Baked Cauliflower

 

Serving of Baked Cauliflower

 

One thing I do miss while on my new eating plan is pasta. I have always loved pasta and for many years dedicated Saturday night to pasta dinners. But eating paleo has changed all that. I still want that comfort food for dinner though. So what to do? Recreate it, of course. Now no one is ever going to think that cauliflower is pasta but nevertheless, I made this baked cauliflower and it was so good, the hubby went for seconds!

To make this work, since I also am off of dairy, I had to make a cauliflower ricotta. So, this month you get two recipes, three, if you count the sauce, for the price of one! You can find my spaghetti sauce recipe here.

Cauliflower Ricotta, Makes 1 1/2 cups. From FrugalFreebiesandDeals.com

Hardware

Pot

Strainer

Clean Dish Towel

Measuring spoons

Food Processor

 

Ingredients

16 oz frozen cauliflower

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 T nutritional yeast (Optional)

1 egg (optional if you’re not using this in a baked dish)

Directions:

Cooling Cauliflower

Cook cauliflower according to package directions.

Allow to cool for 5 – 6 minutes

Pour into a colander and drain all water.

Squeeze the water out

Spend 1 – 2 minutes squeezing water out of the cauliflower.

Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.

Finished cauliflower ricotta

Baked Cauliflower from http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a57630/cauliflower-Baked-ziti-recipe/

Hardware

Pot

Strainer

9 X 13 baking dish

Large Bowl

Cutting Board

Knife

 

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 lb ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

2 T thinly sliced basil plus more for garnish

1 large head of cauliflower (about 3 cups) cut into florets, blanched and drained well

1 1/2 c ricotta

2 c shredded mozzarella

1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan

Note 1: I’m giving you the directions as listed in the recipe. I used the cauliflower ricotta above and vegan mozzarella. I cheated and used the real deal parmesan. There is no paleo substitute for parmesan. So if you want to keep this totally Paleo, just skip the parm.

Note 2: The above ingredients are for making the sauce. You can use this one or mine, see the link above.

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add meat and season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned. Drain fat.

Add the tomato paste and oregano and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes more, until slightly darkened. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

In a large bowl, pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine. In a large, oiled baking dish, place half the cauliflower in an even layer.

Dollop all over with half of the ricotta, and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmesan. Add the rest of the cauliflower in an even layer and top with the remaining cheeses.

Bake until the cheese is melty and golden, 25 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

Note 3: I only used half of the sauce on the cauliflower.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite baked dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

Arroz con Pollo

No pasta this month, it’s rice instead. I saw this recipe on Food Network’s, Farmhouse Rules with Nancy Fuller. An upstate girl myself, I enjoy Nancy’s show and this one was shown around Cinco de Mayo, of course! Anyway, I haven’t made a chicken and rice casserole in I can’t remember when. So while I missed doing it on May 5th, it was shortly thereafter and on a rainy, cold day. I was grateful to have that lovely smell of rice, chicken and saffron filling the house and the heat of the oven making things all warm and cozy.

Serves 4 – 6.

Hardware

Cutting board

Knife

Cast Iron Dutch Oven

 

Ingredients

Ingredients

1/4 c olive oil

12 bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (I used 6 pieces, thighs and legs)

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup diced tomato

4 cups chicken stock

One 12-ounce bottle lager beer

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 pimento, chopped (jarred pimento is fine, about 1/4 cup)

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brown the chicken

Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pieces. My Dutch oven held 3 pieces without crowding. So I browned 3 at a time, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, holding the browned pieces until they were all done.

Onion, Pepper, and Garlic

Add the onions and peppers to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute.

Add Spices

Add the paprika, cumin, saffron and bay leaves, stirring until incorporated.

Liquids and Chicken

Next, add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beer, rice and another teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the pot, cover and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes. Notice how the saffron is already giving the dish that lovely, golden hue.

Add peas and pimento

Remove the pot from the oven, add the peas and pimentos, then cover and return to the oven until the rice is completely tender, another 5 to 10 minutes.

The chicken was falling off the bone tender and hubby really enjoyed the meal.

Enjoy.

Notes: I used brown rice which has a longer cooking time than arborio rice. Adjust your cooking times to fit the rice you use.

I used the exact amounts of herbs and spices as recommended since this was the first time I’d used this recipe. In the future, I’ll increase the cumin and paprika and perhaps add a spicy pepper to bring up the heat a little. As it is, it’s not as savory as I would have liked, but very tasty never-the-less.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite rice or chicken supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.