Recipes, Grain-Free, Paleo

The Perks of Being a Cauliflower: Mashed & Topped with Bacon

Paleo Mashed Cauliflower topped with Black Forest Bacon

Paleo Mashed Cauliflower topped with Black Forest Bacon

I read an article on Slate a week ago claiming "cauliflower is allegedly the new kale." I have always been a fan of this veggie because aside from tasting yummy no matter how you cook it, it is low in fat and high in fiber. Whole Foods Market also gives it an ANDI score of 315. Whether I serve it with a honey roasted salmon or a juicy fillet of strip steak, cauliflower has been the perfect paleo veggie side dish to a lot of my entrees. 

Whole Foods Markets ANDI Guide

Whole Foods Markets ANDI Guide

I'm truly not a fan of cold weather, and this particular winter has been brutal. I have always found cooking to be very therapeutic for me, and this week was the perfect opportunity for me to play with flavors and concoct new dishes in the kitchen. Here is my recipe for paleo mashed cauliflower. 

YIELD: 1 mashed cauliflower head side dish

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOK TIME: 15 mins

LEVEL: Easy

INGREDIENTS: 

1 head of a medium or large cauliflower 

2 links of bacon divided into 4 pieces (as TOPPING, but you can choose your own option) 

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of bacon fat (from cooking the bacon, or any other fat you choose like ghee or cooking oil) 

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Parsley, red chili flakes, or any other herbs you like (I like herbs de provence a lot) 

DIRECTIONS: 

Fill a medium sized pot with 2 cups of water and utilize a steamer basket. VERY IMPORTANT to note that STEAMING is preferred over boiling because cauliflower is naturally high in water content, and boiling reduces phytochemicals and carotenoids in this vegetable, which means bye bye main health benefits, and we don't want that. Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes, because though they need to be soft, they should not be overcooked. 

Remove the steamed cauliflower from heat and transfer immediately to a food processor, Vitamix, or Nutribullet. Add the coconut oil, bacon fat, and herbs. Process until pureed and smooth. 

Transfer the pureed cauliflower and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Let it cool slightly, garnish with your topping choice, and serve. 

Final step - brave the cold weather and sub-zero temperature to go to the grocery and purchase more cauliflower heads because it is ridiculously filling and addicting. 

*** Most of you know I love to sing and dance in my kitchen while I cook, so here's a little sound bite of Ella Henderson's song, "Ghost" 



Recipes, Grain-Free

Bananas For You: Paleo 5-Ingredient Banana Pancakes

One of my favorite Jack Johnson love songs goes, "I'll make you banana pancakes and we'll forget the world outside." I kind of agree that sharing a yummy plate of pancakes with people you love can temporarily free you from all the external stresses of life. There are designated things that heal your soul like no other. This one does the job for me. 

On a separate note, I'd like to clarify why I am PRO-paleo/caveman diet. I do not belong to single nutrition bracket, however, I do appreciate the healthy aspects of a grain-free, gluten-free, protein-rich, vegan, vegetarian, or meatosaurus diet. There are so many processed and unhealthy quick fix pancake boxes in the market, but I believe that a 5-ingredient real food pancake is just as easy and definitely more scrumptious. 

YIELD: 6 medium sized pancakes; 1 satisfying stack 

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOK TIME: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS: 

2 ripened bananas (preferably pureed) 

1 whole egg + 3 eggs - egg whites only

1 cup vanilla almond/coconut milk

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tbsp coconut oil (preferably melted)

DIRECTIONS: 

Beat the eggs, milk, and pureed bananas in a mixing bowl. Add the almond flour last and continue to beat the mixture until frothy. Heat your griddle to medium heat (300-340 degrees) and grease with the coconut oil.  Pour batter onto the hot griddle and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the bottom side is golden and the edges are firm.  Carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes. 

Serve with your favorite toppings. In my case - it was coconut chips, cashews, a little agave syrup, and more bananas. Final step - share it with someone you love and forget the world outside. 

Listen to Jack Johnson's Banana Pancakes