Channeling one of my favorite Golden Girls, my inner Sophia:
“Picture it, my ranchito 2015 – I saw a recipe for cheesy garlic bread made out of cauliflower. I bought a head of it. Shredded it – by hand on my cheese grater. It was garbage. A lot of work. It was blood, sweat, and tears to make.”
Whether you can relate, you’re just starting out, or even if you’re a cauliPOWER expert, let’s compare notes. Let me prevent you from Pinterest blunders like the one above.
Here’s the skinny on, well, getting skinny (flacita) fingers crossed!
PLACES TO SHOP
- Dollar Tree, frozen section (largest quantity of riced cauliflower by comparison, good quality, use when feeding the whole fam-bam)
- Trader Joes (sorry, the closest one is in San Antonio)
WHAT I’VE TRIED
- Cauliflower Mash (tip: add cheese to thicken it up; even the kiddo eats it)
- Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Spanish Rice
- Cauliflower Risotto
- Penne pasta made from cauliflower
- Spaghetti pasta made from cauliflower
- Cauliflower essential oils – jk – that doesn’t exist, I don’t think
- Cauliflower Wine – ha! Same as above
THAT DON’T IMPRESS ME MUCH, cue Shania Twain.
These products are sus (teen-speak)
- Green Giant Veggie Hash Browns, literally the size of a deck of cards, boo so tiny for the price
- Birds Eye Cauliflower Wings, tastes like frozen florets drenched in sauce; no bueno
DINING OUT DO’S
- MOD Pizza, Cauliflower Crust rating – Da Bomb
- B&J’s Pizza, Cauliflower Crust – it’s Bussin Bussin (teen-speak)
MOVING PAST COLIFLOR (CAULIFLOWER)
After my initial cauliflower fiasco, I was like “ooh, ok, I’ll just do veggie pasta!” (after the whole-wheat pasta craze of course). But then – OMG – those calorie and carb labels when compared to regular pasta were almost the same.
So what’s a gordita to do?
First, I tried “subbing” ingredients, and, to my dismay, here are some of my recipe fails:
- Kale (subbed for tortilla) enchiladas – A hot mess. Just don’t.
- Cabbage Roll type ideas- It might work for you, it didn’t for me (and I love cabbage).
After that, I branched out even further!
From shirataki products to finally finding a “macaroni” pasta, here are the deets. Whatever you are tracking, carbs, protein, low-calorie, please please read the labels. (My specific dietary needs from my dietician focus on low-carb, low sugar, and high protein, so my recommendations are highly guided with this in mind.)
BEYOND CAULIFLOWER GOODNESS
- Shirataki products – can your diet accommodate zero sugar? 0-5 Calories per serving? Yass Girl, You’re welcome!
- Hearts of Palm Products
- Chickpea Products (protein); I recently found the Banza Chickpea line and WOW!
(Recipe Win: I made arroz con pollo with the Banza Chickpea Rice)
- Lentil Products (protein)
- More options in the photos!
- Pro-Tip: Forgo frozen and buy the Veggie Spiraler ($6 investment)
By now you know that I have a carb-pasta love affair. What can I say…I grew up having meals with a lot of sides. The other staple of my home was bread. It’s a short-list, but it’s a good list!
PAN MAS RICO (THE BREAD LIST YA’LL)
- Joseph’s Pita Bread, it’s so soft & yummy; I use it as a tortilla, a pita pocket, or wrap
- La Banderita Carb Lean Tortillas, (low carb & low calorie)
- Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Thins, my only hiccup here is that it’s appx $4 for 4 pieces
I had a carb-dense traditional Mexican-American household upbringing: arroz, fidello, canned veggies, tortillas, and of course frijoles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even bean sandwiches (on white bread)-YUM! However, that first disastrous experience took me years to overcome and truly make the shift. But I’ve done did it ya’ll! I hope this helps you. I hope you give it a try, but most of all I hope you don’t give up, like I once felt. It’s a journey and I’m here to help. Likewise, I’m here to learn, so share those tips and hints mommas!