I don’t know about you, but I think that cooking/baking for other people is stressful.
A party is approaching. That fruit tray from the grocery store that you always bring is making people second guess inviting you to a pot luck and you have some extra time on your hands. What better way to waste a few hours of your day and some cash in your pocket then to attempt a brand new recipe from the internet. Brilliant.
It is inevitable. You make the dish. You taste it. Obviously you like it. “I’ve had much worse” you say to yourself. But then it isn’t about what you and your significant other can stomach is it? This is a room full of people that are judging your new dish. You bring it in, set it down on the smorgasbord of other dishes and wait. People come and make small talk with you and all you can do is watch for that first person to bite into your dish. The guest approachs, the anxiety mounts, butterflies flutter in your stomach as you watch him take a piece and raise it to his mouth. You hold your breath and stare. (lets not focus on the fact that you were in a deep conversation with someone who was filling you in on their nasty divorce and not only have you stopped listening but you have basically went slack in your face, making them wonder if you are actually having a stroke.)
Nonetheless, this unexpecting party goer will be your fate. Your success or your demise. This first taster will be the person who tells the rest of the guests to either stay away from your sketchy appetizer or the one who waves everyone over, claiming that they can’t believe s0meone had the time to make this delicious piece of heaven sent down to dance on your taste buds….what? too much?
So. What did I do this week. I tested some recipes out. And guess what? They were awesome! Well, let me rephrase, they were awesome, after I did some troubleshooting. After three bad tries of each of these recipes I finally was able to make them work. I brought both dishes to a Christmas party and despite my nerves everyone seemed to 1. not get sick on my food (always a plus) but also seemed to go back for more. And thankfully I didn’t have to take any of it home. Going home with a half full tray of food is never good. So I came with arms full of food and left with empty hands. I think that can be called a success.
So I will share these two fantastic recipes with you and also the things I tried and definitely didn’t work. Hopefully yours will turn out just as good as my (sixth) try did
First a savory. Then a sweet!
Ok this first one, was definitely the biggest hit. I found this recipe and thought it sounded like a fantastic idea but I was unsure. First and foremost they aren’t the prettiest things after you cut them up, but I swear they taste just like cheesy bread sticks. They were great.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Chop the cauliflower florets into chunks and steam them in a steamer or on the stove until slightly soft for 15 minutes. Place in a ricer or grate. (They were soft when they were done steaming so I just took two forks and cut them up into tiny rice like pieces. You don’t want them to be too “mashed” – think chunky rice)
- One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Prepare your baking stone or sheet by spreading a small amount of olive oil on it and top with parchment paper. (Ok- absolutely DO NOT line your baking sheet. Same thing happened as you will see with the cookies below. I pulled the stone/parchment paper out of the oven and the entire “loaf” was completely and totally glued to the paper- and as I tried to peel it off the paper stuck to the bottom and was unable to come off at all. Foil DOES NOT work either. Instead I spread some coconut oil on the sheet and although the bread stuck to it a little- it was by far way better.)
- In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg, Parmesan and Mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir.
- Transfer to the baking stone or sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a large rectangle. (I ended up spreading too thin the first time- I would say a 4/5″ by 10″ rectangle. The thinner it is the harder to get off the baking sheet or stone.)
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. (Now, I made this recipe like 6 times (it is really really easy after you get the hang of it) I found that the best results happened when you flipped the bread. I took it out of the oven, got it off the sheet and flipped it over. The top is beautiful and browned but the bottom, once scrapped off the sheet leaves little to be desired. So flip the bread- pretty side down and then spread the below mixture on the underside that way both sides are beautiful and browned. If you leave it on the top side then you have one pretty side and one ugly side.)
- Mix 2 TBSP butter and garlic in a small bowl and spread the butter and garlic mixture over baked cauliflower bread and top with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses.
- Place back in the 450 degree oven until all cheese is melted.
- Slice and Serve!
My favorite website to go for gluten free and paleo deserts is definitely Elana’s Pantry. She is fantastic and I have been trying her recipes for ages. So I went back and this one did not disappoint.
- 2 cups blanched almond flour- I went to Whole foods and found almond flour in the bulk section-score!
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons vegan shortening
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut sugar for dipping
- In a large bowl combine almond flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon
- In a smaller bowl, combine shortening, honey and vanilla
- Stir wet ingredients into dry
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough, and roll into a ball
- Briefly dip ball into a small bowl of water (ok- here’s where I started to deviate. My first batch I dipped in water and rolled in the sugar- which, when baked, produce a carmelized sugar glue that made the cookie stick the the pan. So I stopped dipping them in water- they are moist enough to roll in the sugar without the water dip.)
- Roll wet ball in coconut sugar to coat
- Place ball on parchment paper lined baking sheet (absolutely do not use parchment paper unless you like your cookie with a piece of paper glued to the bottom. – that batch went right into the trash- I then tried foil and then finally I just went straight baking sheet. Do NOT line.)
- Flatten ball with palm of your hand
- Bake at 350° for 7-8 minutes (the smaller the ball the shorter the cook time- mine were pretty small so on my last batches I actually went like 5 minutes- the 7-8 produced a burnt bottom. 5 is good, take out immediately let stand for like 20 seconds and then scoop onto a cookie rack- they will be really soft but will firm up as they cool)
- Cool and serve
Makes 20 cookies- ish..
So I hope you make these recieps and enjoy them. Make sure to let me know how they turned out for you and if you did anything different that worked better than my method. Enjoy!
Stay Active, Stay Healthy and Happy Holidays!