Monthly Archives: February 2013

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What I Ate During my Last Week in Veggieville

Well, this is it everyone, our last week in Veggieville with Peas and Crayons. First up, before my post for today, a little announcement to make. Actually, I think our Veggie Mayor (or should I say Veggie Queen?) should inform you herself. ūüôā

Now, moving on to equally important matters…

The past two weeks I have featured some pretty awesome vegetables for Love Your Veggies Month, namely Peas and Winter Squash. To round up this collection, today’s feature vegetable is going to be Cauliflower!

cauliflower

And now, some cauliflowery knowledge to bestow upon you (source):

  • First of all, cauliflower is very helpful in detoxing the body. This vegetable contains both antioxidant nutrients and phytonutrients called glucosinolates that support detox activities.¬†
  • Like winter squash, cauliflower is also anti-inflammatory with its excellent levels of Vitamin K.
  • Most people associate high levels of Vitamin C with fruits like oranges or strawberries, but cauliflower is also high in Vitamin C. One serving (1 cup) provides 77% of the suggested daily value of Vitamin C.
  • Storing cauliflowers with the stem side down will keep them freshest for the longest period of time.

It is important to note that as with all vegetables, despite their many benefits, not all types are beneficial for everyone. Those with IBS or other digestive issues may be sensitive to cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables (myself included) and might need to limit their intake of them.

As my little disclaimer mentions above, cruciferous vegetables are very hard on my digestive tract and with my last consumption of them, sometimes cause me a lot of problems. Hence why I only have a few recipes to share with you involving the vegetable (one that I’ve tried, and one that I haven’t). However, if you can consume cauliflower without any issues, you should. They contain so many awesome nutrients and are really interesting to cook with!

First up is my Cauliflower Rice Risotto made with butternut squash.

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My second recipe happens to be a little odd-looking, but I hear from my taste testers that it is quite delicious. I believe that it’s perfect for this week’s Strange But Good:

strange-but-good

Salisbury Steak with “Mashed Potatoes” and Gravy

Serves 2 Hungry People

Gluten/Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free/Egg-Free/Vegan Option

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Steak Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large organic egg*
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped onions*

Gravy Ingredients (Inspired by this recipe from GAPS Diet Journey):

  • 1/2 Head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped*
  • 2 cups broth (I used beef, but vegetable or chicken would work too)
  • Salt, pepper and/or garlic powder to taste

“Mashed Potato” Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Head cauliflower
  • Organic ghee, butter or oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: Milk (cow, goat, nut or coconut)
  • Optional: Additional seasonings (pepper, garlic/onion powder, chives, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the gravy in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the steak. You have a few options on how to go about cooking your steak. You can grill, boil, or roast it. I divided the ground beef mixture into two, formed them into patties, and boiled them until fully cooked.
  3. Next, prepare a pan and steam the remaining half of the cauliflower head for approximately 10 minutes or until tender.
  4. Check the gravy pan and stir as needed. After about 30-45 of cooking, it should have reduced some. When this occurs, pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. If this is not thick enough to your liking, you can pour it back into the pan and reduce it further to a thicker gravy. 
  5. If the steaks are finished cooking, I like to place them in the finished gravy and let them sit for awhile, but this step is optional.
  6. Now, clean the food processor and blend the steamed cauliflower. Add butter as necessary and scrape down the sides until smooth. 
  7. To serve this meal, place one of the steaks on a plate and top with the desired amount of gravy. Spoon out half of the “mashed potatoes” alongside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: I included a lot of onions in this recipe, because both of my parents really like them. If you are not a fan of onions, use the lower amount. You could decrease the amount in the gravy recipe even more if you replace some of them with mushrooms.

Substitutions: The egg is not necessary in this recipe. If you have an egg allergy, I would suggest cooking the steaks has hamburgers to prevent them from falling apart. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, a grilled portobello steak or veggie burger would be a great replacement for the meat in this recipe.

Again, while it may look very strange, rest assured that it’s a good replacement for Salisbury steak for those who are looking for a healthier, allergy-free version without all of the additives in the original.

I also have another recipe to share that includes today’s feature vegetable, but you will just have to wait to get that one. I’m still thinking of what to call it, but I have some ideas! Look for this recipe soon.

cauliflower-recipe

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What is your favorite way to use cauliflower?

What is your Strange But Good meal for the week?

To celebrate the end of Love Your Veggies month, share your favorite vegetable recipe in the comments. If I get enough recipes, I may do a round-up for next week’s WIAW!

Pan Perfect Pancakes

If you make pancakes on a regular basis, you know that flipping is pretty much essential. No questions asked, without flipping, 99.99% of the time you would be left with one side cooked and one side doughy, right? Well, duh. So, as I said before, flipping is pretty important.

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And yet, so many recipes I’ve tried literally just fall apart when I’ve attempted to flip them. Not a huge deal. They still taste amazing, even if crumbled into a million tiny pieces.

Most of the time this problem can be fixed easily though by adding another egg, decreasing the milk, etc. However, if you make gluten-free pancakes, this problem is even more difficult to fix. As you probably know, gluten holds things together. Without it, food tends to fall apart without some other form of… Persuasion.

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The two-ingredient pancake is one that tends to turn out disastrous most frequently. I speak from experience… those things are testy. But, I knew that there had to a be a solution, some recipe that had yet to be created that was not only gluten-free, but also grain-free, gaps-friendly/paleo, and did not fall apart when flipped.

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Here is what I came up with. Again, my parents were the unwilling eager taste testers. And ¬†let’s just say that¬†these pancakes were a success! My mom stated that they were the closest we’ve come so far to making grain-free pancakes that actually taste like pancakes. My dad said that he didn’t think that they were like “normal” pancakes, but the taste was just as good, simply different.

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You’ll also notice from the ingredients list that aside from being gluten and grain-free, these pancakes are also free from baking soda, and no, that’s not a mistake! A rising agent is not needed as one of the steps is whipping the egg white, resulting in a fluffier texture than you’d expect.

Pan Perfect Pancakes

1 serving (Makes 4 small pancakes)  

Grain/Gluten-Free, Nut-Free option, Dairy-Free, GAPS/Paleo Friendly

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Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/4 cup sunflour (any other fine nut flour would work too)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Optional: cinnamon and vanilla extract

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Directions:

  1. Crack the egg and separate the yolk and white. Place the egg white into a food processor and blend until foamy and stiff.
  2. Add the banana half and combine.
  3. Then add the egg yolk, coconut flour, sunflour, sea salt, and any other desired flavorings. and blend until smooth.
  4. Let the batter rest for five minutes so the coconut flour can be fully absorbed and thicken the mixture.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium heat, or a pancake griddle to 350 degrees. Coat with ghee, butter or coconut oil to prevent sticking (add more as needed between batches or flips).
  6. Using a tablespoon, measure out a heaping spoonful of batter onto the skillet and spread out into a circle. Let cook for approximately 2 minutes then flip. Cook for another minute then move to a plate for serving. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. Top with whatever you like. I suggest the remaining banana half, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Coconut oil or nut butter would also be great.

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This recipe would be perfect for a Saturday morning celebration, or even just a breakfast-for-dinner on Friday night. No judging here.

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When was the last time that you had pancakes?

Have you ever made pancakes that are literally impossible to flip?

What do you do with your failures?

And because Pinterest is never far from my mind….

Enjoy your weekend everybody!