cauliflower

Gluten Free, Entrée

SPICED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS WITH WALNUT SAUCE

More cauliflower! Oops. But I do love it and it didn't cross my mind we had cauliflower on here for the last post as I was thumbing through Laura's new book. I have dozens of recipes bookmarked but I am looking for new veg mains in our rotation lately and this one popped out at me. I was shocked at how short the ingredient list was and how quickly it came together given how beautiful it looked. I'm an easy sell on pretty food. Especially quick, pretty food. Next up is her homemade coconut creamer with dates, a warm balsamic mushroom salad, and a second round of those brownies I made months ago when I first saw the pdf draft of this book.

I've been a long time fan of Laura's, both for her easy going disposition and plant-based food that is magically wholesome, creative, all while still being something you can whip up easily for dinner. I don't always see those things going hand in hand but she is extremely good at what she does. She's responsible for the arugula cashew sauce I've made three times already that goes on pretty much everything. I like vegan food and an ice cream sundae all in the same breath, so a book that doesn't feel lacking is a keeper. You'll have to flip through a copy yourself or better yet, add it to your collection. Clearly forever a First Mess fangirl. Congrats, Laura!

SPICED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS WITH WALNUT SAUCE // Serves 2
Recipe from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright

I am putting Laura's recipe here verbatim. The only thing I did different was up the garlic and lemon a bit and added a pinch of cayenne to the spice blend for heat. Those are personal preferences. The recipe is so concise you can add here to taste. This serves two well after roasting the extra bits of cauliflower. You could easily double it if you have a large enough pan or even do it in shifts and keep the cauliflower warm. 

Walnut Sauce
1/2 cup raw walnut halves, plus a few more for garnish
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Spice-Crusted Cauliflower
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350'

Make the walnut sauce: In a large, ovenproof skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a blender. Return the skillet to the stove and heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Saute until edges of the onion soften, about 2 minutes. Scrape the onions and garlic into the blender. Add the almond milk, lemon juice and generous pinches of salt and pepper and whiz on high until you have a creamy sauce. Keep warm while you prepare the cauliflower. 
Cut two 1" thick "steaks" from the center of the cauliflower (you'll loose pieces on the sides that don't stay intact but just roast those up in an oil and spice mixture and enjoy them on the side). You should have a nice cross section of the vegetable that holds together. Moisten the steaks with water and season both sides with the paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. 
Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the cauliflower steaks and sear until evenly browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the cauliflower over and transfer the skillet to the oven. 
Roast the cauliflower in the oven until the center core or stem section is tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. 
Serve the cauliflower with warm sauce and garnish with parsley and chopped walnuts



Print This Recipe

Side, Fall, Entrée, Winter

CAULIFLOWER + BROWN RICE GRATIN

Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen

I've said for years now that I hate moving and after the past few weeks I can confidently say I still stand by that sentiment. I know there are certain crazy people who like finding new places for things and the boxes and fresh starts but I am not that kind of crazy person. I am a different kind of crazy person - the kind that figuratively looses her shit when things are out of control and messy and expensive and in flux. It probably doesn't help anyone that I am pregnant and extra emotional so the tears seemed to sit right behind my eye lids at the ready for a quick breakdown. My beloved husband... My parents would praise him when I would call upset that the gray paint looked too blue (so tragic!), they wouldn't entertain my over-reacting, just a "God bless that Hugh." It didn't change the gray, but I started to catch on that I was the only one who was taking things like the size of a rug or the density of curtain fabric so seriously.

Hugh showed me a few photos he shot of my belly a few weeks ago and I got shuffled back into perspective. In short, he said "I'm afraid you're missing all the good things in front of you because you are so concerned with the house looking a certain way." He's right and I am. I mean, I was, because I am trying to calm down starting today. We will create a beautiful home in its time. These sorts of projects take months and years, not a couple weeks. I've been throwing meals together but in an effort to get back to work on both the blog and book, I actually cooked cooked - as in not just scrambled eggs or grilled cheese. I oiled the cutting boards and Hugh and his dad fiddled with the oven to get it up and running again. It was today, cooking and working in this new kitchen, that both of us said it felt like our home. I threw together a strawberry-lemon breakfast cake and we danced when familiar songs came on Pandora and I felt a little less crazy. I was reminded that it's the comfortable rituals and familiar idiosyncrasies of the days and the people you spend them with that make a place feel like home, not the paint color or ideal curtains. My usual answer when people ask why I like to cook is because I like to serve people in this small way, but I also love that it is a cozy skill - a skill that can warm your own heart when you need it to.

I had a gigantic head of cauliflower from my recent CSA basket and went the warm and cheesy route because I wanted the kitchen to smell delicious and the 30 week-old person in my belly likes warm and cheesy things. A well charred tray of garlicky-roasted cauliflower is my tried and true, but folding the florets and brown rice in with some milk and cheese offered a pseudo mac n cheese situation. I think you could add in some chopped spinach for greenery or mix in a dollop of horseradish to give it a kick. Either way, it's vegetable comfort food and it was just what we needed.

Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen

CAULIFLOWER + BROWN RICE GRATIN // Serves 4

Recipe adapted and mashed up from Smitten Kitchen and Naturally Ella

I know someone will ask about making this gluten free and with a little searching it seems you can substitute cornstarch in the roux. I haven't tried it, but it sounds to me like it would work. I think this would also look adorable in individual ramekins or gratin dishes. Those would likely cook in under 20 minutes.

  • 2 lbs. cauliflower
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 of a red onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper, more as needed
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping
  • 3/4 cup shredded gruyere, plus more for topping
  • fresh chopped, parsley for garnish
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400' and grease an 8x8 pan.

Cut up the cauliflower into small chunks. Steam for 5-7 minutes until softened. Combine the cauliflower and brown rice in a mixing bowl and set aside (I ripped up any larger cauli pieces at this point).

In a saucepan, warm the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Saute until softened. Add the flour and cook another minute. Slowly start adding the milk, continuing to stir to combine. Turn the heat down to low and let the roux thicken. Add the nutmeg, cayenne and Italian herbs. Stir in the parmesan and gruyere until just melted in. Pour the warm cheese mixture (it will be pretty thick) over the cauli and rice, add another few pinches of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into your baking dish and sprinkle the top with another handful of grated gruyere, parmesan and fresh ground pepper. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until the edges start to bubble. Turn the heat up to 500' and cook another 6-10 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove and let it cool for a few minutes.

Sprinkle the top with fresh chopped parsley and serve warm.

Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Cauliflower & Brown Rice Gratin . Sprouted Kitchen
Print This Recipe

Appetizer, Side, Salad, Fall, Entrée, Gluten Free, Personal

AUTUMN SALAD WITH HORSERADISH VINAIGRETTE + NEWS!

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen

I'm pregnant! We're pregnant is what you say, I suppose, but I'm the one in the stretchy pants over here. So many things to say about this, friends, but I'm at a loss for words at the same time. This may be more of a generally-emotional-lady thing, so bear with me, but you know when you feel outside of yourself? Like little crazy trolls are frantic in your head making you irritable and easily bringing you to tears. Sometimes the trolls rest, but I generally feel a little... off. I have another human in my belly and trolls in my mind and I'm in absolute amazement that our bodies make people. I still can't believe it.

I have wanted to be a mom my entire life. I have never once doubted it. I was a big sister, and I mothered my little sister the moment she came home from the hospital. I covered her whole body in diaper cream and bossed her around. I mothered my own mother, too, from time to time. I would ask if she had her purse when we left the house and remind her to get gas when the dash light went. I enjoy taking care of people, I am a nurturer, I ask questions and listen for the answer, I love a really good, meaningful hug and a good cuddle. All I know is that this baby in my tum? I have desired him/her for as long as I can remember.

I'm so excited to be doing this with Hugh. He will be so good at being a dad. That is one of the things I am most excited to watch. I'm aware we're both imperfect people, figuring things out as we go, and I'm ok raising a family without having everything together. That's something I hope our child sees in us early on - that you do the best you can to love people well. You give and listen and compromise and work hard and stay present and use good manners and be honest and soak up the worlds' beauty, but remain aware that we're fallen people just doing our best, and you are completely loved anyway. I am so freaking excited to love this person. I tear up when I think of meeting you, baby. Every time. Do you feel me rub my belly when I get up to go to the bathroom 100x through the night? I just want you to know I'm thinking of you. I giggle to myself that there will now be another person to observe our quirkyness. I hope we don't completely embarrass it, even though that sounds inevitable if I remember my teen years correctly. Hugh and I are silly and laugh a lot and we're a little bit weird, but we have the greatest time. Gah! I am so excited this little person will be joining the silly. We've been waiting for people to join our home office dance party. It's only a matter of time now, baby.

So here we are. A precious baby coming end of May. Thank you for your patience while things have been a bit slow around here. I am not getting much cooking done, unfortunately. I am currently in a bean and cheese burrito phase. This is only after we've passed through cold cereal (there are so many types!), french fries, a fruit-heavy week, and a very short (gasp) cheeseburger stint. I feel a little outside myself and somehow wonderfully confident that we are as ready as we can be for this. With full hearts... Sara, Hugh and the nugget.

P.S.

It needs to be said that getting pregnant was not easy for us. It took longer than we expected. We had some tests done, and we were told that we wouldn't be able to conceive on our own without alternative methods... which turned out not to be the case, thankfully. That season weighed heavy on my heart - something I wanted to talk about here but it didn't feel quite right. My heart is so tender for the woman who desires a child and is having a tough time getting pregnant. One month or two years of hoping, waiting and being disappointed, only to run the cycle again - not enough people talk about how that feels. Lady, huge hugs to you. You feel defeated, like your body is failing you, that it is SO EASY for everyone else. It doesn't feel any better when people tell you, "It will happen when it's supposed to happen," that just makes you feel more frustrated and want to punch them in the face. I may be on the other side for now, but I wanted to express some empathy for this group because it's a dark place to be and it feels super lonely. My suggestion to you is to find people - even when it seems easy for everyone else, I guarantee you there is someone else having a tough time or another woman who has a story. Talk about it, find a confidant, it will help keep your head above water.

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen

AUTUMN SALAD WITH HORSERADISH VINAIGRETTE // Serves 6

This is a deconstruction for my sister. She had a similar salad at True Food Kitchen(side note, they have a gorgeous cookbook) and asked me to replicate it so she could bring it to Thanksgiving. The original had dried mulberries in it, and I think you could sub in cranberries or cherries, but I skipped this. I would consider the amount here a moderate addition of horseradish in the dressing. If you like a kick, want a more forward flavor, add more. There is no dairy in this salad as written, but next time, I'll be adding a generous sprinkling of parmesan on top and a dollop of creme fraiche to the dressing. 'Tis the season :) 

  • 3/4 lb. brussel sprouts
  • 3/4 lb. cauliflower florets
  • 3 cups butternut squash, in 1/2'' cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic
  • 3/4-1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • few pinches of cayenne
  • 1 cup cooked white beans (great northern, cannellini etc.), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 packed cups arugula
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 a shallot
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • handful of fresh chives and/or parsley
  • dollop of creme fraiche, optional
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. Cut the brussels in half length wise, and cut the cauliflower into similar size chunks. Add both of these and the squash to a large rimmed baking tray. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and few pinches of cayenne and toss everything together with your hands to coat. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35 minutes until edges are browned.

While the vegetables roast, make your dressing. In a mini blender or processor, combine the horseradish, garlic, shallot, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs and creme fraiche, if using. Blend everything together to mix well. taste for salt and pepper and set aside.

As soon as the hot tray is out of the oven, add the beans onto the tray and toss everything together. Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature. Add the pom seeds, arugula and a good drizzle or the dressing and toss everything to coat. Sprinkle with a little parmesan if you please.

This salad is served at room temperature, could be served cold as well if you chill the roasted vegetables.

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette . Sprouted Kitchen
Print This Recipe