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2 Easy Cauli-Grits Casseroles + How to Make Up Your Own

30 Nov

Aldi (UK) now stocks lifetime supplies of cauli-rice

Riced cauliflower is everywhere now, safe inside neat packaging.  Gone are the days of whole cauliflower exploding into that adhesive cauli-confetti all over your kitchen.  I once thought I had lice nits in my hair just behind my ear, began panicking because we have five girls in this house…went to a neighbor who confirmed it was just benign bits of cauli.  Thank goodness.  And GROSS!  Just one of the risks of trying to eat healthy, my friends.

I’ve seen it in the produce section as well as the freezer section of grocery stores in both the US and UK.  Of all the ways to prepare it, I prefer it baked in a casserole…maybe it is my southern roots constantly calling out to me “eat more grits!”  I have done so many versions of the recipe below, but never blogged it.  Huge hit with my hubbs and the kids–It is amazing what a few cans of enchilada sauce can do for a dish!

 


 

 

First of all, you can make up any “casserole” with this skeleton of a recipe:

4 cups cooked cauli grits, drained  of excess water +
1 lb cooked meat, chopped +
3-4 eggs beaten +
1-2 cups liquid (coconut milk, tomato sauce, bone broth, etc) +
1-2 cups other veg or mix-ins +
seasonings of choice.

Stir this all together and bake in a 9X13 at 350 for 40 minutes.

Below I will give you two ideas, but be creative.  Branch out.  This can be a delicious side or a filling main dish depending on how much protein you decide to add.  Also, If you don’t need to eliminate dairy, throw in 2-3 handfuls of cheese!  I recommend white cheddar :):)


Chicken “Enchilada” Casserole

4 cups cooked, diced chicken.
cumin and chili powder to season the meat.

4 cups cooked (boiled or sauteed) cauliflower grits
2 cups mild enchilada sauce
4 eggs, beaten
8 oz diced green chilies, drained
3/4 c chopped green onions
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
juice of 1 lime

Season the chicken generously with cumin and chili powder (1-2 tbsps each).  Saute or boil ground cauliflower until done.  (Use the same method described in my original breakfast casserole.)  Drain and set aside.  In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then add in the green onion, chilies, salt, garlic powder, pepper and lime juice.  To that mixture add in the cooled chicken, cauliflower, and enchilada sauce.

Pour the mixture into a prepared 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is set.

cauliflower chicken enchilada casserole, with avocado cilantro cream


Beef “Enchilada” Casserole

1 onion, diced
4 cups diced mushrooms*
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tsp each: chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

Two 10-oz cans of mild red enchilada sauce.
juice of one lemon or lime

3 eggs lightly beaten
4 cups cooked cauliflower rice

* Mushrooms a downer?  Sub 1 can drained black beans.

Saute the onion and mushrooms until they are wilted and soft.  Add the beef and saute until browned.  Season the meat mixture with the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and salt.  Stir in the enchilada sauce and lemon juice.  In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs to the (cooled) cauliflower rice, then stir in the meat mixture.  Mix well, and pour into a prepared 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes or until the center is set.

Serve hot.  Makes fantastic breakfast leftovers topped with a couple of fried eggs.

beef and mushroom cauliflower enchilada casserole

 


 

Enjoy!!

Leigh

 

last night’s dinner->this morning’s breakfast

this is the face I want to see when the kiddos are eating their veg!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

For other cauliflower rice ideas, check out

Cauli “grits” Breakfast Casserole

Unwrapped Gyoza

Cauliflower Bread

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Saag Murghi

2 Nov

Please excuse my attempt to put an Indian title on this recipe.  The inspiration dish is saag paneer and I believe that means “spinach with cheese” or something close to that.  🙂  I know that saag means spinach.  So, “saag murghi” as it were, came from a quick google: “indian word for chicken.”  Murghi=chicken.  Probably.

I made this up to satisfy my saag paneer craving, but I needed it to be higher in protein, lower in fat, and potentially dairy free.  I am using the chicken as a replacement for the paneer cheese.  With the turmeric seasoning, it really does come close. 

This is so good.  Aarti knew what she was doing and if you don’t care about elimination/fat content, make hers.  But if you are trying to eat cleaner, up your protein, and watch your fat intake, I think this is a great rewrite.  I have made it many times.  Just finally getting around to blogging it after my crazybusy year moving from Hawaii to the UK while trying to keep five kids alive.  

Saag Murghi


1/2 pound chopped cooked chicken breast
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

2 pounds (32 oz) frozen spinach
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 1-inch “thumb” minced ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional but yummy)
1/2 tsp garam masala (recipe below)
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

full fat plain yogurt – or – cream cheese
ghee or butter

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the water, turmeric, and salt.  Add the chicken and toss to coat.  Set aside. 
  • Thaw spinach in microwave.  Pour into colander to allow to drain a little bit while you are prepping the onions…but you don’t need to squeeze it dry.  
  • In a large skillet over medium heat saute the onions, ginger, garlic and jalapeno.  NB:  1.  Saute the mixture for 15-20 minutes until the onions are toffee-coloured.  This is the base of the dish and is worth the wait.  2. Do not burn the garlic.  There is no recovering from burnt garlic.  If you feel like the mixture is drying out, add a few tablespoons of water. 
  • Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin.  Sprinkle more water to keep from burning, cook spices 3-5 more minutes to release the flavors. 
  • Add the spinach and stir well. Add salt and pepper.  Once it is heated through evenly, add in the seasoned chicken pieces.  Cook until everything is warmed evenly.  
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup of yogurt (or my preference: cream cheese).  *Be careful with the yogurt, it can curdle if the pan is too hot.
  • If you are wanting to count your macros a little more carefully, omit the butter, and add the cream cheese/yogurt separately: as a measured topping for your own portion.  I am counting fat right now, so no butter and I put my cream cheese on top by measured teaspoons, as shown in the picture.
  • Serve over rice, with naan, or you can eat this as a one-dish meal.  
  • Serves 4-6.

Notes:
1.  A *very* basic Garam Masala can be quickly mixed together with equal parts ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, and ground cloves.
2.  Avoid really dry chicken breast if possible.  “Moister” chicken is closer to the texture of paneer.  (Don’t tell me not to say the word moist.  I don’t get that aversion at all.)  
3.  If you want the saag to be “dippier” I recommend adding a good bit of butter…maybe 3-4 tablespoons. But then you’d have to tell MFP.
4.  Honestly, the more cream cheese and butter you stir into this the better.  But your MFP macro table will not indicate this.
5.  Kala Jeera.  This recipe tastes AMAZING with Kala Jeera stirred in with the spices.  I left it out of this recipe because it can be hard to find.  Another name for this is “whole cumin seed.”  But, if you see it in your spice aisle, grab it.  Add a teaspoon of it when you are sautéing the onions, you are another step closer to being in a restaurant.  


 

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P.S.  I would be completely confident hosting an Indian food dinner party with this saag, and the three recipes below.  The meat dishes can be prepared ahead and reheated on the day of the gathering.

 

 

Do you have a favorite Indian dish you make at home?  Please share with me in the comments. 🙂
Leigh

 

Chocolatey Chocolate Muffins

26 Jan

These are inspired by my absolutely favorite food on earth, a chocolate cake my kids named “Chocolatey Chocolate Cake” (after the little bunny in the adorable book Rabbit Ears.)   Next time you are craving a chocolate fest, make THAT cake with no substitutions.  I get accolades every time I serve it, and I then have to admit to everyone that it is not an old old family recipe.  It was an Allrecipes find.

But, if you are looking for a healthy-er recipe for your chocolate addiction, and/or you want to sneak some protein and fat into your kids’ diet without making them feel like they never get any treats, make these.  I adapted it from that original cake, and these do not disappoint.

 

2 ½ cups almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup water
1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (Kahlua)
3 eggs
½ cup chocolate chips…to keep it extra clean use Enjoy Life, they are awesome!

Prepare a cupcake pan.  With a wire whisk, combine the dry ingredients until completely mixed.  Add the liquid ingredients and stir until fully incorporated into a batter.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes.  Makes 12 cupcakes.  Store in airtight container in the fridge.

 

You’ll have to excuse my photographic apathy.  I just can’t even begin to keep up with the photography I see on people’s food blogs these days!  Wow.  For now, the iPhone camera uploads are as good as it gets around here.

I really hope you enjoy these, let me know if you make them!

Leigh

 

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