Caramelised Onion Cauliflower Tart.

Happy National Coeliacs Day!

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No, I didn’t know about it either until about an hour ago. But naturally I had to embrace it!

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It’s one of my last shifts at work tonight, and my last shift with the sous chef who is a hoot! It’s not going to be the same without him, but we all have uni to go to. Til next summer! However I promised him I’d bake him something tasty (he rather likes my cookies!) so I have baked some carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing for him (recipe to follow soon!). But seeing as I’m wheat intolerant, I can’t have any of it. So it’s only fair that I baked myself something too.

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I told mum what this was and she did not seem impressed. After having her first bite she was hooked. Just because it’s gluten free AND vegan doesn’t mean it’s bland or dry as cardboard – this was delicious! Well, it doesn’t make The Guardian’s Top 10 Cauliflower Recipe list for nothing! I’ve barely changed it, just swapped the walnuts for pecans as a personal preference. Oh, and I replaced the spelt flour with plain old gf flour as it was already in the cupboard. Waste not, want not!

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Ingredients:

For the roasted cauliflower
1 medium-large cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt

For the crust
50g pecans
40g rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
A large pinch of black pepper
120g gluten free flour
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to oil the pan
2 tbsp plain soya milk

For the filling
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt
A pinch of curry powder
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
60g plain soya milk or unsweetened almond milk
Black pepper

To garnish
Lemon zest
Fresh parsley, chopped

1 To roast the cauliflower, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 Toss the florets in olive oil and salt, then arrange evenly on the tray and roast for 30 minutes. Turn each floret over and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the florets are browning.

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3 Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the crust.

4 To make the crust, reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lightly oil a 22cm tart tin with a removable bottom and set aside.

5 Place the pecans, oats, baking powder, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl, add the flour and mix well. Drizzle in olive oil and mix until evenly distributed. Add the soya milk and mix again. The mixture should hold together when squeezed but not stick to your hands. Add a little more soya milk if it’s too dry.

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6 Press evenly into the prepared tin, trimming excess pastry from the edges. Prick with a fork and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

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7 To make the filling, warm the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

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8 Turn the heat down low, add the salt, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until caramelised.

9 Stir in the curry powder, remove from the heat and transfer into a food processor. Add a quarter of the roasted cauliflower, the lemon juice, soya milk and a large pinch of black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as necessary.

10 Spread into the prebaked tart shell and arrange the remaining cauliflower on the top. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.

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11 Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before sprinkling with the lemon zest and parsley.

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Cauliflower Risotto.

Who doesn’t love a risotto? It’s creamy, filling and oh so moreish! However it’s also super calorific. Why is it all the good tasting things are either super bad for you or just plain calorific? So unfair.

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UNTIL the cauliflower risotto was born! When you pulse up the cauliflower it becomes rice like, then you can just cook this like a normal risotto, adding in the stock bit at a time. Enjoy this when you want a filling meal, but don’t want the guilt afterwards: have this low-cal, low-carb option instead!

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Ingredients for one:

1/2 cauliflower

1 Tsp. coconut oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini

1 Tsp. miso paste

2-3 spring onions, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper

salt and pepper

lemon juice

about 1 mugful of made up stock

2 slices salami, sliced

parmesan for sprinkling

Pulse the cauliflower until it resembles rice.

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Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, pepper, miso paste and spring onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

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Stir in the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. Add in a bit of the stock, and stir until it’s evaporated. Add in a bit more once the first bit has been soaked up.

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This time add in the tahini and a squeeze of lemon. Taste the cauliflower – add in more stock if you feel it needs it.

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Throw in the salami and stir until it’s hot. Season generously. Once plated, grate over some parmesan.

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Cauliflower Bread Grilled Cheese.

Do you remember that coconut song by Harry Nilsson? “You put de lime in de coconut and mix a bowl up”. When I was younger I used to think he sang cauliflower every time he sang coconut, so I had a major love for cauliflowers – I mean, there’s a song about them!

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Years on and I’ve only just realised how silly that was. But my love for them remain! My all time favourite has got to be cauliflower cheese – it’s the best part of a roast!

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However I love how creative things are getting in the cauliflower world, and I am happy to share this cauliflower bread with you! It would be nice by itself, slightly warm from the oven, but there’s nothing better than gooey cheese oozing out from it. Feel free to mix up the fillings!

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This is enough for two people – I halved it as I only had half a cauliflower left:

1 small head of cauliflower

1 egg, beaten

50g grated mozzarella

salt and pepper

mayo (mix it with hot sauce if you desire – I did and it adds a lovely twang)

cheese of your choice, and as much as you can cram in

2-3 slices German salami

butter

Whiz the cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice and preheat the oven to 180. Place a baking sheet in to heat up.

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Put the cauliflower rice in a microwaveable bowl and set to high for 8 minutes.

When you remove the bowl tip the cauli into a clean tea towel and wring out over a sink – this will be scorching hot! Use oven mitts if you have to, or leave to cool a bit.

Once wrung out (it’s surprising how much water will come out) place in a large bowl with the egg, mozzarella and season. Mix it up then shape into 4 squares.

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Place onto baking parchment, then shimmy it onto the hot baking tray. Cook for 14-15 minutes then leave to cool for about 10 before removing it off the parchment. The bread is complete!

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The rest is your generic grilled cheese recipe. Once the bread is cooled, smother one side of each slice with mayo, then salami on one side and cheese on the other. Sandwich it. Melt some butter over a medium heat then add the sandwich. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip it. Add more butter if necessary. After another 3-4 minutes, the cheese should be melty and the bread browned. Eat up!

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Sumac Roasted Cauliflower.

I’m going away tomorrow, so the fridge is looking pretty bare. Literally, I think we have avocados, milk, cauliflower and a leftover duck leg. Crazy. So when 3 o’clock rolled around and my lunch/dinner hybrid meal needs to occur, I was at a bit of a loss for what I wanted. Well, the cauliflower seemed the most filling of all those ingredients, so I plucked that. But plain cauliflower is dull as anything, cauliflower cheese is unhealthy (and requires cheese which was lacking from the fridge!) so a spiced cauliflower would have to suffice. I didn’t think it’d taste as good as it did! Sumac really makes it come alive, and the charring from the roasting adds a lovely depth of flavour. PLUS did you know a whole cauliflower has about 210 calories? Which is diddly! So don’t feel guilty about eating the whole thing. Which I did..

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This is quite simply the easiest, tastiest side dish to make – plus it makes quite a showstopper on your Sunday table!

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Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

2 Tbsp. rapeseed oil

1 Tsp. sumac

1 Tsp. cumin

salt

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a roasting tray place the cauliflower, and drizzle over the rest of the ingredients. Roast for 40-50 minutes.

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Slow Cooker Pork Ragu with Low Carb Mash.

This mash is to die for.

It’s creamy, it’s decadent, it’s comforting… and even better? It counts as one of your five a day! (Or two, depending on how much you opt for! It is rather moreish..). That’s right – this decadent mash is good for you! Because it’s not potato – it’s cauliflower, that humble chameleon of veggies.

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And the ragu? Well, pop it all in your slow cooker before you head out and when you come back, not only will there be a fabulous aroma floating around your house but dinner will be all but done – and you’ve not broken into a sweat.

This recipe serves 2-3 (it probably serves 3, but my mum and I managed to eat it all between the two of us.. Don’t judge)

450g leg joint of pork

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 red onion, quartered

2 cloves of garlic, puréed

1 glass of white wine and 1 equally sized glass of water

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tsp. cocoa powder

Few splashes of tamari (gluten free soy sauce – you can substitute regular soy sauce just fine)

Salt and pepper

For the mash:

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

1 Tbsp. miso paste

Butter and cream, amount to your preference (I like mine really buttery!)

Throw all of your ragu ingredients into your slow cooker & set to “low”. Leave it all cooking away for a good 5-6hours. When you return it should be easily shreddable & fall apart when poked with a fork. Shred it all up. Put on “high” and cook for 20-30mins.

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Now get started on your mash.

Put your miso paste into a large pan with about 2inches of water in the bottom. When it’s boiling put the florets in and cook for about 5-10mins or until a knife slides through with ease. If necessary, cover the pan with a lid or some tin foil to get it cooking quicker.

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When it’s ready, drain the water away and put the cauli in a food processor. Add a generous knob of butter, a splash of cream, salt & a good grind of pepper. Whizz it all up until you’ve got mash! You can decide how “thick” you want it, by how much cream & butter you add.

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Cauliflower Pizza.

Now now, don’t scroll on past – this isn’t as bad as you’d think! In fact, it’s not bad at all. And if you love pizza but are trying to eat healthier then this is the thing for you. No, it doesn’t taste like a deep pan, crispy pizza; it kind of tastes like an undercooked thin base, but it doesn’t taste of cauliflower. It tastes good!

And when each slice is about 60 calories, is that enough for tempt you? That means the whole pizza (tomato and mozzarella included – not your fancy toppings) is under 400 calories. BOO-YAH. Do it. You have to.

But be warned – this stuff is life changing. Still able to have a meat feast topping whilst saving on carbs? Who can argue with that? Also this is suitable for coeliacs, those with wheat intolerance or paleolithic dieters!

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To make one pizza you’ll need:

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 50g parmesan
  • 50g grated mozzarella
  • 1 Tsp. oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Toppings:

  • tomato sauce (out of a jar or homemade – homemade see below)
  • one ball of mozzarella
  • your toppings of choice! I went for chillies and prosciutto

Preheat your oven to 220C and pop in a baking tray (big enough to hold your pizza).

Grate your cauliflower – it should look like rice.

Put it into the microwave for 4 minutes. When it pings, tip onto a clean tea towel and wring it out over the sink to get rid of the moisture from the cauli. If it’s too hot to handle, leave to cool for a few minutes.

Throw it into a bowl with the cheese, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and egg. Mix with a fork until it’s combined.

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Then tip onto some parchment and make it pizza-shaped (use fingers!).

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Because you’re using the baking parchment, you can then drag it onto your preheated baking sheet, and put it in to cook for 10 minutes, or until it’s starting to brown.

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(Sorry the picture’s a bit shitty, we had the door open as the sun was shining! Make the most of the weather haha!)

Smooth on your sauce and your toppings (I went for prosciutto and chillies), then whack it back in for 4 minutes or until it’s all bubbly and tempting. Slice it into 6 slices and serve up! Mamma mia! 

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For the homemade tomato sauce, simply throw a tin of tomatoes into a food processor, with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and oregano. Simples!