Sauteed Cauliflower Bites

I am slowly changing my food plans and the way I prepare food to a more defined healthier way of life. It is a work in progress for me because I go back to my old unhealthy habits often. I was researching on the internet one day and came across this recipe. What attracted me to the recipe was the cauliflower. I am a huge fan of cauliflower but I run out of ideas to cook the cauliflower. Most of the time, I just steam the vegetables or roast the cauliflower with garlic. I made this recipe adjusting the recipe using oatmeal as the bread crumbs. I cannot take complete credit for this recipe, but I do not remember where I saw this. The dish is absolutely divine.

Sautéed Cauliflower Bites

Cauliflower Bites
1 large head of cauliflower broken down into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of Kalamata olives, seeds removed and chopped
½ cup of fresh parsley chopped fine
¾ cup of oatmeal
Freshly cracked pepper

In a large sauté pan, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Single layer the cauliflower in the pan and the cauliflower does not overlap. Resist the temptation to stir the cauliflower. The cauliflower will brown in the pan and develop a caramel color after ten minutes, give or take. Stir the cauliflower to try and brown the other side.

Add the chopped Kalamata olives and stir until heated well. The salty brine from the olives will flavor the cauliflower.

In a food processor, add the oatmeal and grind to like bread crumbs. Add the oatmeal to the cauliflower mixture. The oatmeal will absorb the extra oil and brine from the olives and toast in the pan.

Sprinkle with the freshly chopped parsley and serve as a side dish or by itself with a nice green salad. Most excellent!

Cauliflower BitesPam Tips:

This recipe is good side dish with chicken or fish.

For a more intense flavor, add 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, 1 tablespoon of roughly chopped drained capers which will bring a more salty, textured flavor to the dish.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

I have been searching for some decent vegetarian or vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipes because the meat Shepherd’s Pie is extremely high in fat and is really not good for me. I have not found anything that seemed interesting or appealing to me so I decided to make my own after endless searches. Many of the recipes that I found seemed to be really high in carbohydrates which I felt came from the potatoes. I made mashed potatoes with cauliflower and 5 red skinned potatoes instead of the whole topping being mashed potatoes. Next time I think I will try the sweet mashed potatoes on top for the crust – I can picture the flavors or even try butternut/acorn squash mashed topping. I loved the lentils in my Shepherd’s Pie; it was loaded with this awesome hearty flavor – I was so thrilled that my recipe came out amazing! What is so great about this recipe is that you can omit or add the vegetable ingredients to suit your taste. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Created on 02/09/12

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1 cup of lentils, cleaned and picked through for any debris, discard debris and then cook lentils for one hour or until soft but not really soft to lose its shape and become mush
3 large organic broccoli crowns cleaned and chopped
½ head of organic cauliflower
5 organic red skin potatoes, scrubbed and cubed, leave red skin on
5 organic carrots, peeled and cubed into 1 to 2” chunks
1 cup of organic frozen corn
1 cup of organic Muir Glenn tomato sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) package of white button mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into quarters
2 garlic cloves minced well
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup to 1 cup of vegetable broth
½ cup of Tofutti cream cheese (measure based on taste and texture of the mashed topping)
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance butter (measure based on taste and texture of the mashed topping)
Salt/Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large stock pot lined with a steamer, put in the cleaned cauliflower, cubed potatoes and steam over medium high heat until tender – approximately about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the broccoli at the last 5 minutes of cooking, turn of the heat and remove the steamed vegetables to a large bowl. Separate the broccoli from the cauliflower and potatoes because the broccoli will go into the lentil filling.

While the vegetables are steaming, in a 10” sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, add the chopped onions, mushrooms, and carrots and sauté until the carrots are soft and the mushrooms and onions have a deep brown color on them. Add the frozen corn and garlic and sauté until the corn is heated thoroughly and the garlic is soft.

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Remove the sauté pan from the heat and add the cooked lentils. The lentils will absorb all the liquid from the vegetables. Add the broccoli to the sautéed lentil mixture and stir gently until everything is mixed well. Put the vegetables in a square 8 x 8 Pyrex or stone dish. Mix 1 cup of tomato sauce in the vegetables making sure everything is coated well.

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In the bowl with the steamed cauliflower and potatoes mash the vegetables together. Season with salt and pepper and add vegetable broth to bind the vegetables together to make the mashed potato topping. I did not use all the vegetable broth and added some Earth Balance butter to give it some buttery flavor. Add the Tofutti cream cheese. Remember this is what I like in texture and flavor, please adjust the broth, butter and cream cheese as how you would like your mashed topping to be.

Spread the Cauliflower/Potato mash on top of the lentil mixture and spread to cover. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until the tomato sauce is bubbling out of the top and the mashed topping is lightly browned.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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