A Weekend with Cauliflower

In my last food post I talked about my recent transition to a healthier diet. I also explained that the tricky part is….I don’t like vegetables. No one in my family does. I hate the tastes and textures, and I just never developed a taste for them. This is obviously a problem since I am attempting to work towards a mostly plant-based diet. I cook a lot on weekends because it’s a great time to try new recipes. Or to make the more complex dishes I don’t have time for during the week. So this weekend I decided to use my cooking to get to know a vegetable a little better. I chose cauliflower.

I wanted to try….
Roasted Cauliflower BBQ Pizza from This Savory Vegan on Friday night

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks (gluten-free) from Mallory Maddox on Saturday night

and Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese from emeals.com on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s how it went!

Roasted Cauliflower BBQ Pizza

When I got off work on Friday afternoon I was super pumped about trying all of these recipes out. I rushed home to make my ingredients list and headed out to the grocery store.

I opted for this bag of pre-chopped cauliflower to save some time.

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Unfortunately, at the store I ran into someone I knew who informed me that my best friend from high school had passed away on April 24th. We had not spoken much over the past six years or so. And due to some recent social media changes on my part, the family had not been able to find a way to contact me. So I had missed the funeral. I was devastated and sat crying with my piles of grocery bags in the middle of the floor. I thought I shouldn’t even bother with trying a new recipe that night. But after I calmed down some, I realized that my daughter and I still needed to eat something. I hadn’t had enough vegetables that day, so the recipe was the best option. I pushed through it. I am really glad I did because not only did I appreciate a nice hot homemade dinner, the process of cooking at that time was very therapeutic. It gave me some motions to go through rather than just sitting and crying. I still had so many memories flooding back to me. But it gave me a chance to remember them from a distance while my brain was focused on something else. Something about the process of making a meal really helped me work my way through the shock of the news. I was grateful for that.

But back to the food…. This recipe was pretty easy to make and turned out great. My toddler refused to eat it, but she has been very finicky lately.

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There were a few more steps to it than what I would prefer to tackle on a weeknight after getting off of work. But it’s great for a weekend or a day off.

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BBQ Pizzas weren’t something I ate a lot of before. I have a feeling I would’ve liked it more if it was already a preferred food. But the cauliflower definitely didn’t bother me. This is a great way for me to get a serving of veggies. And I bet I could eventually get the kids to try some!

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks (gluten-free)

I LOVE cheese-sticks and breadsticks! So I was really excited about this one. It also seemed like the cauliflower’s texture would lend itself really well to a cheesy bread. So considering our current distaste for vegetables, I hoped it would blend in and be almost undetectable.

The prep didn’t seem like it’d be too bad. But after I started baking the crust for the first step I started to feel like I had made a mistake. It was entirely my fault. The recipe said to spread the cauliflower/onion mixture over *almost* the entire pan. But I got carried away and covered the whole thing. So my crust mixture was too thin.

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I tried to be optimistic though. I added the top layer of cheese and did the second round in the oven anyway. When it was done I realized I was definitely right about it being too thin. It couldn’t be cut into sticks. It would barely even come off of the foil. I also may have gotten anxious and took it out of the oven too soon.

But I figured even if the thickness was wrong, the flavors and taste would still be the same. I took a bite and LOVED it!

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I stood in my kitchen eating it off the pan for a while before finally scraping it onto a plate and eating it with a fork! Ha ha. Why let all those ingredients go to waste?

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I am excited to try this one again. I am sure if I got the thickness right it would be even better.

Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

Very thankful that one of my good friends recently shared this one with me from the meal planning service she is using. Third time was a charm for sure. This one was my favorite. I ended up making three sandwiches from it, but I bet I could’ve made four if my oldest daughter had been home.

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It was pretty easy to make, and didn’t take too terribly long. My timing was perfect because I finished right as my husband was coming home for lunch. He is a former cook and general manager of a restaurant so I always get nervous when he tries my food. But he liked it! My toddler was still being picky, but I definitely think she’d like it if she tried it.

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The recipe had a super quick and easy Sour Cream-Rosemary dip to serve on the side with some sweet potato chips. I had also never had those before so I was excited to try so many new things in one meal! My husband also had the idea for us to make our own (I’ll let him handle that since he’s the better cook).

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Can’t wait to try this one again! It was delicious.

Also looking forward to using cauliflower some more in the future. There was one thing I was curious about…. these recipes mostly used roasted cauliflower. The extra step of cooking the cauliflower first made everything take longer than I’d prefer for a quick weeknight meal. Could you roast the cauliflower and onion or whatever else ahead of time and throw it into the fridge or freezer to save some steps later? I’d love it if those of you who know better than me could share some feedback in that regard.

Have you ever used cooking as a therapeutic tool?

Hope you all had a good weekend and thanks for reading!

~Mai

Rest In Peace, Erica

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