Happy Labor Day friends... As a small business owner, the Labor Day rules don’t apply. Both my hubby and I have been working over the weekend. I’m not complaining because sometimes we have to work weekends and sometimes we don’t, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles when you own your own business. Our semester of classes at Young Chefs Academy start back tomorrow so we have been busy painting, cleaning, scrubbing in fact, and getting the kitchens ready for our students. I am so excited for our classes to start. We are partnering with Ooooby to deliver fresh produce boxes to our memebers and will be cooking from the box in our classes all of September. We will also be a drop off location for their CSA (community supported agriculture) box so anyone can pick up fresh produce weekly (on Tuesdays). Our YCA customers will receive the first box free when registering for a membership to class. This applies to anyone registering for a membership to our Jr Chef, Teen Chef, or Kindercook classes. This month we will share recipes to utilize all the fresh ingredients in the box and give more ideas for cooking with veggies.
Speaking of cooking with vegetables. Have you caught on to the cauliflower craze? It seems like anything can be made out of cauliflower- pizza, rice, gnocchi, mashed “potatoes,” why not?! I recently read a recipe for cauliflower brownies. I haven’t tried it (yet) but it doesn’t surprise me. Cauliflower is very versatile when cooking with it because it takes on the taste of the other ingredients. It is a great substitute for people avoiding gluten, has many health benefits, and a perfect way to sneak in veggies if you are trying to encourage your family to eat more vegetables.
My family in particular likes riced cauliflower, that I sauté in chicken stock with salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric, and curry powder. You can even buy the cauliflower already riced to make it easier to prep. Another favorite is roasted cauliflower. I coat cauliflower florets in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes at 400º. I sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and let it brown for another 5 minutes.
I think the trend has taken off and is here to stay for a while. Restaurants like CPK and Pieology have added cauliflower pizza crusts to their menus and both are very tasty. It is easy to find premise cauliflower crusts at the grocery store now too. Trader Joe’s even sells cauliflower gnocchi.
Amanda Venegas from ABC30 Action news stopped by my kitchen this morning to make a few recipes. I shared how to make a cauliflower pizza crust during her visit. It is so simple, I promise you can make it at home.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1 head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Pulse cauliflower in a blender or food processor until it is the consistency of rice. Place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Steam in microwave for 4 minutes.
Place a clean kitchen towel over a large bowl and pour the cooked cauliflower in the center to strain any excess moisture from the cooked cauliflower.
Pour cauliflower into the large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients and mix together well.
Scrape the mixture onto a pizza pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and add on your favorite pizza toppings, such as sauce, cheese, veggies, etc. Put back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Another simple recipes to try at home is whipped cauliflower to make in place of mashed potatoes. I usually double the whipped cauliflower recipe because my husband can’t get enough. I make it with meatloaf or to serve alongside a grilled steak. My girls love meatloaf cupcakes with cauliflower frosting. You can watch the ‘How To’ YouTube video by clicking the link and see the recipe here.
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. sour cream or creme fraiche
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine florets, chicken stock and garlic cloves in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe lid or plate, and microwave on high until the cauliflower is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stop and stir about halfway through the cooking process to help the cauliflower cook evenly.
2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower and garlic cloves to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the parmesan, salt and pepper to the cauliflower and blend on high until the mixture is velvety and smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Fold in the sour cream or crème fraiche and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Yield: about 4-6 servings