Dear Food

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Dear Food,

Welp, we’ve had a great run. You were good to me up until I was about 20. Then everything went downhill and I’ve spent almost every day of my 20s trying to get to a place I’m happy with. That is 10 years of my life going up and down. Continue reading

Mashed Cauliflower

I started testing out mashed cauliflower recipes this year.  I didn’t really think about it until I came a crossed it, probably on Pinterest. I was super intrigued by it, hoping it would be a great swap for mashed potatoes.

Backstory: My freshman year of college I had a crazy allergic reaction to everything outside.  I went to the allergist and had one of those wonderful allergy tests done and additional to being allergic to practically everything outside on some level, I also found out I was allergic to peanuts and potatoes. (Thankfully my peanut allergy isn’t lethal. That I’m aware of. I avoid it). Funny how I grew up on both and was allergic to both. But it explained not feeling well after eating either. I’ve cut both out of my diet since. 

The last few times I’d made mashed cauliflower I used garlic and really botched it the last time. I didn’t puree the cauliflower enough and the texture was awful. I had also been on a cauliflower kick and really got burned out on them so I gave them a break.

This morning I was looking through recipes because I wanted to find a fluffy mashed-potato-like recipe. Oh, did I ever find one.

It’s from Pride & Vegudice. I’ll let you just pop on over to the site to check it out, but as far as my results go, I thought it was amazing.

I couldn’t find nutritional yeast at Kroger, but read I could use parmesan cheese as a swap. Wasn’t the healthiest, but it would work, so that’s what I used.

It turned out wonderful.  I pureed it the perfect amount so it wasn’t watery, but it was well blended and there weren’t chunks. I also added a little bit of light butter to it to give it more flavor.

I know what I’m bringing to Thanksgiving this year.

Cooking Adventures: Cauliflower Fritters

Image: SkinnyTaste

So in my quest to get back to religiously following Weight Watchers Points, I found this recipe for Cauliflower Fritters on SkinnyTaste. And since I can’t eat potatoes (stupid allergy, body just doesn’t like them), I’ve really enjoyed substituting cauliflower as a potato-like substance. I’ve done mashed cauliflower, so onto cakes.

I love how they post the nutritional information:

Servings: 12 • Size: 2 fritters • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts 
Calories: 108.9 • Fat: 6.6 g • Protein: 3.8 g • Carb: 9.4 g • Fiber: 2.1 g    

The recipe calls for:

  • 4 cups steamed cauliflower (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

I skipped out on the parsley, not a fan, and couldn’t find Romano at Kroger, so I went with this cheese blend that included it.

My biggest challenge is crushing the garlic cloves because I don’t have a garlic crusher. I managed to do a decent job, but it wasn’t the greatest.

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, flour, garlic, eggs, grated cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Add water so that batter becomes slightly more dense than pancake batter.

On medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of oil in a 10 inch skillet coating bottom of the pan.Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form fritters. You can fit 4 fritters at a time. Cook until golden brown, turn and cook another few minutes. Add a little more oil to the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter.

Makes 24 fritters. 

I didn’t make 24 fritters, so I’ll figure out where I went wrong next time. But all in all, for a cooking challenged person like myself, this was pretty easy to make. I made it a smidge bland, and since it tastes like potatoes to me, I think I’ll dip this in some ketchup! I had one more point to use, why not?

Cooking Adventures: Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

I think this is my third “Cooking Adventures” blog. Whoo! But since the others are buried underneath other posts, I’ll say I call this Cooking Adventures because I am no chef. Cooking and I aren’t the greatest of friends. I have issues with timing and modifying recipes because there are a lot of things I just don’t like!

However after cooking more for the last month or two, I will say, it’s been getting better. Less challenging. Ah, cooking challenged. That’s what I am.

So last night I took a stab at a recipe I had been eyeing for about a week and a half, Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip from SkinnyTaste.com.

Image: SkinnyTaste.com

It’s a relatively simple recipe! Per the website:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups (14 oz  raw) cooked shredded chicken

Directions:

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm.

My recipe ended up not including everything in this one. First, I’m not a huge fan of super hot hot sauce–so I bought Kroger’s mild wing sauce.

Then, the second thing I tackled was the chicken. I have chicken in the freezer, but the thought of thawing it and shredding it just didn’t seem very fun to me…so I figured I would look at the store to see if I could buy any sort of shredded chicken. That’s a negative. In hindsight, I could have got a rotisserie chicken but I didn’t. I was a little pressed for time and went with the canned chicken. Back to that in a minute.

Going back to “things I don’t like,” I’ve never been a fan of bleu cheese, so I didn’t buy that. Later on as I scrolled through the comments, I discovered I’m not the only one who doesn’t like bleu cheese and found out you can substitute with cheddar cheese. I threw in a four cheese blend I had on hand, it probably messed with the Weight Watchers points but I wasn’t counting last night.

Everything else I had on hand or bought…for the most part.

I started to make it last night, and I have this super bad habit of not reading the full recipe before I make it.

So I’m plugging through, leaving out the bleu cheese and replacing it with the four cheese blend, then realizing I had distilled white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, so I left that out too.

I shredded my chicken then went to see what to do for cooking it and it said to let it go in the crock pot for a few hours.

Wait, a few hours!? I’m making this dip for my dinner…which is now!

Thankfully, I scrolled through the comments and saw I could also cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. (I also saw I could swap cheddar cheese for bleu cheese).

I actually ended up leaving it in there for almost 25 minutes, perhaps that’s because I covered it with tin foil so the top didn’t burn.

All in all it ended up tasting good! Not the greatest, not the worst. My boyfriend thought the sauce I picked up was a little weird.  I liked it, but that’s just a difference in taste. He ate it anyway.

Also, I could really tell a difference with the canned chicken. It recommends you not do that, so I won’t do that again. You can just tell. Next time, I’ll shred my own. It’s all learning!