen (3 Greens)*
2 cooked hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (2/3 Lean)
1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (1/3 Lean)
2 tsp Dijon mustard (2 Condiments)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp fresh black pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1/8 tsp paprika (1/4 Condiment)
2 pickle spears, chopped (1 Snack)

Directions:
Chop cooked cauliflower into small florets. Place in a medium sized bowl.
Add eggs and pickles.

In another small bowl, combine yogurt, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and paprika.
Add to the cauliflower mixture and toss to coat.
Refrigerate until serving.

Makes 1 Serving
Each serving provides
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments and 1 Optional Snack

* If you would like to add celery, decrease the cauliflower to 1 1/4 cups and add 1/4 cup chopped celery.


You can also divide this salad into 3 equal portions as
1/3 Lean, 1 Green, 1 Condiment and 1/3 Optional Snack

or in 2 equal portions as
1/2 Lean, 1 1/2 Greens, 1 1/2 Condiments, and 1/2 Optional Snack


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