Cauliflower Poppers!

Okay, so this isn’t the newest street drug or a New Year’s Eve noisemaker.  This is my new favorite snack!

I love cauliflower in almost any form. It’s one of the few veggies I love both cooked and raw.  I have never, however thought about eating it for a snack, like potato chips.  I have now!

I got the original recipe from VegWeb.com, but I tweaked it a little.  Here’s how you can make your own!

Cauliflower Poppers

1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Clean the cauliflower, and break it into bite sized pieces.  In my family, some of us like it less cooked, some like it more, so if you leave some in bigger chunks, they’ll stay more firm.  I like it best almost burnt, so I get the tiny pieces.

Measure all of the ingredients into a gallon sized zipper type bag.  Moosh them around to mix them well.  If you don’t like nutritional yeast, you could try just adding extra tahini.  I’m not a huge fan of nooch, but in this recipe it works. Give it a try!

Now comes the fun part.  Dump all of the cauliflower into the zipper bag. Shake. Massage.  Work the sauce into all the little spaces in the cauliflower.  Keep working until most of the sauce has been worked off the side of the bag.

Please note that I’m actually doubling the recipe here, so yes, there are TWO heads of cauliflower in my bag.  Also note the joy on the face of the child, who made a deal with the Mom to pose for the picture if he wasn’t forced to eat it.

Now pour the coated cauliflower into a large pan or cake pain that you’ve greased or sprayed.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes to half an hour, stir well, then return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or til fork tender.

Voila! Salt to taste and enjoy!

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I’m baaaaack!

Well, it’s been a rough few weeks.  First, Dorothy passed away. Then we had to put our dog, Flash, down.  Everywhere we look in the house, everything we do, reminds us of how much we’ve lost.  On the other hand, it’s nice to be reminded of the love we had for them, and how lucky we are to have known them.  Bitter sweet.

Traveling to Vegas, and all the stress and grief have not unsettled my resolve though.  I’ve stuck to the plan pretty well, and have lost 36 pounds.  I have found a bunch of blogs that are amazing, and I’ve learned a lot!  I’ve learned a new way of cooking, which is still in progress (probably always will be!) and a new way to view food.  I’m feeling a bit stronger, a bit healthier, though I’m still in pain a lot.  I’m certainly happier!  Best of all, I think my family is closer.  I’ve been so proud of how everyone has done what they could to help each other through the hard times, showing love and support.  I was just reading a post on the VegWeb forum where someone was saying how great the early “crush” stage of a relationship is. I couldn’t disagree more.  The confusion, the misunderstandings, the fear, the awkwardness; not fun in my book.  Now, after ten years of marriage; this is the best.  Knowing that my husband is there, no matter what, trusting in his love for me, his honesty, that’s amazing.  And on the other side, knowing how best to comfort him in grief, understanding what he needs to feel loved and supported, the amazing tenderness when he takes my hand to hold when we’re just hanging, watching TV; that is the most intense experience I could ever need or desire.  I’m over all the butterfly stomach giggles; that has a place (and yeah, after ten years, it still happens), but I feel the everyday, normal, ordinary love so much deeper and more satisfying than any schoolgirl crush could dream.

Man, I totally did NOT intend to write that tonight!  Sorry if you got diabetes reading it…  And now, I’d better shut up, cuz I can’t help but think of this song…

Back to food…. Tonight I cooked “Authentic Pad Thai” from VegWeb.  I was really rather disappointed.  This recipe was fairly tasteless.  It was edible, but nothing good, nothing to look forward to.   I had an old recipe for Pad Thai that I just loved; I’ll have to see if I can find it. I think it’s fairly easy to veganize.   After I finish this post, I’m going to try to make Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles; I have much higher hopes for that recipe!

I’ll try to get back into writing almost every day, and I’m sending Peru to Vegan Yum Yum’s blog for food blog photography lessons… man what a great blog she has! I have a bunch more links to get up as well.  Learning so much!

Dinner!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. For Father’s day.  I used a vegan chocolate cookie crust, premade.  The Chocolate layer is just melted vegan chocolate chips and a block of silken tofu.  The peanut butter layer is homemade peanut butter, sweetener, and soy milk. Pretty easy to make, but I used every appliance in my kitchen.  Had to make the peanut butter, so had the food processor going; made the chocolate layer in the blender, then finished the peanut layer in the processor again.  It’s very dense, rich; I thought the peanut layer might be light and fluffy, but it’s not; it’s like cheesecake, almost.  It was very good, and should last for a while, since it’s so rich you just need a sliver.

Tonight I’m baking doughnut nuggets, little mini doughnuts baked, not fried; and for dinner it’s Enjedra,  Smells yummy with the cumin and onion cooking now.  I’ll report back!

Reporting back… no pic. Sorry. Every speck was devoured.

The problem with learning to cook totally new is that I don’t really know what I’m going for.  This dish, which is red lentils and steamed greens served over rice, tasted wonderful.  I don’t know, however, if I really did it properly.  The directions called for cooking chopped onion and cumin in olive oil, then adding red lentils and water, cooking til “Smooshy” (yes, that was the technical term used in the recipe!), and that the lentils should be smooth when done.  My lentils were “smooshy,” for sure; but not exactly smooth; and it took at least a cup more liquid than the recipe called for.  Regardless of how it was supposed to turn out, we very much enjoyed the way it DID turn out.  It had a sweetness I really didn’t expect, and the cumin was very understated.  I served it with jasmine rice and steamed spinach.  Everyone liked it, except Murphy didn’t like the spinach part.

The baked doughnuts turned out fairly well. They’re very pale, didn’t brown at all, and the flavor is mild.  Almost the texture of a scone, though the batter was certainly not like scone batter.  A very nice, not too unhealthy, not too sweet little treat.  Too easy to eat too many though.

A very nice meal, all in all.