Tag Archives: cauliflower

Chicken and vegetable cauliflower rice

A budget friendly, nutritious and easy to prepare meal. I used a whole cauliflower for this recipe and was amazed at the plentiful quantity it made. Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to real rice, and you will be amazed at how similar it looks and tastes. 

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Enough to feed the whole family.

Ensure that you use fresh ingredients. You can use your favourite vegetables but l used mostly greens in this one such as bok choy, celery, broccoli, spring onion tops and snow peas, plus some carrot and bean sprouts.

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A beautiful fresh cauliflower.

This is a dish that can be pre-prepared early in the day so that at dinner time it will take a very short time to cook. It is a matter of processing the cauliflower, washing and chopping all of the vegetables and dicing the chicken. This can all then be kept in separate bowls or containers in the fridge until required.

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Preparation is the key! One whole cauliflower, 2 free range chicken breasts and your favourite vegetables.

My favourite way to make cauliflower rice is to cut the fresh cauliflower into smallish pieces and then blend it in the food processor. This takes about 10 seconds to turn into cauliflower rice. You don’t want it in the food processor too long or it will be a pulp and wont cook nicely.

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Wash the raw cauliflower and cut it into pieces that will fit into the food processor.

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Process the cauliflower until it resembles rice and is an even consistency.

Steps:

I used a largish fry pan which l pre-heated on a low temperature and added some olive oil. You know the pan is too hot if the oil is smoking. High heats will damage the oil so go gently with the heat.

Add the diced chicken to the pan and lightly brown. Next add the cauliflower rice and let it cook for a few minutes, followed by the vegetables and any spices you are using. I just used pink rock salt and ground black pepper, but l have in the past added fresh garlic, ginger and lots of spices such as tumeric, cumin, paprika and cinnamon. You can also add some sauces such as a fish sauce or Tamari, but l have been having food intolerance reactions to a lot of spices at present so kept this dish plain. The cauliflower rice often changes colour depending on the spices or vegetables you use and can look so stunning.  Don’t over cook the vegetables or rice to retain the nutrients. I put mine on a nice large platter to serve and it looked wonderful.

You can take this to work the next day for lunch to have cold and use different meats, or just have it as a side dish. A very fresh and clean cauliflower is essential to the success of this dish and it is so light and healthy that it is a great meal to have at night when you don’t want to overload your digestive system.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am on Instagram at holistic_paleo and Twitter at Holistic Paleo@carolynlgray

Beetroot, Cauliflower and Fennel soup

This soup is a delightful combination of colour and flavours with each of the main ingredients influencing the dish. The beetroot provides the most magnificent colour, the fennel a strong flavour and the cauliflower an interesting texture. 

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So lovely with fresh parsley.  This is the colour of the soup on the second day. A bit more pink than red.

Ingredients:

2 large beetroots peeled and diced

1/2 fennel washed and sliced

1 whole cauliflower washed and diced

2 sticks celery washed and sliced

1 brown onion diced

2 tablespoons Macadamia oil

3 cups home made chicken stock (see soup section for recipe)

Add all ingredients excluding the chicken stock into a saucepan and cook on a low heat until they soften. You should stir the mixture every now and again during this stage.

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All the vegetables are prepared. Drizzle with oil and cook on a low heat until they start to soften.

Once the vegetables are soft add the chicken stock and let simmer for at least an hour with the lid on.

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Ready to be pureed

Puree the mixture using a hand mixer and when it has a smooth consistency, place back on the stove and let cook for at least 30 more minutes on a gentle heat. Taste now to see if the soup needs more seasoning.

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Use the hand blender to create a smooth consistency

When the soup is cooked serve it on its own or with your favourite herbs or meat.You can freeze the left over soup or have it the next day for lunch or dinner.

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Served with baked salmon. Just after cooking the soup was very reddish but went a bit pinker on the second day.

You can follow me daily on Instagram at holistic_paleo.

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Chicken and vegetable cauliflower rice

A budget friendly, nutritious and easy to prepare meal. I used a whole cauliflower for this recipe and was amazed at the plentiful quantity it made. Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to real rice, and you will be amazed at how similar it looks and tastes. 

2014-09-03 19.02.07

Enough to feed the whole family.

Ensure that you use fresh ingredients. You can use your favourite vegetables but l used mostly greens in this one such as bok choy, celery, broccoli, spring onion tops and snow peas, plus some carrot and bean sprouts.

2014-07-10 17.49.21

A beautiful fresh cauliflower.

This is a dish that can be pre-prepared early in the day so that at dinner time it will take a very short time to cook. It is a matter of processing the cauliflower, washing and chopping all of the vegetables and dicing the chicken. This can all then be kept in separate bowls or containers in the fridge until required.

2014-09-03 12.26.31

Preparation is the key! One whole cauliflower, 2 free range chicken breasts and your favourite vegetables.

My favourite way to make cauliflower rice is to cut the fresh cauliflower into smallish pieces and then blend it in the food processor. This takes about 10 seconds to turn into cauliflower rice. You don’t want it in the food processor too long or it will be a pulp and wont cook nicely.

2014-06-25 18.38.33

Wash the raw cauliflower and cut it into pieces that will fit into the food processor.

2014-09-03 12.27.08

Process the cauliflower until it resembles rice and is an even consistency.

Steps:

I used a largish fry pan which l pre-heated on a low temperature and added some olive oil. You know the pan is too hot if the oil is smoking. High heats will damage the oil so go gently with the heat.

Add the diced chicken to the pan and lightly brown. Next add the cauliflower rice and let it cook for a few minutes, followed by the vegetables and any spices you are using. I just used pink rock salt and ground black pepper, but l have in the past added fresh garlic, ginger and lots of spices such as tumeric, cumin, paprika and cinnamon. You can also add some sauces such as a fish sauce or Tamari, but l have been having food intolerance reactions to a lot of spices at present so kept this dish plain. The cauliflower rice often changes colour depending on the spices or vegetables you use and can look so stunning.  Don’t over cook the vegetables or rice to retain the nutrients. I put mine on a nice large platter to serve and it looked wonderful.

You can take this to work the next day for lunch to have cold and use different meats, or just have it as a side dish. A very fresh and clean cauliflower is essential to the success of this dish and it is so light and healthy that it is a great meal to have at night when you don’t want to overload your digestive system.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am on Instagram at holistic_paleo and Twitter at Holistic Paleo@carolynlgray

Cauliflower rice: A healthy alternative

Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to real rice, and you will be amazed at how similar it looks and tastes.

2014-07-10 17.49.21

A beautiful fresh cauliflower.

Why would you want to eat cauliflower rice when you can eat actual rice!

Following the Paleo diet does mean that grains in general are excluded from the diet as they contain a nutritional profile that we are not genetically designed for which can wreak havoc on our digestive systems and overall health. For me the main reasons why cauliflower rice is a better choice than white or brown rice focus on: 1/Gut health -for those of us with issues such as a leaky gut, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, irritable bowel syndrome and food intolerances, 2/Nutrition-more readily available nutrients and no anti-nutrients, 3/Weight management-lower in kilojoules, 4/Balancing blood sugar levels-rice is a very concentrated form of carbohydrate.

Cauliflower is an amazingly nutritious vegetable that is low in fat and carbohydrates and has some wonderful vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and the B complex vitamins which can help to keep you healthy, protect against certain cancers, boost your immune system as well as lots of wonderful minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium.

Cauliflower has a glycaemic index (GI) of just 15 making it a very low GI food which helps to slow down its digestion and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The GI is from 1 to 100 and white rice is on the high end of the scale with a GI of 65 and brown rice slightly lower at 55. Rice, especially white rice is a high starch food and will break down and covert to glucose very quickly in the body causing blood sugar peaks unless it is used immediately as an energy source as for example in very active people. For everyone else this can be a problem as the body needs to deal with the influx of glucose into the bloodstream.

Brown rice has an outer casing of bran and husk which takes longer to break down but this can in itself cause problems in the digestive tract as the brown rice is hard to digest and irritating to the gut lining. The outer layer of the brown rice contains anti-nutrients called phytates and lectins which bind to minerals such as copper, zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium so that they are unable to be absorbed. This can therefore reduce the nutritional value of the brown rice and impact the absorption of other nutrients being consumed.

Cauliflower is also lower in kilojoules than rice, with one cup of cauliflower having just 104 kilojoules compared to one cup of cooked rice which has 804 kilojoules. Cauliflower is also much quicker to cook than rice, especially brown rice and is very versatile in how it can be used.

All of the reasons l have discussed are important to me as my health issues are centered around my gut health and issues regarding malabsorption of nutrients. Cauliflower rice is a good choice for me as a healing diet is one which enhances health and wellbeing and over the past two years l have slowly been adapting my diet to support my wellness goals. I take a lot of nutritional supplements daily as well which are very costly and l do not want to be eating any foods which would impact the absorption of these vital nutrients.

How to make cauliflower rice!

My favourite way to make cauliflower rice is to cut the fresh cauliflower into smallish pieces and then blend it in the food processor.

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Wash the raw cauliflower and cut it into pieces that will fit into the food processor.

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Process the cauliflower until it resembles rice and is an even consistency. The rice is now ready to use in your favourite dishes.

The cauliflower rice can now be added to a pan and lightly cooked such as in a stir fry.

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Place fresh vegetables into the pan with the cauliflower rice. The whole dish will be ready in minutes.

The cauliflower will soak up any spices that are added and change colour.

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Add spices to the pan such as cumin and tumeric and watch the rice change colour.

Another method is to steam the cauliflower pieces first and them process them in the food processor and then you can have it plain or just give it a quick cook in the pan with the fresh ingredients.

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The cauliflower is in the steamer. It can also be mashed with a fork using this method if you don’t have a food processor.

Some lovely colours can be created with the cauliflower as it soaks up the juices and spices. Below is a dish l cooked with the first photo showing the raw ingredients and then the development of the colour once the dish is cooked in the second photo.

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The uncooked cauliflower with the raw vegetables including beetroot

 

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A beautiful colour has developed from the combination of the tumeric and beetroot.

Sometimes the cost of cauliflowers can be quite high but when in season this cruciferous vegetable can be purchased very cheaply which is a good time to experiment with this dish. It is very easy to use a whole cauliflower if you are making enough for the family, or if you want to take some for lunch the next day. The smell of just cooked cauliflower is so delicious, and this is especially true when steaming it. I hope that you give the cauliflower rice a try and think about whether rice as a staple food in your life is a good idea, or that maybe it is a sometimes food and best eaten with lots of healthy vegetables as part of a balanced meal.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am on Instagram at holistic_paleo and Twitter at Holistic Paleo@carolynlgray

Vegetable Soup

    

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There is so much comfort in sitting down to a lovely bowl of vegetable soup, especially on a cold day.

It might seem kind of basic to be writing about how to make vegetable soup but if you haven’t had a go at it these tips might help. I like to make up big batches of soup and keep them in the freezer in small containers so l can use them as needed. The soup freezes well and if l don’t have time to let the soup defrost overnight l place the frozen tub in a small amount of hot water so it loosens from the container, then put it in a saucepan with a small amount of water. This method works very well as l do not use a microwave oven so need to find other ways of managing.

First step:

The whole base of the soup is a good stock. I have a recipe on my website for making a stock from a chicken base but you can use beef or lamb shanks. My mother used to put the lamb shank into the soup and let it all cook for several days and if you can find some grass fed lamb shanks this would be very nice. I don’t eat red meat now due to my lack of a gall bladder but my Dad was a sheep farmer and we had some lovely lamb meals when we were growing up. Although l don’t eat the red meat l could still put the beef or lamb bones into my stock mix but at this stage l am in the habit of using free range chicken as we often have a roast chicken for dinner and it is economical to then use the bones, skin and leftover meat in the stock.

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The pictures above show the cooked stock, draining out the bones and meat and finally the delicious stock which is the base of the soup. At this stage you can place small amounts of the stock in containers and freeze to use in casseroles or bolognese as examples depending on the quantity of soup you wish to make.

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Decide which vegetables you would like in your soup. I chose sweet potato, celery, pumpkin, carrot and cauliflower this time. You can add anything that you like such as cabbage and some onion if you can tolerate it. My mother used to add split peas and soup mix but l have found these can create digestive issues so avoid them now. Make sure your vegetables are washed well then cut into small pieces. Vegetables such as the carrots and celery will be there in the diced form in the final soup, but the softer vegetables such as sweet potato and carrot will dissolve and thicken the soup. Place all of your chopped vegetables in the pot with the broth and let simmer all day. Get a potato masher and mash some of the softer vegetables such as the pumpkin so they break up and thicken the soup. Serve in a bowl or mug and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. You can add a clove of crushed garlic or some sliced spring onion tops at serving as a garnish and extra flavour. Let the soup left over cool and place into the fridge or freezer for later use. Another handy idea is to take the soup hot to work in a thermos so you can enjoy a lovely lunch or have it in a mug for morning tea.

If you enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am also on Facebook at Holistic Wellness For Life and Twitter at Holistic Wellness@carolynlgray. Thanks Carolyn