Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Recipe] Cauliflower-Sushi Rolls

I'm telling you guys, cauliflower is crazy versatile. Whether you're watching carbs or just feel like experimenting in the kitchen, there's never a bad reason for injecting your day with its delicious fiber-goodness.

These specs will make you about 20 pieces but it's all super flexible and the ratios can be adjusted as you see fit.

1 smallish head of cauliflower
at least 1 oz of cream cheese
Splash of Rice Vinegar
Pinch of Salt

Nori Seaweed Papers
1 cucumber - julienned
1 avocado - thinly sliced
Few squirts of Sriracha
1 Package of Smoked Salmon

To make the cauliflower rice, chop up the cauliflower until it's rice-y texture (...surprise!). You can do this in a food processor, blender, cheese grater OR just chopping it really fine with a knife. Stick the shreds in a microwaveable bowl and nuke for about five minutes (or until you get a texture you like). Cauliflower releases tons of steam when it cooks, so when it's done let it sit for awhile to air it out. You want the "rice" to be moist for rolling, but you don't want it to be toooo wet. Mix in some cream cheese (to taste)-- this will help it stick together.  While the mixture is sitting and cooling off, you can start chopping up the fillings!
Anything you can slice thin, you can stuff in. 
Some good staples are cucumber and avocado to keep it fresh n' crunchy :-3 One day I'll level up and use sushi-grade raw fish, but I'm still new at these kitchensperimentation games so I figured I'd play it safe and use smoked salmon. Still delicious, lasts longer in the fridge and less risk of dying an gruesome infectious death. But you can totally add whatever your heart desires! 

Pros use special bamboo mats to roll up the sushi, but I just used folded parchment paper and it worked perfectly fine. Some people just use their hands. Lay out the seaweed paper, shiny side down. Scoop out some cauli-rice and spread it out flat, leaving about an inch of seaweed free at the end farthest away from you (in the picture, I left space at both ends, like a tard.) Watch out as you spread, the seaweed paper softens as it gets wet so it can be easy to tear. Then line all of your filling in the middle and if you like it spicy, squirt a little Sriracha on top. Grab the end closest to you; fold over the middle and then roll the rest up! Slice it as thick as you like, but be careful not to rip the seaweed as you cut it. I had to test out some knives before I found one sharp enough to do clean cuts.


Last but not least, nutritional specs for the curious:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

[Recipe] Almond & Blackberry Cheesecake

Super easy. Super delicious. Super adorable. :3
Over the last few months I've been trying to ease into a low-carb lifestyle. It's actually not as bad as it sounds, but it definitely hasn't given my sweet-tooth much playing time. Extra helpings of savory things can only go so far to fill that hole in my heart, so lately I've been venturing into small-serving, carb-conscious desserts territory. It can be a scary place for people who hate the taste of  fake sugar, but it's definitely been fun experimenting. So far these baby cheesecakes are my favorite. Recipe makes 6  - make sure you've got muffincup liners!

2 tblsp of butter
1/4 cup almond meal
(Things I may try next time: dash o' cinnamon or dollop of almond butter.)

8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 tsp stevia ~or~  3/8 cup of  sugar*
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 egg

8 oz of blackberries
1 tbls lemon juice
1/4 cup of sugar/stevia
3 tbls of water

6 blackberries
6 almonds

*The recipe I was using called for Splenda but I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. Ended up using waaaaaay too much Stevia for sugar-substitutin' because I didn't realize the conversion ratio wasn't 1:1. Check out this handy conversion chart on this website if you want to double check my math.

Preheat your oven to 350. Melt the butter a little so it's easy to mix together the crust ingredients. Then pat a little bit on the bottom of each muffin tin. For the filling, you can either use a mixer/blender or food processor to spin up the ingredients til they're smooth. Fill up each cup almost up to the top. Bake for 15 minutes, cool on the counter for a bit and then chill 'em for a few hours. (I ate one warm because, come on, seriously. It was fine, but definitely more solid when cold.)

Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender for about a minute. Then, pour through a sieve to separate the seeds and chunks (I used one of my tea mugs!) Then, drip on the finished cheesecupcakes right before serving. Squish on a blackberry and an almond and you're done!

Overall stats per cupcake: 212 calories, 4 net carbs, 19g of fat, 5g of protein

And your useless fun fact for the day: Google-ing "blackberry" gives you zero results for the fruit. Surprise! Behold the power of search engine optimization.

[[Many recipe thanks go to T1D & Gluten Free and Nick Stellino]]

Friday, June 22, 2012

[Recipe] Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Goat Cheese, Prosciutto & Roasted Garlic on Cauliflower Crust 
Ever since a farmer's market appeared at my workplace I've decided to start cooking more fresh stuff. It's healthier, less expensive than constant GrubHubbing and a good way to keep myself occupied. Of course this means I've been overdosing on veggies -- kale, chard, beets, brussel sprouts -- you name it, I've smothered it in bacon. Best Food Pyramid Ever. 

Anyhow, of all my food adventures the most exciting so far has been the Cauliflower. Right? Whodathunk?
Fun Fact: Orange Cauliflower has 25x more Vitamin A. Suck it, whitey.
Just pretend for a moment you've never tasted it boiled. That trauma is enough to scare someone away from our little caulifriend forever. Turns out, there are a million other ways to cook it and THEY'RE ALL DELICIOUS. It's super adaptable in recipes, makes a great low-carb/high-fiber/potassium-packed replacement for starchy deliciousness of Mashed Potatoes, Tater Tots and even Pizza Crust! I'll post the other recipes later because I'm lazy and I don't feel like writing anymore. Plus I made that pizza for dinner today so it's still fresh in the ol' memory core: 

for Crust:
1 medium sized cauliflower
1 large egg
1 cup of finely shredded cheese
(I used Muenster, but I've seen recipes with Chedder, Mozzarella, or Chevre)
1 tsp of oregano
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
smidge o salt
for Toppings:
Whatever pleases you, man. I spread on a few tablespoons of tomato basil marinara, sprinkled on some shredded wine-soaked goat cheese (THE BEST), chopped up a few slices of prosciutto and squished on some roasted garlic cloves. Next I'm thinking some kind of barbecued hawaiian? Or a spinach mushroom pesto? The permutations are literally endless.

Start preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
Use a cheese grater to shred the cauliflower (You can also use a food processor, but I didn't feel like cleaning mine. soooo many parts.)You should have about two cups of shavings when you're done. Be wary of fingers.

Shreddin' FRACTALS
When you've finished, stick it in the microwave for about 8 minutes. Let it sit for a bit after so it can cool off and air out. Then mix in the rest of the crust ingredients. Oil up a pan and spread out the pastey mixture into a circle (about 9-12 inches) Bake for 20ish minutes or until it turns a more golden brown.

Then, take it out of the oven, sprinkle on your toppings and pop it back in. 5-10 minutes if you bake it, 3-5 if you broil it.
That's all folks! Mine came out a teeny bit soggy, but I only left it in for 15 because I WAS HUNGRY. Maybe next time I'll use a pan that's more open or cut it in half and shove it in the toaster oven. After all this is an experiment I plan on reproducing forever and ever, we've got plenty of time to come back and tweak it. 

As if you need any more convincing that CauliPower needs to be a part of your diet: check out the Wikipage. Talk about high nutritional density, bro. Plus fractals. Come on.

Recipe inspired by: 
Cravings of a Lunatic's guest post on I Breathe, I'm Hungry
Recipe Girl
and of course, le Google