Tag Archives: cauliflower

Cauliflower Fries

3 Oct

Not sure what I was looking for but I landed on a blog by Mariana Cotlear called Epicuriosa which featured a recipe for Cauliflower Fries. Hmmm… something to replace french fries? Some dishes just have to be eaten with fries – for example, German bratwurst or a Wiener Schnitzel. These are traditionally served with some kind of potato accompaniment – mashed potatoes, fries, sauteed potatoes – or for those in a hurry, in a bun. All carbs! So far I’ve been having these dishes with either a big salad or cauliflower mash so a french fries substitute certainly got my interest.

I’ve tried Mariana’s recipe – twice already. The cauliflower fries are really delicious!

The recipe called for a head of cauliflower for two servings. My head of cauliflower usally makes about 4-6 servings of cauliflower rice, so two servings of cauliflower fries seemed like two large portions. Well, I was wrong. What happens is that the cauliflower looses its water content while baking in the oven and shrinks heavily. They may look burnt in the photo below but they are very tasty and lightly crispy and you won’t be able to stop eating them.

Tonight I was having dinner alone and there was a lot of cauliflower in the fridge so I opted for a quick, no-fuss dinner – cauliflower fries accompanied by a few slices of chicken breast. This was also my opportunity to take some photos. I cut up half a head of cauliflower which filled my whole baking tray. I forgot to take a photo before putting it into the oven. Here are the cauliflower fries after they came out of the oven. The tray was packed with cauliflower when I put it into the oven. Just look at how scant it looks now. Click on the photos to enlarge.

And when you put it on a regular sized plate, this is all it amounts to …

On hindsight, this is not a practical recipe for two or more people. I ate the whole tray of cauliflower by myself. That means that you would have to bake each person’s portion individually. Not sure how they will turn out if you use two baking trays and rotate them halfway during baking. The first time I made these, my husband and I were having dinner together and we felt we didn’t have enough fries.

If you are having your meal alone, are two small eaters or are looking for a yummy snack, I do recommend these low carb fries.

Update 9 Oct 2011 – I made the fries again today. This time, I needed my oven to bake the pork fillet as well so I put the tray with the cauliflower on the bottom third of the oven, beneath the tray with the pork. It took about 5 min. longer for the cauliflower to get brown on the bottom ie. 20 min instead of 15 min, before I flipped them over. Also, I noticed that half a head of cauliflower was sufficient as an accompaniment for both myself and my husband and was wondering why. Then I realised that the cauliflower did not shrink much at all. It didn’t have that light crisp when you bite in either but they were nevertheless good. So if you want your cauliflower to stretch for more people, cook them on a lower temperature (200 degrees Celsius) and they won’t shrink that much!

Cauliflower Fries (serves 1)

(recipe taken from Mariana Cotlear’s blog, Epicuriosa. Quantities have been halved and some instructions slightly changed.)

1/2 medium head of cauliflower
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Clean the cauliflower of any leaves and trim the tough part of the bottom stem so that you get a flat surface.  Stand the cauliflower upright on a cutting board, and with a large, heavy knife, create 1/2 inch slices.  The outer bits will fall off in very small pieces (this is a very good thing, you will see later), the inner pieces will be like cauliflower latticework.

Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil.  Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread in one layer on the baking sheet.  You don’t want it to get too crowded or it won’t brown properly.

Bake the cauliflower in the oven for 10 mins. When it starts looking golden on the underside, turn with a spatula and return to the oven for another 10 mins or so. They should be nicely browned on both sides.

Oh yes, another tip – don’t sprinkle the cauliflower with too much salt. After the cauliflower shrinks, it becomes saltier.

Nutritional Information

Half a head of a medium cauliflower contains 7.8 gr net carbs.

Print this recipe – Cauliflower Fries

Tomato Cauliflower Rice

16 Jul

Here is an attempt to make cauliflower rice more interesting!

Tomato Cauliflower Rice

serves 3

400 gr cauliflower, riced

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 large bell pepper chopped, red or green

1 Tbsp olive oil

Pinch saffron

Parsley for garnishing

Heat the olive oil in a wok or large pan with a lid. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper and saffron and sautee a little, then cover and leave on medium low fire till the bell pepper is cooked and tomatoes mushy, about 5-10 minutes. Pile the riced cauliflower on top (don’t stir in). Put the lid on and leave for 5 minutes. When done, take off the lid and stir to mix. Finished!

Nutrition Facts: Total Calories – 97.7 kcal; Fat – 5.1 gr; Total Carbs – 12.4 gr; Net Carbs – 7.6 gr; Protein – 3.6 gr

Note: you could cut down on the calories and fat content by omitting the olive oil. Instead saute the tomatoes and bell pepper in 1 -2 Tbsp water! Calories are reduced to 58 kcal per serving and fat to 0.6 gr!

Print this recipe – Tomato Cauliflower Rice

The versatile cauliflower

7 May

Yesterday, I decided to give the cauliflower rice recipe a go. You can find this recipe in every low carb website and blog. I got mine here but do read on to see how I handled it.

Since I was big on carbs before going low carb, I thought it would be nice if some things could be replicated – well, as best as can be replicated. So I was thrilled to see that you could use cauliflower to make rice. Actually, I am not a cauliflower fan but a rice fan and if everyone is raving about this, then it is worth a try.

I bought my cauliflower – a regular sized one. I forgot to look at the label to see how much it weighed so that I could do my calculations.

Update: I have done my weighing and calculations. I would estimate anywhere between 100-150gr cauliflower per person, depending on how big a portion you can eat and how many carbs you are allowing yourself to have. 100gr raw cauliflower has 5.2 gr total carbohydrates and 2.7 gr effective carbohydrates.

So, I peeled off the leaves, cut off the stem and then the cauliflower into chunks, washed the pieces and was now ready to rice the cauliflower. How should I do this – using the food processor or a grater? I noticed while cutting the cauliflower into pieces that it messed up the work table a little, so I could imagine if I used a grater, I would have little bits of cauliflower flying all over the place. Conclusion, use the food processor straight away.

Well, the first thing the recipe does not tell you is that a regular head of cauliflower cannot be processed all in one go in a 1.5 litre capacity food processor. You would be better off doing it in two batches. Ok, so I poured everything out and did it in two batches. It was quite easy. Just use the pulse button. That was a good decision – to use the food processor.

The second thing the recipe does not tell you is that a regular head of cauliflower yields alot of rice – a mountain of rice. I had fish and stir-fried vegetables last night and only required ‘rice’ as an accompaniment. I estimated I would need about 4 tablespoons. I probably had enough riced cauliflower to feed 10 people. I intended to make mock fried rice the next day, so no problem.

Cooking 4 tablespoons of riced cauliflower sounds pathetic but when you think about the way it is done, this is so practical. You wouldn’t be able to cook 4 tablespoons of white (or any kind of ‘real’ rice) but you can cook as many tablespoons of riced cauliflower as you want in the microwave. So I put about 4 tablespoons in a microwaveable dish and zapped it on high. Instead of cooking it for 4 minutes as stated in the recipe, I needed only 2 1/2 minutes for the little quantity I was making.  The ‘rice’ was lovely and I hardly noticed that it was not real rice when eating!

Now, you must be thinking, why didn’t I just cook the rest of the riced cauliflower.  In real fried rice, you cook the rice the day before, leave it in the fridge and then make your fried rice the next day. The recipe I found for mock fried rice called for cooking the cauliflower together with the other ingredients not like real fried rice. Since I wanted to cook fried rice the next day, I decided I would keep the cauliflower in the fridge and cook it the next day.

Unfortunately, I discovered ricing your cauliflower one day ahead is not a good thing. My cauliflower turned brown – was however, still ok to use.

Today, I took my usual fried rice recipe and substituted the rice with riced cauliflower – actually I don’t have a recipe. I just add stuff from feel.  Here it is! Sorry about the quality of the photo.

Mock Fried Rice

Looks like the real thing. Tastes a little different but still surprisingly good. If you don’t know how to make fried rice at all, then google for a recipe and where it says rice, add the uncooked riced cauliflower. From that point, keep stir-frying till you think the cauliflower is cooked and then add the seasoning. Some people like it with a bite to it, others like it mushier – but don’t let it get too mushy. I would recommend scrambling the egg separately and mixing it into the cooked cauliflower rice. I found that the egg, when scrambled into the same pan as the cauliflower, tended to bind the cauliflower pieces together.

Well, I’ve ended up with a lot more fried rice than I wanted so it looks like fried rice paradise for the next few days. When I make this next time, I’ll add a recipe to this blog.

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