Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cauliflower "Grits"

Cauliflower grits supporting a heap of vegetable curry
In an effort to lose weight, eat better, and get my children to eat more veggies and fewer processed grains, I am always on the lookout for tasty recipes that fit the bill.  I'd had cauliflower "fauxtatoes" before, where you mash the cauliflower and try to pass it off as mashed potatoes, and it didn't really work for me.  This recipe for "grits", however, is a horse of a different color.

Cauliflower grits, au natural
The hardest part of this recipe is cleaning the food processor when you're done.  It really couldn't be easier, and the end result is a tasty, firm blend of cauliflower and almonds, cooked in broth until done.  I use chicken broth, but vegetable broth would work well too.  For the almonds, I like the toasted, skin-on kind, but you can use whatever you have - raw, slivered, Marcona ... I'm tempted to try this recipe with Trader Joe's Wasabi Almonds! I serve this in place of rice in all of my Indian dishes, and it supports a saucy chicken dish better than noodles, since it soaks up all the best juices that run to the bottom of your plate.  It reheats well, is packed with protein and healthy fats, and tastes great.  What are you waiting for?

Cauliflower "Grits"
(Recipe Adapted from Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield)

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, shredded (use your food processor.  If you don't have one, use a box grater, or just chop the heck out of it.)
  • 1 cup almonds 
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Shred the cauliflower.  Doesn't matter if you have chunks left over, they get cooked down.  Just make sure, however you cut or shred it, it gets cut down very small - this ensures a quicker and more even cook time.  Add the cauliflower to a large pot with a lid.  Add the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  2. Crush the almonds.  I like it chunkier than almond meal, so it still gives you a little crunch and helps the cauliflower not just be squish.  Grind them in the food processor until the pieces are the size of bread crumbs, but not all the way powdered.  Add the almonds to the pot with the cauliflower and broth.
  3. Simmer, covered, on medium-low for about 20-30 minutes until tender.  Add the butter and taste for salt and pepper.  Serve under curry, gumbo, or by itself as a side dish.

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