Saturday, April 5, 2014

No mess Cauli-rice!

If you hang out in the foodie blogosphere much, you'll come across many many recipes for cauliflower rice. Most of them involve either grating the cauliflower, or running it through a processor. I've done both plenty of times. And I perfected the cauli-rice flavor with the addition of eggs and select spices. Yum!

So now I give you the further improvement of skipping all the mess involved with making it!

one head of cauliflower (around 3lbs)
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic (opt.)
2 cups broth
2-3 eggs
3-4 T lard or other fat
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp each of ginger, coriander, majoram

Trim and wash cauliflower, and place stem down in large pot. If you cut off most of the stem, it will be resting on the bottom most florets, but don’t worry about that. Pour broth into pot; it will not cover the cauliflower. Cook on high heat with the lid on until the whole head is very soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes or so. Check periodically for softness with a knife.

Mmm... the white vegetable.
When ready, use a knife to cut up some, right in the pot. Ultimately, you want to cut out the hard center of the cauliflower. Once the hard center of the head is out, use a potato masher (or if you’re not too picky, just the wooden spoon) to crush everything further. You’ll eventually have nice crumbles. If there is any liquid, then turn the heat back on and continue to cook, stirring often. Add a minced onion and garlic at this time too. If there isn’t much liquid, then add a couple tablespoons of lard.

See the florets being cut away from the center?
And look, here is the center, ready for the compost.

When everything is sufficiently soft, make a bowl in the middle, pushing all the cauli-rice to the sides. Add more lard and pour beaten eggs into the space. then slowly fold the eggs into the cauliflower as they cook.
Cauliflower bowl, ready for eggs.

When finished, season with spices and salt to taste. I usually stir-fry or boil a few other veggies and toss those in, then add in some fish or chicken or pork and a little fish sauce to taste!

This tastes closest to fried rice, though if you season right I bet it could go with sloppy joes too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Egg white buns : Air to wrap around meat!

We eat a lot of egg yolks. Which means a lot of egg whites, collecting in the fridge. Though my first favorite way to eat these is pavlova or meringue cookies, I've also used the egg whites to add to scrambled eggs or baked goods, or to make oopsie style wraps (cream cheese blended in to make thin pancakes). However, since we don't have chickens to eat these extra egg whites, the problem still piles up. I'm very grateful that egg whites keep in the fridge for some time!

In the meantime, I've tried several recipes for GAPS burger buns. Most of them are glorified air, much like the puffed discs you find numerous fast food places. Air is good. The main purpose of buns is to be a delivery device, right? However, given our limitations (oxalate avoidance, minimal cheese) I wanted to figure out something that didn't involve nut flour or dairy. And I wasn't so concerned with having buns, really, I just always have a lot of egg whites!

So enough of my jabbering, check out what I've come up with. I don't think I have the technique quite perfected yet, and I've not yet tried baking these, though I've done enough similar recipes I'm pretty sure it would work well.

2 cups egg whites
2 Tbsp coconut flour
3-4 Tbsp cooked squash
1 tsp honey (opt.)
pinch salt

First fluff egg whites with electric mixer, you don't really even need peaks to form, but getting to soft peaks does mean more air at the end. Then blend in rest of ingredients. Cooked on low heat on a greased griddle, using a spatula to make little rounds, about 1/2 inch thick. These do need to cook low and slow, a bit tedious, but worth it, I think.

Or bake for burger buns: 300-325 degrees for  30 minutes or so depending on thickness. Parchment paper will help prevent sticking, though I have well loved stones and grease that seem to do the job well.

You could also make these up without beating the egg whites, but that would make crepes, not puffy flat bread.

Ultimately, these do deflate and end up more like the mashed down buns you have with one of those fat burgers, but who cares? It tastes similar enough to cheap white buns to make the meal happy. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

What my day would have looked like before GAPS...

Today was a full day.

Starting off sleep-deprived and groggy, the mild residuals of the previous day's headache still weighing me down, we moved slowly in the morning.

But I wasn't completely useless, I was able to wake up and get going.

A surprise interruption to my quick lunch plans and outing's preparations should have thrown me for more of a loop, but it wasn't a big deal.

I didn't turn into a clumsy person just because of surprises and playing "host" for a bit.

The stress of quickly grabbing kids, chowing down food, collecting what we needed, all while watching the clock anxiously bothered my stomach a little, but nothing terrible. I didn't forget anything either.

Then once there, I carried my toddler on my back, ran to the car for forgotten items, enjoyed the spring air.

I wasn't sneezing horribly despite forgetting to start my herbs early enough.

When I went into a room and had butterflies flying everywhere, I was able to marvel at them and felt calm.

Instead of getting jittery and squeamish.

I noticed a nasty chemical or burning smell in another building.

But it didn't give me a migraine.

Outside there is dirt and heat and the anxious watching of kids as the mingle with many others, climbing and laughing.

Meanwhile my sensory issues were very mild and I could ignore them.

And after a long afternoon visiting and giggling and playing, I drove home. In the sun. The direct sun that used to give me horrible migraines.

I only had a mild headache after the days affairs.

Arriving home, I still had energy to fix dinner and have someone over.

I didn't collapse in a chair, grateful for leftovers in the fridge and a capable husband.

Am I totally healed? Not yet, but I'm so much better.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cabbage noodles

Cabbage makes amazing noodles. Slightly sweet and mild flavored, they go especially well with asian dishes, but I like them with sausage and bitter greens too. Slice thinly for more true "noodles" or you can do this with just bite-size pieces for anti-noodle kids like mine.

1 head of cabbage (about 3 lbs), thinly sliced into long shreds
1 c broth
1/2 c fat (lard works well)
1-2 onions, thinly sliced
generous amount of salt

In a large pot on med/high heat, put in fat, then onions and cabbage. You may not be able to add all the cabbage initially, but as it cooks down, there will be more space. Do not let them brown, but stir often.

Continue to cook on medium/high heat, stirring frequently. After all the cabbage is in the pot and it is starting to turn clear, add broth. Simmer with the lid off, continuing to stir often, until all cabbage has turned soft and transparent.

Salt to taste and serve.

Wonderful with stir fry, sausage, gravy, etc.

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