Friday, February 13, 2015

Simple + Fun Ways to Eat Cauliflower

Cauliflower - nutritious, readily available, versatile - what's not to love?  It's delicious raw or cooked and flavored every which way.  It can even be pureed and disguised as carb-y comfort foods, like potatoes and bread.

Of course, I love to eat cauliflower the way I love to eat just about every vegetable, which is tossed in olive oil and sea salt and roasted.
Roasted cauliflower is delicious plain and simple, but it's mild flavor also goes great with all sorts of seasonings and sauces.  Recently, I roasted a combination of cauliflower and tempeh with buffalo sauce, and it made for an amazing dinner.  No need for chicken wings here!
To make this meal, I used the following (it made about 3 servings):
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into florets
  • 1 package tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce (I like Frank's)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sprinkle of pepper
(If tempeh isn't your thing, you could always use extra cauliflower, or just reduce the sauce and oil by half)


Preheat oven to 425.  In a large bowl, toss cauliflower and tempeh with buffalo sauce and olive oil.  (If you have time, let it sit for a bit and absorb the flavors.)  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, tossing at least once, until cauliflower and tempeh are browned but not burned.

This was terrific served with brown rice and topped with a little Sriracha and organic ranch dressing. Chopped green onions would have been the icing on the cake!

My other favorite way to eat cauliflower is in "mashed potato" form.  It's amazing how similar this dish tastes to real mashed potatoes, yet so much healthier.   
Making mashed "potato" cauliflower is super easy.  You just need the following to make two servings:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the cauliflower florets and cook for about 10 minutes, until very tender.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the rest of the water.  Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and use an immersion blender to puree the cauliflower until smooth and creamy.  If the texture is too thick, add a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid. 
Of course, if you don't have an immersion blender, you could always transfer the ingredients to a food processor or blender.  I love my immersion blender so much because it allows for everything to be made in one pot.  Hooray for less dishes!

Here is my mashed cauliflower alongside cheesy baked tofu and a sweet potato.  I realized after I made this dinner that it was a little heavy on the "potatoes," but still a delicious meal nonetheless. 
If you want to make your mashed cauliflower even more amazing, you could add in a little shredded cheese (or nutritional yeast) or roasted garlic before blending, and/or top with fresh herbs.  I promise you will not miss the actual potatoes - I am drooling just thinking about this!  

There are a million more ways to prepare cauliflower - I've even seen other bloggers make rice or pizza crust with it. But, when it comes to keeping things simple, roasting or mashing is the way to go!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Recent Happenings

Sorry I haven't checked in for a while.  It seems like I've had something going on just about every single day after school lately.  Is it almost summer yet?!

Here are a few things that have been happening lately.

While the northeast has been getting slammed with snow, we've had some bursts of unusually mild weather.  There have been a lot of dog walks, patio meals, and beer garden visits.  I've even gone running walk-jogging a couple times.
Jay celebrated his 31st birthday last weekend.  We enjoyed a fun date night on Saturday, and Sunday I hosted our families for chili.  I made my hearty chipotle chili without the meat, and this delicious vegan peanut butter pie. 

 Wendy and Oliver helped with the presents.   Wendy needs a haircut so. bad.
I went glass-blowing with my friends.  

One of my co-workers owns his own studio, and a group of us rented it out for the night.  We had so much fun hanging out, sipping wine, and learning the glass-blowing process.  If you live in OKC and want to take a lesson, host a fun party, or shop for a beautiful and unique gift, you should definitely check out Blue Sage Studios.
There have been a couple more birthdays and a baby shower sprinkled throughout the last couple weeks, but I've been so bad about taking pictures!  I've also been cooking a lot regularly, but nothing too overly exciting or original.  I'm looking forward to trying a couple new recipes this week, like this Rockin' Moroccan Stew from the Humane Society.  I plan to be back with a food-related post in a few days.

Hope it's a great week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 Minute Cardio Blast Workout

I hope 2015 has been treating you well.  As much as I love time off, I'm sort of enjoying being back in a routine.  I have a brand new group of seventh graders that (so far) are a joy to teach everyday...let's just hope the honeymoon period doesn't end anytime soon.

With routine also comes more consistent workouts.  I exercised some over break, but it was much harder to fit it in when my schedule was all out-of-whack.  Why is it that having more free time can make it harder to get things done?  Now my workout group is back to meeting regularly, and it's nice to have something automatically scheduled 2-3 times per week after school.

Generally, our group completes a tabata style workout, mixing short intervals of strength and cardio.  Twice since we've been back from break, however, our trainer has planned a killer all-cardio combo for us.  The set is only 10 minutes, but it is non-stop and brutal.  We go through it three times, and let me tell you that final round is rough!

Here we are pre-sweat.  I don't think we would still be smiling in the "after" picture.

Below is a version similar to what we did in class.  It's a quick way to get your heart pumping without any equipment.  Don't be fooled by the easy marching in place for the first minute...I guarantee you will be super sweaty after just one round.

And here are video links to some of the exercises you may be unfamiliar with:

Long jump, shuffle back
Reverse lunge with skip
Skater jumps

Thanks for stopping by!