Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

A few months ago I embarked on my project to hone the preparation of cauliflower as a substitute for rice. My first effort in this project was the conversion of a favorite Mexican Rice recipe to a cauliflower version. It worked well enough, but since then I have accumulated further expertise in the endeavor, most significantly that keeping the cauliflower raw by any means necessary vastly improves the texture of the dish.

Being in the mood for Mexican food on a recent weekend, I wanted to go back and give this recipe another go with the know-how I have acquired from recent projects.


2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoons chili powder spice blend
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 bouillon cube, chicken or beef, crushed
frozen small mixed vegetables (i.e. corn, peas, diced carrots, etc.), optional

2 roma tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
5 cups cauliflower rice
green onions, sliced or snipped
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rice your cauliflower. Fold into a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat oil. Saute onion and garlic until softened. Add chili powder, tomato sauce and bouillon cube. Heat through. Add mixed vegetables, if using. Simmer on low fire until vegetables reach desired tenderness. Allow to cool.

In the meantime, de-seed and dice tomatoes. Combine cauliflower rice with tomatoes, green onions and salt until well-combined. Once the tomato mixture has cooled a bit, stir into the rice. Serve with your favorite Mexican dishes.

Paella-style Spanish Yellow “Rice”

In searching for interesting recipes to transform into tasty cauliflower “rice” dishes, I keep running into paella. I gather from the recipes I’ve seen that paella is similar to jambalaya in that it aims at being a one-pot meal, a single plate with rice, delicious spice mixes, vegetables, seafood and meat all together in one harmonious blend of flavors.

This time, however, I wasn’t looking for a one-pot meal, but rather an accompaniment, and all the ingredients in a true Paella would have been overkill. I nosed around online and found some recipes for simpler, Spanish rice that was saffron-based, rather than tomato-based. Comparing simpler yellow rice recipes with paella recipes, I came up with the following for using cauliflower “rice” to make a light and flavorful side dish.

As usual, I divide up the ingredients in stages of preparation to keep the raw ingredients and cooked ingredients separate.


1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup white wine
generous pinch saffron

1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup peas, frozen

2 large or 3 small roma tomatoes, chopped, fresh
6 cups cauliflower, riced
salt and pepper, to taste
lemon wedges

Combine the cilantro, lemon juice, oil and garlic cloves from the first segment of the ingredient list. Set aside.

Add the saffron to the white wine in a small bowl or cup. Allow to steep.

From the third ingredient segment, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Saute the onions, garlic and bell peppers until softened. Crush the bouillon cubes. Add to the skillet along with paprika and the saffron wine mix. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the peas. Heat through and then remove from burner and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the cauliflower rice, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Add the cilantro mixture and stir until well-distributed. Once the skillet mixture is cooled off a bit (I like it to be close to room temperature), add it to the rice and stir once again until combined. Garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime “Rice” and Coconut “Rice”

I’ve found that one cauliflower can produce an awful lot of “rice,” especially when it’s on the medium to large side. Depending on the specific plant, I might get 8 or 9 cups of rice out of one head. a162f4b9a88b367e05177701d620261aAs a result, I’ve been splitting my “rice” and using the produce of one head for more than one recipe.

This past weekend, I made myself some favorite Thai-inspired dishes, Pumpkin Curry and Squ-oodles with Peanut Sauce. As an accompaniment to these two dishes, I riced my cauliflower and used the 8 cups of “rice” it produced to make two dishes.


juice and zest of one lime
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or cilantro chutney
2 spring onions, chopped
4 cups cauliflower rice

Rice your cauliflower; fold in a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Zest your lime, then juice it (fruit is easier to zest fully round, and easier to juice without the peel). Combine zest, juice, oil, salt, pepper, cilantro or chutney, and onions in a bowl. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and stir until the green ingredients are evenly distributed. Enjoy chilled as a salad, or warmed to eating temperature as a side dish.

This dish was pretty predictably delicious. It is, after all, very similar to the basic ingredients in my favorite coleslaw recipe. It was a perfect accompaniment to the curries.

Two "Rice" Dishes, Coconut and Cilantro Lime

Two “Rice” Dishes, Coconut and Cilantro Lime


1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
7 oz coconut cream
4 cups cauliflower rice
salt & pepper, to taste

Rice your cauliflower; fold in a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the white wine and coconut cream. If your onion was not chopped small enough (my eyes are very sensitive to onion and I can only get a few cuts in before they burn so badly I can’t be in the same room with the onion), you may want to puree the sauce with an immersion blender as it thickens. Simmer, stirring often until reduced into a thick, almost tacky, sauce. Allow to cool; it should be close to room temperature before adding the cauliflower.

Stir in the cauliflower rice. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy.

This recipe was a bit trickier. It is based on the concept of coconut-cooked rice that Sabrina introduced to me. Essentially, she cooks rice in an equivalent amount of coconut milk to the amount of water usually required. It has the welcome effects of lowering the glycemic index and adding flavor. I’ve been wanting to do something similar with cauliflower rice for awhile. In fact, it was the first recipe I tried with cauliflower rice. The problem was that I treated the cauliflower rice like regular rice, and it ended up wet and slimy.

With my new-found cauliflower rice expertise, I realized that I had to keep the cauliflower raw and crispy in order for this recipe to work. The key here was taking the time to reduce the sauce. Too much liquid will make this dish runny or soupy. The sauce needs to be thick enough that it will stick to the cauliflower. That’s why I describe it as tacky, sort of like paste or glue. It is also important not to add the cauliflower when this sauce is still hot. The cauliflower will release a bit of liquid if you put it in a hot sauce, making it less than crisp and defeating — at least in part — your efforts at liquid reduction.

Having taken these precautions, I must say that the dish turned out wonderfully, just as I had hoped, a worthy substitute for Sabrina’s Coconut Rice.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”

I asked my dad this week what he wanted me to make for dinner when I came to visit the coming weekend. He said chicken and rice. I immediately warned him that he would be eating cauliflower “rice,” not real rice. Upon obtaining his consent to my current culinary preoccupation and dietary constraints, I set out to look for yet another recipe to use in transforming cauliflower into low carb rice.

After researching many possibilities, a logical marriage of chicken and rice appeared. Chicken and rice appear to be quite the bosom buddies in Louisiana, and so I set out to devise a Jambalaya with cauliflower “rice”

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower "Rice"

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”


2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup celery, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes in juice
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
juice of one lemon
1 boullion cube
1-2 lbs. chicken, cut into cubes
1 bay leaf

one medium head of cauliflower, riced

1 tablespoon chili powder (the mix of spices for making chili)
1 tablespoon cajun spice mix (I use Badia)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste

2 bell peppers chopped
7 oz sausage, chopped

2-3 bunches of green onions, snipped or chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan, or optionally a crockpot on high. When butter is melted, stir in onions, garlic and celery. Saute until softened. Add the tomatoes (if using crockpot, discard juice), tomato paste, lemon juice, boullion cube, chicken and bay leaf. Cover and allow to simmer over low fire.

Rice your cauliflower in batches in a food processor. Fold into a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine spices in a small bowl or ramekin. Add a tablespoon of the final spice mix to the simmering chicken.

Place sausage and peppers in a small casserole dish. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until sausage starts to get a little golden brown. Stir up the sausage and pepper mixture at least twice during the roasting to get it done evenly.

Empty cauliflower into a clean bowl. Add oil, salt, green onions and the remainder of the spice mix. Stir well to combine so that spices are evenly distributed.

When chicken reaches desired tenderness, mix in the sausage and peppers. Serve the chicken and sausage mixture over the rice. Enjoy!

Tabbouleh Salad with Cauliflower “Rice”

As it turns out, a full-sized head of cauliflower produces quite a lot of “rice,” and so last weekend I divided what I produced and made a second recipe. This dish continues the trend of using raw cauliflower “rice,” this time to make a low-carb tabbouleh salad. Of course, in this instance, the cauliflower is substituting for bulgur wheat. As a result, this version of tabbouleh with cauliflower “rice” is much simpler to make, as one does not need to cook and then let cool the bulgur.

Make certain you are using fresh parsley for this recipe; tabbouleh traditionally features parsley as the main ingredient, in the same way a standard restaurant salad features lettuce. The amount of parsley is truly up to you. Use more than one bunch if you want to make it more traditional. I simply used as much as my indoor herb garden had to offer.

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh Salad


3 cups raw cauliflower “rice”
2 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch of parsley, chopped or snipped finely
4-6 spring onions, chopped or snipped finely
3-4 roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced

Rice your cauliflower in batches, stems separately from florets, in a food processor. Fold into a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Strain the lemon juice to remove seeds and most of the pulp. In a medium bowl whisk lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper together for the dressing.

Add the cauliflower rice, parsley, spring onions and tomatoes. Stir together until well combined. Store chilled for at least an hour to let the flavors meld. Serve chilled.

I was quite pleased with this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of parsley, but the combination of flavors kept its profile mild in the dish. I found that the amount of lemon juice also cut down on the cauliflower’s natural flavor, which I was worried might be too dominant due to lack of spices or other seasonings. All in all, a very refreshing and tasty dish. It would be a perfect side dish for any Middle Eastern meal, or as a salad for a summer picnic or cook-out.

Vegetable Biryani Cauliflower “Rice”

Encouraged by my most recent attempt at using cauliflower for a rice substitute, I continued my efforts this weekend with yet another rice recipe. While I suspect a similar cooking method to what I used with the Mexican “Rice” would work here, too, I wanted to try keeping the cauliflower raw this time. Due to my recent increase in vegetable consumption, I have discovered that I enjoy more and more vegetables raw or simply warmed to eating temperature, rather than cooked through. I wanted to see if cauliflower “rice” might below to the same category.

It had been quite some time since I’d made Indian-style curries for myself at home, so I resolved to make two favorites from my recipe box this weekend: Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag (Indian Creamed Spinach). What better opportunity to try out another Cauliflower “Rice” recipe than as a curry companion? And so, I struck out into the Internet to research Biryani recipes.

Some elements of this recipe are cooked and some are not. For this reason, the ingredients are divided up in sections.

Vegetable Biryani Cauliflower "Rice"

Vegetable Biryani Cauliflower “Rice”


2 lbs. cauliflower, riced

1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
pinch cloves
pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tomato, finely diced
8 oz. frozen small mixed vegetables or soup vegetables (i.e. corn, chopped carrots, green beans, lima beans, peas, etc.)

1 tablespoon oil
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup peanuts or mixed nuts
fresh coriander

Rice your cauliflower in batches, doing the stems first and then florets, by pulsing in the food processor. Fold in a clean towel and set aside.

Combine the spices and salt in a small bowl or ramekin. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Saute the garlic briefly. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix. Stir fry until the spices are coated with oil. Add diced tomatoes and mixed vegetables. Saute until tender.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine raw cauliflower “rice” with 1 tablespoon oil and the remainder of the spice mix. Add green onions and nuts. Stir until evenly distributed.

When the mixed vegetables have reached their desired tenderness, combine the contents of the skillet with with spiced cauliflower “rice” in the large bowl.

Serve with your favorite curries. If desired, warm on an oven-safe dish prior to serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

This dish was a smashing success! The spices, the texture, the mix of vegetables and nuts and raw “rice” struck a perfect balance and was an excellent accompaniment to the curries. The first helping I warmed up on an oven-safe plate, but subsequent helpings, I actually just ate at room temperature (the curries I ate with it were hot, after all). Both ways, it was quite delicious, and I think I’m a convert to raw “rice,” as I found the texture much more crisp and rice-like. Also, no worries about over-cooking and the cauliflower shedding too much liquid. Perhaps the most obvious advantage is that keeping the rice raw makes prep incredibly easy! Not having to cook an ingredient simplifies any recipe immensely, especially one where other ingredients (i.e. the vegetables) are cooked separately. After this recipe, I’m excited to try even more cauliflower “rice”!

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

One discovery I have made again and again when exploring the dietary substitutions inherent in pursuing a new way of eating (e.g. low carb, vegetarian or vegan, etc.) is that sometimes the best meal items and recipes are the ones where the main ingredient isn’t masquerading as a forbidden food. Discovering new ways to enjoy allowed-foods in their own right is often more successful than forcing them into the role of a food that is sorely missed.

This recipe falls into that category. While it is based on recipes for “Loaded Baked Potato Casserole,” the cauliflower in this dish is not made to resemble potatoes, but enjoyed in its full-out floret form!


1 lb. cauliflower florets, steamed
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese, divided
6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
3 green onions, chopped or snipped fine
salt and pepper
1 tomato, seeded and diced

Preheat oven to 350. Chop cauliflower into pieces and steam to desired tenderness. In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, half the cheese, half the bacon, half the green onions, salt and pepper.

Combine cauliflower pieces with sour cream mixture and spread in a baking dish. Sprinkle remaining bacon and cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle diced tomatoes on top. Return to the oven. Bake and additional five minutes.

Garnish with remaining green onions on top and serve.

Adventures in Cauliflower: Mexican Red “Rice”

I came out of my summer’s week-long vacation with a renewed dedication to low-carb eating. Calorie-counting has become unbearable, and ineffective, since my patiently-awaited weekend splurges turn into overkill, effectively cancelling out the weekday deprivation and counteracting any ground gained. Also, in the effort to avoid unnecessary calories, I found myself avoiding protein-rich foods like meat and fish because of how heavily they weighed on the calorie scale.

Turning again to low-carb living seems the only solution, as it is a diet I can stick to, even over the weekends, where I can “splurge” on richer low-carb foods (or low-carb recipes I don’t have time to make during the week) without actually violating the diet. Weekdays are dedicated to eating comparatively lean meals and many, many vegetables. I’ve discovered, to my surprise, that there are even many vegetables I prefer raw, or almost raw, like diced tomatoes or shredded cabbage, either fresh or slightly warmed.

CauliflowerIn my low-carb experiments, I’ve discovered a number of pretty reasonable substitutes for the usual carb suspects. Cauliflower makes an excellent mashed “potato,” zucchini and other squash and even cabbage put through the spiralizer make great bed of spaghetti, leafy greens are a surprisingly good stand-in for tortillas. Of course, many of these substitutes aren’t meant to taste the same (actually, I find I like the mashed cauliflower better), but to be functional substitutions that taste good in their own right while mimicking the properties of the erstwhile carb.

One carb substitution that has thus far eluded me, however, is finding a good twin for rice. The high glycemic properties of rice can be pretty effectively mitigated by my diabetic friends by cooking it in high fat recipes, such as coconut milk rice or risotto with plenty of butter and cream and cheese. But my motives are fueled by vanity rather than health, and so I’m aiming to give my metabolism some tough love by avoiding anything more carb-rich than your average vegetable in the hopes that it will target the 7-10 pounds causing my vain self to nit-pick.

The most common low-carb suggestion for rice substitution is, once again, cauliflower. While I am extremely happy with its ability to stand in for mashed potatoes, I found my first attempt at cauliflower “rice” a mite disappointing. I endeavored to make a coconut rice on the stovetop. It was tasty enough, but I had texture qualms with the end product. For one, the consistency of the “grain” of the cauliflower rice is… well, inconsistent. I put my cauliflower through the shredder blade of my food processor, and the florets broke up into small pieces, while the stalks were transformed into long shreds, like thickly shredded cheese that never melts. This may just be the perils of using the whole cauliflower, though I will attempt a correction below. Also, the cauliflower, when cooked stovetop in the coconut milk became somewhat limp and somewhat slimy, like cooked cabbage, mushrooms or spinach. I realize, of course, that cauliflower does not have the same liquid-absorbing properties as rice (on the contrary, it has much inherent liquid to shed), but I generally feel that the appeal of many rice dishes (soup and risotto notwithstanding) is the certain dry-ness it provides in contrast to other foods on the plate. Delicate basmati or jasmine rice balances a gravy-like curry, Mexican rice balances creamy re-fried beans and drenched enchiladas, sticky white or fried rice balances a saucy General Tso’s.

Likewise, I would ideally like my cauliflower rice to have the versatility to assume these functions, and so this time, I will attempt a few fixes.


1 medium-large head of cauliflower, stems divided from florets
2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 or 2 tablespoons chili powder (the Mexican spice mix)
salt to taste
1 (15oz) can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
1 bouillon cube, chicken or beef, crushed
frozen small mixed vegetables (i.e. corn, peas, diced carrots, etc.), optional

Preheat oven to 400. Rice your cauliflower.

Cauliflower "riced"

Cauliflower “riced”

Okay, at this stage, I’m going to try a different approach than last time. I separated the florets from the stems and I’m going to process the stems first using the regular food processor blade until they are a bit more “riced” than the “cheese shred” cauliflower I got last time. Before putting them in the processor, I additionally cut them into smaller chunks so there wouldn’t be pieces of dramatically different size. I don’t want smaller pieces getting pulverized into cauliflower dust while I wait for the larger pieces to break up. This process worked well to get the cauliflower divided up more evenly. To be honest, the end result really is more like couscous than rice, but at this stage, I say same difference if it turns out well. I also put the cauliflower in a large kitchen towel to absorb extra moisture right after I riced it.

Process the cauliflower stems first in a large food processor, then the florets. Depending on the size of the cauliflower you may need to process in batches. Spread the cauliflower “rice” across a large, shallow backing dish. Toss with oil, garlic, onions and spices. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, stir, and then return for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

I did not use the small mixed vegetables this time around. I also decided to puree the tomato mixture with my immersion blender because the diced tomato pieces were so large.

DSC01983Stir the tomato mixture into the roasted cauliflower rice until well-combined. Return to the oven. Bake uncovered at 400, stirring every 10 minutes, until much of the liquid has evaporated and cauliflower is lightly browned on top. Serve with your favorite Mexican main dish.

This time around, the rice turned out pretty well. My efforts to reduce the liquid in this recipe, and the strategy to bake uncovered eliminated the sliminess of my last attempt. The cauliflower still is not overall as “dry” as rice, but it was a worthy substitute. This recipe gives me hope for future cauliflower “rice” recipes.

Some online recipes for cauliflower rice suggest that it also works well raw, which I imagine is another good strategy for eliminating the sliminess of too much liquid. Perhaps my next attempt will be a raw recipe.

Smorgasbord of Randomness, Part 1

Mambo: The Original Smorgasbord of RandomnessThere is a particular pattern on my studio’s advanced mambo syllabus that I have taken to calling the Smorgasbord of Randomness, based on the seemingly arbitrary selection of multitudinous elements packed together in one figure. I could not help, however, thinking of this moniker more literally when I hosted a recent dinner party.

Over the weekend, a confluence of circumstances conspired to bring a somewhat unlikely a collection of guests to my dinner table. Among them were Sabrina and Ted, as they are quite frequently the fulcrum of my guest list for parties, be they dinner or cocktail… or occasionally fondue, fellow dance instructor extraordinaire, Roger, who attended in prelude to his five-day belated birthday bar crawl (more on that to comes), and internet maven Saundra Kane, who has the parallel distinction of being my mother.

As with most modern dinner parties, it happens that many guests have dietary restrictions and strong food preferences. With Sabrina being a vegetarian and Ted being an almost, kinda, sorta vegetarian who also eats chicken on occasion, I decided to make Indian food, a cuisine which is perhaps tastiest in vegetarian form. But with the addition of Saundra, I needed to adjust my strategy. As a borderline diabetic and woman of tried and true American/Western European culinary tastes, Saundra would need, I knew, some non-Asian, low-carb additions to the menu. One side dish was obvious… whipped cauliflower, the diabetic’s answer to mashed potatoes, a recipe that is both easy and delicious. Contemplating the menu further, I asked myself, what low-carb food, within Saundra’s culinary realm, would be most like curry? The answer was, of course, stroganoff.

The Majesty of StroganoffFor years I have endeavored to make a tasty stroganoff from scratch, to find a recipe that requires no McCormick dry mix packets or cans of mushroom soup. I researched a plethora of recipes on, taking what I liked from one or the other to create my own stronganoff recipe. The result is a recipe both delicious and versatile. While I made it as a beef stronganoff, it can easily be converted to chicken or mushroom (i.e. vegetarian) stroganoff to fit a variety of diets and tastes.

Finally, I found myself unexpectedly with a supply of pitted dates, and so, despite the fact that Sabrina had taken on the task of providing a cheese tray, I bought a package of bacon so as to make one of my favorite appetizers, a simple and sinfully delicious finger food I learned from my friend Paloma, master of Spanish cookery.

These three recipes would constitute a meal in themselves for a smaller gathering, but in my case, they were only a few random parts of the smorgasbord.


package of sliced bacon
pitted dates
wooden toothpicks

Cut the bacon in half down the center of the package so the slices are half as long. Roll each pitted date in one half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. These appetizers can be fried right away or made ahead and refrigerated for a few hours so that they can be made fresh right before serving. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium or medium-high heat and fry the bundles until bacon is crisp.

I don’t know exactly how Paloma did it, but my strategy for frying these appetizers so that the bacon gets done evenly is as follows. I first place each date bundle on its side with the top overlap of bacon facing down and the tip of the toothpick touching the pan. When that side is done, I flip and do the other side (using a spoon or utensil to manipulate the pieces; the toothpick tip will be hot from sitting in the bacon grease), again with the toothpick tip touching the pan. Finally I stand them upright so that the bottom gets done and the toothpicks cool off a bit before I take them out of the pan and set them on a paper towel to drain.


2 (1lb.) bags of frozen cauliflower
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
shredded cheddar cheese, optional & to taste
white pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the cauliflower. Boil at least 10 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Drain the cauliflower in a colander. Use a food processor, immersion blender or electric beaters (the latter makes a more textured or “lumpy” mashed consistency) to whip the cauliflower and combine it with the cheese. Doing this when the cauliflower is still piping hot will help the cheese melt.

The cauliflower can be served hot at this point, but sometimes it can be a little soupy at first. I like to put it in a casserole dish and bake it to give it a firmer texture. It’s convenient to make first and then leave in the oven on low-ish heat while preparing the rest of dinner.


2 lbs beef, chicken breast or wild mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped (if unavailable, 1 teaspoon minced garlic)
1 onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth or chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb portabello mushrooms, quartered (if not using mushrooms to begin with)
1 cup sour cream

Cube meat or slice mushrooms. Melt butter in a medium to large saucepan and use it to saute the onion and shallot over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Add the meat or mushrooms. Add the broth, mustard, white pepper, wine and additional mushrooms (if using). Heat over low fire to desired doneness. I like to stew slowly all day until the meat falls apart, but to each his own. Once meat and mushrooms are cooked as desired, if there is still a lot of liquid left, strain it out of the pan and into its own smaller saucepan or skillet. Bring liquid to a boil and stir frequently until liquid is reduced to a sauce that will coat the solid ingredients like a gravy. Return the reduction to the solid ingredients. Heat through and remove from burner. Stir in the sour cream and serve!

For people who are not concerned about carbohydrate intake, the reduction step can be eliminated by instead removing enough liquid from the pan to make a paste with 4 tablespoons of flour. Return the paste to the pan and heat until it thickens. I do my best to search for ways to eliminate carbs at every turn, which is also why I didn’t serve it over noodles or rice. Either of these options is, of course, your prerogative for a traditional stroganoff.

So concludes the non-Asian portion of my Smorgasbord of Randomness. Stay turned for vegetarian curries.