Then I remembered what is probably the world's most forgettable vegetable:
That's right - I'm all about the cauliflower tonight.
Don't get me wrong, y'all. Until a few weeks ago, I was not about the cauliflower at all. And if I see it on a salad bar or squatting on a crudites platter, I will pretend it simply does not exist. Raw cauliflower does nothing for me. Steamed cauliflower, served plain? Meh. Microwaved with broccoli and carrots in one of those frozen vegetable medlies? OK, I'll bite. But I won't jump for joy when I'm done.
Then the diabetes started to get me down, and I remembered that cauliflower enjoyed a sojourn in the sun for those few strange years when the Atkins diet ruled North America. It was standing in for potatoes, thickening soups, doing all sorts of things that you don't normally associate with broccoli's albino cousin. So I rolled up my sleeves and set to work with the palest of cruciferi. And I'll share the links for my favorite diabetic friendly cauliflower sides tonight. They each have a little added oil (except for Andrea Robinson's recipe, which swims in fat), and the occasional extra carb or two from stuff like vegan cream cheese or nooch, but they're all pretty darned excellent overall.
I didn't think I'd ever say this - but enjoy your cauliflower!
They did the mash:
Lindsay, The Happy Herbivore and Maki at Just Hungry both have yummy renditions of mashed cauliflower. Lindsay's is more reminiscent of garlic mashed potatoes; the similar look is kind of startling (in fact, I fooled Red with that one until he took a big bite). Maki's is more rustic and simple. Both are just right for a seitan cutlet or a piece of baked tofu.
Rice, Rice Baby:
(Yes, I have replaced the dumb movie quotes with even dumber bastardized song lyrics. Leave me to my shame...)
Rice and pasta are not my friends right now. We used to hang out all the time, but now they've become the mean girls who only come over to copy my mile-long history worksheet (hey, Inky, remember those?) and spike my blood sugar on their way out the door. So rice isn't allowed to come to dinner any more. Luckily, Elana has saved the day with her cauliflower "rice" recipe! Such good stuff, and a perfect stand in for fried rice under my stir fries. Don't even try to attempt this unless you have endless patience or a food processor, though. I have a feeling that chopping the cauliflower into such fine dice might induce a nervous breakdown in an average weeknight cook.
Pop(corn) Goes the Weasel
Cauliflower popcorn was acutally my first foray into cooking with the brainiest looking veggie of them all. About six or seven years ago I remember seeing Andrea Robinson make it on the Fine Living network during a satellite TV preview weekend (we subscribed to no such fancy channel under normal circumstances). She sauteed up a pan of golden brown nuggets and then drenched them in a buttery white wine sauce before finishing the works with toasted pine nuts. I made it myself several times over the next few months, and it was really good. Rich, but good. Then I forgot about it. I stumbled recently onto Bob Blumer's recipe, where he takes the same idea and simplifies it deliciously. He merely oven roasts the cauliflower, then tops it with salt. Good stuff, even if you cut the oil content in half (which I did). And if you're crazy for extra crunch, Heidi Swanson has a variation that calls for some toasted breadcrumbs on top. I made it the other day with some sandwich rye, and it was just right.
- Bob Blumer's Cauliflower Popcorn
- Heidi Swanson's Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn (tip: if, like me, you don't have a fresh chili, red pepper flakes are a yummy sub)
- Andrea Robinson's Cauliflower Popcorn (WARNING: NOT STRICTLY VEGAN. And rich. But I thought I'd throw it in there in case anyone would like to try it. All you have to do is replace the butter and use a cruetly-free wine).
Okay, tomorrow I promise the soup will be on! I hope that it lives up to all this buildup. Oh, anticipation!