Tag Archives: cauliflower

Recipe: Cauliflower, Carrot, Crouton and Beetroot Thing of Great Yumminess (Vegan!!)

As you might have discerned, I have no idea what to call this recipe.  It’s sort of technically a main course salad, though a salad with absolutely nothing green in it doesn’t seem quite salad-y to me.  I know that ‘Bowls’ are the current big thing, but calling it a Bowl just seems pretentious to me.  Mélange sounds right to me, but probably sounds pretentious to everyone who isn’t me, so that’s no good.

The important thing to know about this meal is that it is *delicious*.  Picture this scenario: it’s the end of a long day at work.  The grants have just opened on RGMS.  I’ve gotten home late, because I was running choir after work.  I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in about a week.  I’m tired and I am cranky and I am sulking because basically I want fish and chips or takeaway, preferably something with lots of creamy cheese in it like four cheese pasta, or alternatively all the chocolate in the world, and here I am with stale bread, leftover beetroot dip, a cauliflower and a bunch of slightly elderly carrots.

This is not the stuff of which comfort food is made.

And yet… honestly, I feel like this is the best thing I’ve eaten all week.  It was sooo good.  Warm and earthy and crunchy and soft and squidgy and aromatic and sweet and savoury and probably nowhere near as good for me as I’d like to pretend, though better than fish and chips, eh, and actually not too much of a pain to make.

So here I am, desperately wanting an early night but unable to rest without writing down just what I did, because I will need to do it again sometime.  Sometime soon.  And maybe so will you.

(I apologise for the slightly vague quantities and the terrible photos – this is what happens when you are making dinner from the fridge and don’t really have plans to write it up because you are sulking at having to eat vegetables when all you want is cheesy cheesy pasta or maybe cheesy cheesy chips.)


Your Shopping (or leftovers) list

1 cauliflower – fairly large, I’d say
1 red onion
olive oil
1 tbsp ras el hanout or other moroccan spice mix
6-8 smallish carrots (no idea how many really, more or fewer will be fine, and colourful is good)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
about half a baguette’s worth of sourdough olive bread, or any other good chewy bread
a tablespoon of parmesan (optional)
400g tin of chickpeas
about 100 – 150g of beetroot dip – I had about half a pot of beautiful beetroot and hazelnut dip with dukkah from Shouki and Louise, which is what I used here.

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Recipe: Quick Cauliflower Soup with Chipotle Chilli and Roast Garlic

This was one of those recipes that could have gone either way.  Basically, I just chucked some stuff in a pot, and then later in a blender, and called it soup.  But there was no way of knowing whether it would be Happy Soup or The Soup Of Evil until I was done.

Which is why there are no photos.  The soup was definitely happy, but it was also very ugly and rather random, and we ate it all before photography actually came to mind…

Your Shopping List

1-2 heads of cauliflower (I used one head of fractal broccoli, and a little head of purple cauliflower)
2 chipotle chillis in adobo
2 tablespoons roast garlic
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
salt, pepper and cumin to taste
1 x 400g tin chickpeas

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Living Below the Line: Penne with Spicy Tomato, Cauliflower and Chickpea Sauce

Look!  I actually managed to create something that tasted good!  It’s amazing how much better food tastes when you manage to avoid the ubiquitous frozen vegetables (note to self: cheap frozen vegetables have absolutely no taste and should be used as a bulk ingredient only – not a flavour one!), when you have just a bit of cooking fat, and when you get to use garlic and chilli at the same time.  Incidentally, I think chilli would be my secret weapon if I were living on a very low budget full time – it’s so incredibly cheap, and provides a good kick of flavour that is sadly lacking from a lot of this food.

While this dish really would be improved by a bit of parmesan, some olive oil, and just better seasoning all around, it’s actually quite fine as it is.  I will probably make this again, and there’s really not much I would change.


Your Shopping List

skin from one chicken wing (or olive oil, if you are not living below the line)
175 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 red chilli (2 if you can!)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 brown onion, sliced
1 1/2 tins of chopped tomatoes (600g in total)
1 cup of water
3/4 of a cauliflower
450 g pasta

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Living Below the Line: Pasta Bake Recipe!

I’m sure you are just itching to know how these recipes work, so allow me to share with you the first of my ‘famine’ recipes.  Actually, this one isn’t so famine-ish, because it contains actual fish, and came in at just under $1.10 per serving.  Luxury!

75 g cashews
1/4 cauliflower, coarsely chopped, including bits of stem
5 garlic cloves
salt3/4 cup water, plus more for the vegetables
1 enormous beetroot, or two medium ones
3/4 of a butternut pumpkin
1/2 cup of mixed frozen vegetables
185 g tinned tuna or salmon
550 g pasta
1 slice bread

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Recipe: Split pea soup with Tandoori Masala and Spiced Cauliflower

soup2Kari at Bite-Sized Thoughts posted a recipe yesterday for split pea soup with caraway seeds. It looked gorgeous and warming and wintry, and I did have split peas needing to be used up, so I decided that would be lunch today.

Only then I woke up very late, and letting a soup simmer for an hour didn’t seem like a good way to get lunch on the table at, well, lunchtime.  And then I realised I didn’t have caraway seeds or cabbage.  No worries – I have a pressure cooker! 

Also, I wasn’t dressed yet, which meant that Andrew would be the one doing the shopping, and he hates cabbage.  I can sneak it into things and he will eat it (even if he knows it’s there), but blatantly making him go out and buy it seemed a bit unnecessarily confronting.  So I started thinking about what I could put in instead, and whether I even wanted caraway seeds, really (I mostly don’t like them, except when I do), and then I needed to look up how long split peas needed in a pressure cooker, and Lorna Sass had a recipe for split pea soup with sweet potato and apples, and I had apples to use up, and then I thought, really, split peas are my favourite kind of dal, and I also have all these Indian spice mixes and…

… well, basically, it was suddenly a very different soup.  Almost a stew, actually. Also, it makes enough for 6-8 people, so lunch for the next few days is basically sorted.  Also, it’s really, really satisfying and good, especially in this chilly weather.  Not bad for something that cooks in twenty minutes…

Your Shopping List

1 tablespoon of butter or sunflower oil
2 small onions
3 celery sticks
2 cups yellow split peas
4 cups water
2 cups stock, any kind that appeals (you can use a couple of extra cups at the end to thin the soup, but don’t use them for the main part of cooking if you are using a pressure cooker, as split peas can misbehave if their level is too high)
1 big sweet potato – about 650g
1 apple
1 tsp mint
1-2 tsp tandoori masala spice blend
pinch of salt and pepper
1 cauliflower
2-3 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1 tbsp panch poron spice mix
1/4 tsp chilli flakes

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Recipe: Macaroni Cheese with chipotle pepper, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables

Ah, cheesy pasta bake.  The best comfort food in the world, not least because you can put practically anything in it successfully.  Pasta bakes are my go-to dish when I have a lot of random vegetables in the fridge and no idea what to do with them.  Or when I have bits of cheese in the fridge with no apparent unifying factor.  Or when I am tired and unimaginative and just want some melty cheesy goodness to make everything better.

My pasta bakes actually started life as tuna casserole, but over the years, the veggies have gradually edged out the tuna.  Corn developed companion onions, then capsicums and carrots and celery, then baby spinach or other leafy greens, then asparagus or tomato or cauliflower or broccoli, and pretty soon you end up with a situation where you look at the casserole dish and you look at the vegetables and the cheesy sauce and you realise that you will have to choose between adding tuna and adding pasta (or a situation in which you pile everything into the dish, totaly misjudge its capacity, and end up with cheese sauce all over the kitchen).  The tuna always loses.  The cheesy sauce, you will note, is never even considered as something to leave out.  While I have made pasta bakes without it, cheesy sauce really is the point of this dish.

Anyway, while I never really make the same pasta bake twice, tonight’s iteration was successful enough that I felt I ought to write it down.  The quantities are a little vague, but I think you should view this not as a bug but as a feature – consider the areas of uncertainty an opportunity for you to add your own chosen ingredients.  Or more cheese.  Go wild!

Your shopping list

(technically, this is not a shopping list, because if you are doing this right, it’s more of a case of foraging through the fridge and realising that hey, you have a roasted pepper over here, and look!  there’s still some mascarpone left!  But if you are actually trying to replicate what I did, here is what you need.)

1/2 a bunch of baby spinach
1/2 a bunch of rocket
1 roasted pepper
2 heads of broccoli
2 heads of baby cauliflower or half a head of the full-grown kind
6 spring onions
75 g butter (garlic butter is good)
90 g flour
750 ml milk
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, plus a couple of teaspoons of the sauce
100 g cheddar
100 g parmesan (actually, I have absolutely no idea how much cheese I used, but it was certainly a lot)
75 g mascarpone, maybe.  I really have no idea about this one – it was what was left in the tub…
black pepper
375 g curly pasta or short pasta of your choice

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Recipe: Baked Cauliflower

This is a very simple recipe, from a book called Reds, Whites, and Greens, by Faith Willunger As you might have gathered from the title, it’s a book of Italian things to do with vegetables.  I’m yet to find a bad recipe in this book, which I will be reviewing in the near future.  This recipe is lovely and fresh tasting, and gives cauliflower a zing I had not previously thought possible.  It’s like a light version of cauliflower cheese.  Only nicer.

Your Shopping List

1 head of cauliflower, purple if possible
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch parsley, flat leaf if possible
50g parmesan
salt, pepper

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