It's an unfortunate fact that ingredient-limited diets, especially those programs that require reducing carbohydrate intake, can be highly unpleasant for beginners. In many cases you're required to sacrifice most if not all of your favorite foods, leaving you feeling both hungry and miserable. However, it's important to stay the course even if you experience some discomfort. Don't let the initial side effects of a low carbohydrate diet stop you from eating healthy. Once you are over the hump and your body begins to adapt, you will find yourself feeling much better.
While this is good news, it does not address the loss of your favorite foods, which can be distressing for many people and make it difficult to persevere in their new dietary regimen. In order to make eating low carb satisfying and manageable over the long term, physically and mentally, you need to find a way to re-incorporate some of the foods you love. And one of the best ways to do that is to substitute low carb ingredients for the high carb ones in your favorite recipes.
This week, Prisco's Family Market is featuring cauliflower – one of the best low carb food substitutes out there. This amazingly versatile vegetable can fill in for just about anything "bready" – and in the spirit of experimentation, cooks have come up with plenty of new and interesting ways to use it.
Here is a list of recipes using cauliflower as a replacement for breads, pastas, and starches, while keeping your favorite flavors intact...
Cauliflower “Everything Bagels”
The quintessential New York food. Pair them with some fat and a protein source to make a complete breakfast. They’d be delicious with an avocado and some lox or turkey slices!
Recipe courtesy of lexiscleankitchen.com
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a food processor, or using a hand grater, pulse/grate cauliflower until rice consistency
3. In a bowl combine eggs, cauliflower rice, almond flour, coconut flour, corn meal, garlic powder, and salt
4. In a separate bowl combine "everything" topping ingredients
5. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet
6. Make 4 even sized balls and lay onto parchment paper
7. Sprinkle "everything" topping and slightly press them into the top
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bread-like consistency (it might be longer depending on the size you make)
9. Remove from baking sheet and let cool directly on a cooling rack
Optional steps: Broil on high for 3-5 minutes after baking. For extra crisp, remove from baking sheet and do the broiling step with the buns directly on the oven rack.
For those of you who are accustomed to eating rice, this is a recipe for you.
Recipe courtesy of thepaleomom.com
1 small head of cauliflower (4-5 cups riced)
3 Tbsp cooking fat (such as coconut oil)
2 tsp lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)
4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt , to taste
1. Trim cauliflower and place florets in a food processor (you may have to do this in batches). Pulse until chopped to rice grain size. Set aside.
2. Heat cooking fat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower to the oil and cook, stirring frequently until cauliflower is cooked al dente (about 6-8 minutes).
3. Stir in lemon zest, parsley and salt. Cook 1 minute. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Cauliflower crust is thin and crispy, perfect for anyone who likes pizza with a nice crunch on the bottom. And since you’re making it yourself, it’s easy and fun to get really creative with the seasonings. (Note: You can also use that crust for calzones, pizza pockets, or just about anything else you’d otherwise use pizza dough for.)
Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com
1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. (I like to put it on a towel to get all the moisture out.) Let cool.
3. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.
A big basket of breadsticks can really bring the table together, and they’re delicious dipped in some homemade marinara sauce! Fortunately, cauliflower comes through again with a way to make them lower carb.
Recipe courtesy of fastpaleo.com
1. You can either put the whole head of cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and put in the microwave for 10 min. Then remove and put in a food processor until smooth OR you can put the cauliflower in the food processor first until you get a rice consistency and then put in a microwave safe dish and put in the microwave for 10 min.
2. Let the cauliflower cool slightly then place in the refrigerator until cooled completely.
3. Once cooled, mix the rest of the ingredients in the cauliflower.
4. Grease a cookie sheet and place cauliflower on it. Use your hands and pat down cauliflower until it is about 1/2 in thick. Place in an oven set for 425 degrees for about 25 min or until slightly brown.
5. Remove from oven and turn to broil at 500. Cut your cauliflower in the desired sticks you want and flip over. Place back in the oven until both sides are brown and desired crispness. Enjoy!
Cauliflower "Macaroni & Cheese"
Nobody can really pretend that cauliflower is shaped like macaroni, but if you’re looking to dig into a big pile of rich, cheesy goodness, cauliflower mac is just the thing.
Recipe courtesy of grassfedgirl.com
5 cups cauliflower florets
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 cup coconut milk, canned
1/2 cup homemade broth
2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted
1 soy free organic egg, beaten
2 cups grass-fed cheddar cheese/raw cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Salt the cauliflower then steam it until al dente.
3. Then place the florets in a greased baking dish.
4. In a skillet heat up the coconut milk with a pinch of salt and pepper over medium heat.
5. Add the broth and keep stirring.
6. Add the coconut flour to the mixture and let the sauce bubble.
7. Remove the sauce from heat then whisk in the egg.
8. The sauce should thicken and then pour it over the cauliflower.
9. Add the cheese evenly then bake for 35-40 minutes.
10. Turn the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes to get a nice color on top.