Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cauliflower Fiesta!

Since I've returned home, cooking has been one of the only things on my mind.  Traveling can be fun, but after a while, restaurant food just isn't going to cut it.  Not to mention that its sometimes just not as fun looking as what you can create at home.

Many people think that making healthy food appetizing is a labor intensive ordeal, or even worse, making healthy or Gluten Free/Allergy Free eats means putting nothing in the food at all.  Plain meats, plain steamed veggies, plain depressing!

I disagree.  Making healthy, GF and allergy-free foods can taste AMAZING only with the use of:
  • Colors
  • Textures
  • Spices & Herbs
Take today's recipe star ingredient for example:  Cauliflower.  Now I know many people who dislike poor cauliflower because they think its boring and tasteless and colorless.  Well, of course if you don't dress up cauliflower you might get that impression, BUT what if you took it to a party.  What if you said to the cauliflower, it's time to get jazzed up and have a little fun!

That's what I did today with my veggies.  I added colors with sweet long red peppers, some purplish hued shallots, some green chives, and a little sprinkle or sweet paprika.  Now I made my fiesta a little hot, hot, hot, because I like a spicy party in my mouth, but feel free to scale back on any ingredients or to saute the shallots and garlic first to calm them down a bit.  

Although this requires some prep work, it is a super easy dish that packs a pow of flavors!

Cauliflower Fiesta

 (Before its oven-baked)

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, steamed until soft but not mushy, about 30-40 minutes, then chopped
2 sweet long red peppers, diced
1 handfull of chives, finely chopped
1 large shallot, diced or chopped (depending how much pow you want)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tbs Soy-Free Earth Balance, softened
sea salt to taste
sweet paprika to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix chopped, steamed cauliflower with all diced and chopped veggies, Earth Balance and seasoning.
Transfer mixture to a lightly olive-oil greased square pan.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes letting the ingredients get to know each other.
Serve it up! 


If there's not enough crunch for you, think of sprinkling some GF bread crumbs on top or adding some sunflower seeds.  This makes the perfect everyone friendly side dish and you can even add beans to make it a main affair.

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