Saturday, January 20, 2018

Blender Mashed Cauliflower - A Low Carb Comfort Food


delicious mashed blender cauliflower


Do you love creamy whipped mashed potatoes but want to avoid the carbs?
Then you will love this amazing mashed cauliflower recipe.

Enjoy your favorite type of comfort food without the carbs in this easy to make recipe that of course is gluten free!

Mashed cauliflower has been around for a long time, but this version is the easiest and creamiest way to make this old favorite because it's made in the blender.

Cut up chunks of cauliflower


I simply cut up and steamed a cauliflower ( or use frozen cauliflower and steam it), place in the blender As an option I added a little cream cheese and grated cheese , but the vegan version tastes great as well. 




Vegan Version

If you prefer a dressed up vegan version, you can use coconut milk and some non dairy butter substitute to give it a more buttery taste.

Either way , whipped mashed cauliflower  makes a wonderful side that is nutritious, low carb, and appealing to kids and adults alike.

Everyone seems to have a special diet - this is very adaptable. I recently attended  a dinner party where the host served a double recipe of this wonderful side dish. Of the ten that attended, 3 had special needs diets. I was gluten free, the host was on a low carb diet, and another guest was nut free. This recipe met everyone's needs. There was not a drop left over.



instant pot set at 2


Instant Pot Version 


I love using my instant pot to steam vegetables because it's fast and easy and there is no mess.
Simply cut up your raw cauliflower into chunks, place in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
Turn the steamer knob away from you and set the manual button or pressure cook button for 2 minutes. As soon as it stops cooking, release the steam by turning the steamer knob toward you ( follow the directions in your Instant Pot manual) . When all steam is released, open the lid and drain the cauliflower well.  Mash by hand with an immersion blender until creamy.


mashed cauliflower



Why Cauliflower Is So Healthy?


1. It is a cruciferous vegetable which means it contains antioxidants and nutrients that may help protect against certain types of cancers.
2. Low in calories
3. Low in fat
4. Low in carbs
5. High in fiber

I like to include as many vegetables into my diet as possible, and I look for a variety of ways to eat them . Mashed cauliflower is one of my favorites.

I use cauliflower as a base in a variety of low carb recipes. Cauliflower is a perfect base for gluten free pizza, low carb and gluten free bread sticks,  See my Pinterest page for low carb cauliflower substitute recipes for my best cauliflower substitute recipes - they taste amazing.

Ingredients: 

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Vegan: 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk
Optional:  2 tablespoons of cream cheese and or 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Directions: 


Steam your cauliflower and drain ( in a steamer basket or in your Instant Pot) . Place the cauliflower, garlic, salt, pepper and optional ingredients into a blender. Blend until creamy. If you added shredded cheese , you could bake for 5 minutes on 350 degrees in a pre-heated oven or toaster oven.

Shared on my blog carnival list and also on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Art Deco In South Beach

Wordless Wednesday - Art Deco Neighborhood Hotel area  in South Beach

I love the Art Deco Neighborhood in South Beach, Florida. We recently visited the National Hotel  at 1677 Collins Ave on the beach! The charming hotel boasted a lovely indoor  restaurant and an outdoor beach restaurant ( the Aqua Club) t that served any sandwich on a delicious gluten free roll (Aqua Club menu) I ate the grilled veggie sandwich and was not disappointed.



The hotel itself was charming with it's celebrity theme.

This is a large bean bag type chair 



The pools, the cabanas, and set was outstanding. They do have the original older building but I would stay in the one of the newer poolside rooms. They have yoga classes on site and nightly entertainment.



The elevator in the lobby 
My plate at the Beach Restaurant

 Nearby Hotel James



Nearby Hotel James

Nearby Hotel 
shared at Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday
Disclaimer: This is not a paid review-Just sharing my adventures

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Roasted Fennel, Shallot, and String Bean Salad

Roasted vegetable salad

Roasted Fennel , shallot and string bean salad is one of my favorite warm salads to serve to company. It is flavorful, kind of exotic, and makes a lovely presentation. 

It is perfect for your gluten free guest, your vegan guest, your nut free guest or your dairy free guest. Now a days, its seems like everyone has eating restrictions, and we need to find healthy tasty recipes that work for everyone.

shallots
Add caption


Have you ever made fennel?
It's a flavorful vegetable that tastes somewhat like licorice when it is raw but mellows into a completely mild taste when it is cooked. Although I enjoy adding it raw to my salads and crudites platters, my favorite way to make this interesting vegetable is to roast it.




fennel bulbs


Roasting seems to bring out the sweetness and flavor of most vegetables. It is especially true with the fennel and shallots in this recipe.

There is a short learning curve to working with fennel. It's an odd looking large wide bulb of a vegetable that you need to understand how to peel, cut and prepare. I've included a helpful You Tube video at the bottom of this post on how to cut a fennel bulb.

Being low in calories and rich in nutrients and flavor, fennel is a dieter's friend.


roasted vegetable salad


5 Healthy Facts About Raw Fennel 

1. Excellent source of Vitamin C
2. High in Potassium ( helpful for high blood pressure)
3. Rich in antioxidants and provides anti inflammatory properties
4. High in fiber ( we all need more fiber)
5. Low in calories ( 27 calories per cup raw) adds variety to salads

5 Ways To Eat Fennel: 

1.) Peel, cut and add it to any salad ( like celery)
2.) Prepare and cut like sticks for a crudites platter with other vegetables and dip
3.)  Add to soup- my friend swears it is her secret ingredient in her chicken soup
4.)  Roast on a cookie sheet tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper
5.)  Make my Roasted Fennel, Shallot, and  String Bean Salad ( Recipe below)






Warm Fennel, Shallot and String bean Salad

Ingredients:
2 fennel bulbs, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces ( like the size of your thumb finger)
1 pound of shallots, cut in half lengthwise from the root end
1 pound of string beans ( I used Haricot thin beans) , washed and trimmed if needed
1 red pepper cut in strips ( optional)
1/4 cup of olive oil
Himalayan Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Optional when assembling : 1/2 cup chopped red onion, chopped Kalamata Olives, 

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees
Mix the shallots and fennel in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
Spread the mixed vegetables on 2 parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for about 30-35 minutes until they begin to look caramelized. While the vegetables are roasting in the oven, prepare to steam the string beans. Place a small steamer basket into a a 2 quart saucepan with enough water to cover the steamer basket. Bring to a boil, throw in the string beans, cover, and steam for 2 minutes. Remove string beans and place immediately into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside. When the fennel and shallots are done allow them to cool for 5 minutes and then mix them with the drained beans. Add chopped red onion and sliced Kalamata olives if desired.

Fennel is a great way to add some variety to your choice of vegetables. 


This YOUTUBE VIDEO was really helpful: 

How to peel and cut fennel You tube

How to you make fennel? 
Please share thoughts or additional ideas in the comments!!






Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. This week Beth review the Netflix series called Rotten which explores the many problems in our food industry,. 

This post is also linked to Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe. Check out this week's recipes.


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