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Tag: Cauliflower

Popcorn Cauliflower

Seriously I don’t know why I’ve missed out on this dish up until now. I’ve seen the idea pop up here and there on other Paleo blogs, but for some reason it didn’t really appeal to me.

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But today, talking with my parents over Facetime, both of them told me about the “popcorn” cauliflower my sister-in-law had made the other day. When they rave, you know it’s good! 😉

So, I took the idea, added spices, and it was part of our lunch today! I also envision these as a great “tapa” or appetiser for parties (although you may want to hold off on the turmeric in that case, if you make it a finger food).

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Give this a try… I think you’ll love it, even if you’re not a huge cauliflower fan. The texture is really nice and the flavours make the veggie less bland. But go ahead and experiment with other spices for other variations. (I can just imagine making them with cinnamon and cumin for a Moroccan touch…hmm…)

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Popcorn Cauliflower
Recipe Type: Side
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
For 2 persons
Ingredients
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup melted lard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili (more or less to your taste, however)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle with the melted lard to ensure all the pieces are coated.
  5. Mix the spices together and drizzle over the cauliflower, ensuring that the pieces are well coated.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the top rack.

 

Watercress Soup

This is one of my favourite soups from childhood, along with the Caldo Verde and Sopa Juliana, from my mother’s ark of recipes. For my versions of Caldo Verde, click here and here. And I promise to get the Sopa Juliana recipe from my mother soon, so I can share that with you too.

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In the meantime, there’s this “delicacy”… nom nom!

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*For those of you avoiding the white potato completely on your Paleo lifestyle, it can be omitted. However, the flavour of the soup is not quite the same without it.

Watercress Soup
Recipe Type: Paleo
Cuisine: Portugese-Galician
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 medium white potatoes*, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 140g of fresh watercress, washed
  • coarse sea salt, and fresh pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare all the vegetables.
  2. In a large pot, place the potatoes and cauliflower.
  3. Pour enough cold water over them to cover and about a couple of fingers more.
  4. Over medium heat, cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Add the watercress and cook about 10 minutes longer.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.
  7. You can use a food processor or a hand “mini pimer” to pure; however, I have found that the traditional pureer/food mill (called pasapure in Spanish) works best (pictured).
  8. Return to medium heat, and add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat until warm enough to serve.
  9. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

 

Paleo Caldo Verde

I grew up on Caldo Verde, which my mother learned to make in Portugal. The version we had at home is very similar to the first one I posted on the blog some time ago. But yesterday, I was feeling like I needed something different and yet wanted to enjoy more kale, which I always have on hand. I also had on hand some delicious and succulent Spanish cooking chorizo…so it was perfect timing to make Caldo Verde, but in a more traditional manner.

What I have changed to make this Paleo is substituting the cauliflower for the typical potatoes. If you prefer to make with potatoes instead, use 2-3 large ones, and eliminate the cauliflower. Although from my reading and research, potatoes can still be considered both Paleo and Primal, it’s more about the quantities one consumes of them and how they affect our bodies. On my Facebook page, I’ve posted a few articles from Mark’s Daily Apple, which explain the pros and cons of eating this tuber. I’m not obsessive with how I eat, but try to keep everything as healthy as possible, that means learning about my ingredients and taking into consideration how things affect me, my metabolism and my taste buds! I recommend doing the same for yourself… 😉

PALEO CALDO VERDE

Ingredients, for 4

  • 250g of kale, cut julienne style (if you don’t have kale, watercress or the turnip greens will also work)
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into medium to small florets
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Spanish cooking chorizo or pepperoni of choice
  • olive oil
  • water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Process

In a large pot, place 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil to heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the florets of cauliflower and toss around a couple of times. Add enough water to cover the cauliflower completely. Add a large piece of chorizo, about 6 inches long to the mixture. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft.

Remove from heat and remove the chorizo from the pot.  With a hand mixer or mini pimer puree the cauliflower and the remaining ingredients. Place back on the stove, over medium heat, and add the sliced kale. Add more water to make the soup thin and watery (and make sure all of the kale is covered, as well). Cook for 15 minutes, until the kale is tender. Season to taste.

In the meantime, cut the cooked chorizo into 1mm slices. Serve the soup with pieces of chorizo and some extra pepper on top.

 

My Version of Caldo Verde

We have family in Portugal and because of their influence and the fact that my mother speaks perfect Portuguese, we grew up singing Portuguese children songs and saying some things that for my Spanish family and friends sounded rather silly, like “coco” instead of “caca” when referring to a piece of dirt or trash on the ground. We also grew up enjoying many foods and dishes that were not typical in Spain. One of these dishes is Caldo Verde, which is a soup made with potatoes and kale or watercress.

I bought a bunch of kale about a week ago, and I didn’t want the rest of what I had left to spoil. So, I decided that a gloomy day like today deserved a warm soup. I’ve altered my mother’s recipe by swapping the cauliflower for the potatoes and added leek and cumin to spice up the flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 500g kale
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into four
  • 2 leeks, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • fresh scallion for garnish (optional)

Process:

Rinse and cut up the kale, removing the stalks. Rinse the cauliflower and cut into large florets. Place all the ingredients, except the seasonings and olive oil into a pot with abundant water. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Drain, but not completely.

Puree with a hand blender or in a stand up blender. Add the olive oil, cumin, sea salt and pepper and blend well. If the soup is too thick, add more water. Pour back into pot to heat up. Serve garnished with scallion, if so desired.

This soup pairs well with a chilled Albarinho white wine from Galicia.

Cauliflower Cream Soup with Pine Nuts-Crema de Coliflor con Piñones


Crema de Coliflor con Piñones
(Cauliflower Cream Soup with Pine Nuts)
Ingredients, for 6

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets and rinsed
1 leek, rinsed and cut into large pieces
1 large onion, cut in fourths
4 cloves of garlic
4 ribs/stalks celery, rinsed and cut into large pieces (remove any strings)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 small onion, cut julienne style
2 teaspoons pimenton (Spanish paprika)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 liter coconut milk (for a thinner soup, add more milk)
olive oil
sea salt to taste
pine nuts, a generous handful

Method
In a large pot, place the cauliflower, potatoes, leek, large onion, celery and garlic. Cover with water and over medium heat cook until the vegetables are tender.
In a frying pan, over medium heat, pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is slightly hot, add the small onion and saute. Add the cumin seeds, saute about 1/2 minute and then add the pimenton, cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute 1-2 minutes, without burning the pimenton (or it will turn sour). Remove from heat and set aside.
In another frying pan, over medium heat, add a bit of olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the pine nuts and saute about 1 minute. Just as they start to brown, remove from heat and set aside.
Drain water from vegetables. In the same pot or in a mixing bowl, blend the vegetables, the pimenton mixture, and coconut milk with a mini pimer hand blender or pour all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse to form the soup. Add sea salt to taste.
Pour into serving bowls and garnish with the pine nuts and a swirl of the olive oil from the nuts.
Enjoy!

Oven-Baked Fish and Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

After a weekend on the continental side of the North Sea and eating only fish and seafood, I was determined to continue once we arrived home, since I love anything that comes from the sea and don’t always get enough of it. I was a bit undecided about with what to pair the fish I settled on, as their wasn’t much left in the fridge after our trip, until I read an interesting recipe on my friend’s blog, Edible Harmony. Edible Harmony has gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, healthy recipes, all of which are delicious for any palate!
I found a recipe for fried “rice”, which is not made with rice at all, but ground cauliflower instead. And I was inspired (especially since I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge!). It’s a healthy variation for a traditional accompaniment to any dish.

Oven-Baked Fish & Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Ingredients, for two persons
  • 2 whole fish, any type you prefer
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • majada: a bunch of parsley and 3-4 cloves garlic
  • sea salt to taste
  • olive oil
  • white cooking wine
Process
Preheat oven to 180C, fan setting. Clean the fish and place in a baking dish, greased with olive oil. In a mortar and pestle, grind the parsley, the garlic, and a pinch of sea salt to create the majada.
Put some of the majada inside the gut, along with a couple of slices of tomato. Use remaining majada and tomato slices on top of the fish. Pour some olive oil over fish and add some white wine to the dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until fish is cooked inside and there is no blood showing. (Depending on your oven, the time can vary.)
Serve with Cauliflower “Rice”, adapted from Edible Harmon’s recipe*
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • soy sauce (if you do not use soy, even fermented, substitute for sea salt or coconut aminos, as Edible Harmony suggests)
  • olive oil, about 3 tablespoons
  • sesame oil, about 2 teaspoons
Process
Wash and cut up the cauliflower in medium chunks/florets. In a blender, grind the cauliflower florets until they are the size of rice. Set aside.
In a wok, heat the oils and add the onions and garlic. Saute 2 minutes and add the carrots. Stir-fry until the carrots are tender, but not soft (“al dente”). Push the vegetables to one side of the wok, and add the beaten eggs on the other side.
Cook and scramble the eggs. Once they are done, add the cauliflower and stir all of the contents together.  Add soy sauce to taste and continue stir-frying until the cauliflower is tender, but not too soft.
*To my regular fried-rice, I add other vegetables and pineapple, depending what I have on hand. As I was new to this recipe, I only added carrots. But you can obviously experiment, as you like.
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