Friday, May 13, 2011

Cauliflower Puree


I mean really and truly wrong.  Let's take a minute to discuss it.

Yesterday I was craving fish after my work out.  That was bad enough.  One could even argue that it was because I worked out so hard that I needed the protein, vitamins and omega 3's.  I can buy that. KIND OF. But for cryin' out loud, here I sit working, minding my own little business when WHAM!  I am slammed with another craving for FISH.  And not just fish, but fish and VEGGIES!  Really? That's a craving?????  Unbelievable.

What self respecting "overweight" person craves FISH AND VEGGIES in the middle of the day for NO GOOD REASON?  Certainly not me - NOT EVER ME. So I made myself FISH and VEGGIES...and now I am STUFFED?  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I didn't even eat that much!   In fact I am writing this post BEFORE my workout  just to let the lunch from now hours ago that makes me laugh!!

Yes something is wrong.

I come from a family of heard me correctly.  They are all naturally thin.  Especially my sisters.  They are gorgeous AND thin.  Ummm. Which postman did I come from?  Over the years, I got to "study" one of my sisters eating habits at work.  YEP...she would always give me her leftovers.  WHY?  Because she was just "too full"...HAHAHA - too FULL?  SOOO... I would eat mine AND hers.....but what I discovered is she would really want to eat more healthy foods...DEFINITELY not fun or exciting I would think to myself.  Then I would pray....GOD, please make me like that!

So the day has arrived.  I craved fish twice and I am stuffed from it.  YES, something is amiss...In a good way. 

OK, enough of my prattle. Onto the topic of the day.  Cauliflower Puree.  Yes, it's all the rage among Chef's and it IS good.  But it's sad that something so good and pure gets ladened with butter, cream and cheese to create a decadent side dish with, I am afraid to say, an obscene amount of calories.

By now, you know the motto of this blog.  It has to be Satisfying, delicious without the fat,  quick enough to make often, it needs to look good on the plate and it needs to fit into a lite and healthy lifestyle.  Cauliflower fits this profile, believe it or not.

Cauliflower IS a flower! (and you thought it was just a name).  The plant forms a compact head (the flower)of undeveloped white buds. The heavy green leaves that surround the head protect the flower buds from the sunlight. All this lack of exposure to sunlight prevents chlorophyll from developing. Therefore, color is not produced naturally, leaving the flower head white. It contains a high amount of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. It is also considered a cruciferous vegetable which, scientists believe can help reduce the risk of cancer.  AND, it's FREE on the Weight Watcher program.

I mention this as there is so much discussion of "white foods" - don't eat white rice - eat brown, don't eat white bread - eat wheat, don't eat too many potatoes, refined flour, sugar etc...I have heard people say "All white foods are bad for you".   NOT SO.  Cauliflower IS white, but it's a HEALTHY white food that can be and should be eaten often.  Let me know what you think!

Cauliflower Puree
WW recipe builder calls this 2 points - It counts the cauliflower!  Crazy.  If I take it out, its about 1 point.  You decide.  Recipe serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, stems remove and flowers cut up
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or any flavor laughing cow - 3 triangles, diced
(for purists or cheese haters, leave out the cheese if you want)
chicken stock
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese for the top
Salt and white pepper

Cut up cauliflower - remove core and green leaves and steam cauliflower until JUST tender.  Promise me you will NOT overcook them (LOL).  ***  NOTE:  Over steamed cauliflower makes for a thin yourself now.

When done, pop them in a food processor and  Process until smooth.  Add chicken stock until you have the desired consistency.  The consistency should be that of mashed potatoes.

Turn off food processor and add cheese, salt and white pepper - process until combined. Taste and adjust spices if necessary.

Spray a small baking dish and pour the puree in.  Top with a touch more Parmesan cheese , if desired and bake for about 15 minutes and let cool for a few minutes.

Serve with the desired main dish (Fish perhaps?  Turkey breast...the pork tenderloin with cherry sauce - see previous post to name a few ideas)  Just like you would potatoes.

The result?  A velvety smooth and creamy side dish that will rival any potato and dress up your weeknight (and special occasion) meals.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!!

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