Cauliflower is my new favorite food

I never had cauliflower (that I know of) until a few months ago when I heard from the lovely ladies at Wholy Crepe about “fake rice”, aka, grated cauliflower fried up into awesomeness. I’ve used it in Mexican dishes, Asian Dishes, and now Mac n’ Cheese.

I starting cutting down on my carbs in January 2011 when I tried out Paleo, and I went back low-carb this week, though not keeping to a strict Paleo. It’s because of the cheese. (Paleo, why you gotta hate the dairy?) Paleo was great, but after I lost 20lbs, I eased back on the carbs. The problem is, high carb food (sugary stuff, bread, pasta, etc.) and I don’t get along that well. Don’t get me wrong, I love my pasta. And my cake. And my cheesecake. And don’t even get me started on my rice. But carbs don’t love me so much. They make me want to sleep all the time. If I have two bowls of pasta, I conk out for four hours. No lie.

But cutting out carbs makes it hard to find mixy foods. Rice and pasta go so well with everything. But since I’ve discovered the beauty of cauliflower, I’ve been having a lot of fun. A few days ago, I made cauliflower and cheese instead of mac and cheese. And then last night, I made venison stroganoff.  (Well, it wasn’t actually stroganoff because I think sour cream is kind of required for that, and I was too lazy to go shopping.) And today, I had leftover cauli & cheese, and left over venison burger (that I hadn’t mixed with the stroganoff sauce) , and then I mixed them TOGETHER.

Heaven. It’s like what Hamburger Helper should be.

So. Crystal’s Cauliflower n’ Cheese and Lazy Venison Stroganoff. These are from memory, because I don’t measure when I cook.

Cauliflower n’ Cheese (Fake Mac n’ Cheese)

1 cauliflower cut into small florets

1 1/2 c of shredded cheddar + 1/2 c to sprinkle on at end

1 c heavy cream (I just grabbed the smallest carton at the store and dumped it in. It looked about a cup.)

1 tsp to 1Tbsp of Dijon mustard — depending on how much you like mustard. I’d recommend not skipping this. I don’t like mustard, but it added great flavor.

2 oz cream cheese cut into pieces

Equipment: 8 x 8 baking dish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water with salt.
  2. Grease the baking dish.
  3. Cook the cauliflower in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain cauliflower in a colander.
  5. In a smaller pot, bring cream to a slow simmer.
  6. Add cream cheese.
  7. Slowly add cheese. Stir until just melted.
  8. Pour the cauliflower and cheese sauce into baking pan and stir until cauliflower coated.
  9. Sprinkle last bit of cheese on top.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese on top starts to brown.

Lazy Venison Stroganoff 

1 lb of ground meat (I used venison — in general, though, the fattier the meat, the better I like it)

salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste

butter

12 oz fresh sliced mushrooms

4oz cream cheese

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 beef bouillon cube

1/4 c of water (do without or reduce if you like your sauce really creamy)

Directions

  1. Brown meat, seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Set aside.
  2. Saute the mushrooms in butter. When mushrooms are soft all the way through, add cream cheese.
  3. Once cream cheese is melted, stir in Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Cut off 1/4 to 1/2 of the bouillon cube and stir it in.
  5. Add water. Stir until mixed.
  6. Combine meat and mushroom sauce.

I had meant to add a tsp of Dijon mustard to this, but forgot. It was tasty anyway.

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