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Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese

Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese, whether it be Canada’s KD (Kraft Dinner) or any number of restaurant style macaroni and cheese dishes? One of our fav restaurants in Merida, Yucatan – Merci, does a wonderful macaroni and cheese with jumbo shrimp! What’s not to love about that? Of course, when you do KETO, you avoid pasta, But, since we are now only KC (Keto conscious) we have a little leeway. Don’t tell your family it is KETO. They do not need to know. This is undoubtedly a new fav recipe, with a touch of jalapeno (optional).

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KETO Cauliflower Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Bacon

Ingredients (Vegans, omit bacon)

  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into small bites
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I use a cheddar blend
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 strips of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)*
  • 3 teaspoons bacon grease melted
  • 2 jalapeño peppers minced (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave safe bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I wouldn’t boil it, it might be too watery.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted.
  3. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
  4. Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour cauliflower in the skillet and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
  5. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or crumbled bacon.
  6. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.

Notes

The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.

 

Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

We likely all grew up with cauliflower smothered with Velveeta cheese. I was never quite sure that I didn’t like the cheese best? As my taste buds have matured I was willing to give roasted cauliflower a chance. I also like Thai foods. Grand slam for this recipe.  You can certainly adjust the amount of Thai red curry paste you like, but as is the recipe is not all that hot. Give it a try and stop looking at that whole cauliflower and thinking CHEESE!

Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cauliflower head
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra to coat pan and for little pieces)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower and then wash
  3. Place the whole cauliflower head on a cutting board, with the stalk of the cauliflower facing up; then slice with a large, sharp knife into about 1 1/2″ thick slice, aiming to get 4, but if it’s a small head, you’ll get about 3. It isn’t a perfect science. Expect small pieces to break off (save these).
  4. Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or sheet pan with a little olive oil
  5. Place your “steaks” on the pan
  6. Mix together the red curry paste, olive oil and a little salt and pepper (based on your preferences – I go heavier on the pepper and wait until I taste later to add salt).
  7. Coat the cauliflower steaks on the side facing up (only) with the red Thai curry/oil mixture and then pop into the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, take the smaller pieces and put them into the bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
  9. After the 20 minutes, ip the “steaks” and add the small pieces
  10. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until soft in the middle and slightly charred. Enjoy!20190905_134246

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Blame it on Costco! Too many great vegetables luring us to buy them. The result…better cook these before they spoil! Pinterest to the rescue, another great recipe worth sharing.

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
1 zucchini
1 1/2 cups cabbage (I skipped the cabbage this time)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cut green beans (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen) (didn’t have any)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or canned)
Large handful spinach, or more (skipped this too)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (and/or fresh)
8 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Directions
Prep veggies: mince garlic and dice onion, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms. Roughly chop cabbage if using, and cut broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and all veggies (except spinach if using).
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are desired tenderness.
Stir in spinach or not, and salt to taste.

*Notes:
Vegetable soup freezes wonderfully!
The frozen veggies work great as “fillers” if you want to quickly and easily add more veggies.

Mock Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Don’t tell the kids it is – Cauliflower!)

Just trying to clean out the fridge and use up a few veggies. Also wanted to try a new recipe from my friend, Karen – Chinese Five Spice Scallops! They will appear next week 🙂

Decided the best thing was to make up the cauliflower like mashed potatoes. Lo and behold my favourite Food Network had this great recipe by George Stella and it was easy! Ya gotta try this!!!! Even the kids will eat it…no matter what age…LOL

“Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Recipe courtesy George Stella

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smoo