Cauliflower Grilled Cheese...what?!

Guys, guys, guys!!!!  I love cauliflower just for itself. I really do. For over 7 years now, it has made it's way further and further into my diet for it's versatility as a substitute for other things in food. I have posted on the CrossFit SteadFast website before about making cauliflower puree as smooth as silk...(I really must bring that post across to my website- I am terrible at this stuff). I have also used it as a way to make a cream soup without dairy or flour. When I was in South Africa a couple years ago, I indulged in primal thin crust pizzas at a kick-ass pizza chain called Col'cacchio's where the crust was made from cauliflower and psyllium husk.

This week I got an email with a recipe using cauliflower to make a grilled cheese sandwich! I followed the recipe for the "bread" but instead of stuffing it with ripe mashed avocado- not having a ripe avocado on hand- I treated myself with some raw milk sharp cheddar cheese and made a grilled cheese sandwich!!! Grilled cheese wasn't a huge rotation item in my pre-paleo diet, but every once and while it was something I enjoyed eating. And let me tell you...I make a good one. One of the yachts I cooked on, the teenagers used to request them all. the. damn. time. All the time.

I was too excited and didn't cook this one enough to make the raw cheddar completely melt but is was delicious.

I was too excited and didn't cook this one enough to make the raw cheddar completely melt but is was delicious.

The original recipe by Jennafer Ashley as I found it on Paleohacks is as follows:

4 cups cauliflower rice

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 pasture-raised eggs

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp ghee

2 ripe avocados, mashed

1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl combine the riced cauliflower and sea salt. Allow to sit for 20 minutes then use a clean kitchen towel to wring out the cauliflower to remove moisture.

3. Return the cauliflower to the mixing bowl and add the eggs, almond flour and black pepper. Stir well to combine. Scoop 1 cup of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into a square. Repeat with the remaining mixture (4 slices total).

4. Bake for 25 minutes, then cool at room temperature for 5 minutes.

5. Grease a skillet with the ghee and melt over medium heat. Smear a slice of the cauliflower bread with mashed avocado, and top with another slice. Add to the hot skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook a further 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining bread. Serve hot.

That is what it looks like going through the process of the recipe. Like I said before, I bought some sharp raw-milk cheddar and treated myself to an ACTUAL grilled cheese. I don't eat a lot of cheese because I find that when I do I end up with a painful cystic acne type of breakout about 3-4 days later...but sometimes I choose to eat something knowing the consequences and just enjoy the moment. Here's what the version in the recipe looks like:

Smashed avocado cauliflower "grilled cheese" sandwich.

Smashed avocado cauliflower "grilled cheese" sandwich.

I buttered the outside and slapped it in the pan just like a regular grilled cheese sandwich, when I made it with cheese instead of avocado.

I buttered the outside and slapped it in the pan just like a regular grilled cheese sandwich, when I made it with cheese instead of avocado.

What I haven't got on photo was a super-large version of this that I spread out onto a lined baking sheet, made it a lot thinner and it turned into a very good pizza base. Admission: there is no photo because I came home rather drunk after the anniversary party for CrossFit SteadFast and I ate the entire thing spread with tomato sauce...what can I say?? I do drink alcohol on occasion, and as far as drunk food goes, this wasn't a bad choice. This "bread" is actually really versatile. Now, using a food processor and pulsing the cauliflower so that it is a fine "rice" texture is ideal. IF you don't have a food processor, you could buy 2 bags (10 oz size) of frozen cauliflower rice and bring it to room temperature then wring the daylights out of it to remove as much water as possible. That works if you don't have a processor. Also, for one of my batches, I used Bob's Red Mill Paleo baking flour instead of almond flour- that worked too. 

I have used a similar recipe as bruschetta bases for people who don't want grains and processed carbs. They freeze well after you have baked them, so it's not a bad idea to make a double batch and freeze them once they have cooled down. Be fancy and add some garlic powder and oregano and other spices to it, if you like. Also, you can make them into any shape, so if smaller individual rounds is what you need, then that's easy, or make it large for a pizza, or a skinny oblong for a bruschetta.

This morning, I heated up two slices, spread them with a layer of tomato paste, layered on some red onion and fried a couple eggs, topped with some homemade mayo mixed with sriracha sauce. The cauliflower bread was an excellent base and would be amazing as part of eggs Benedict, for example.

My breakfast today...

My breakfast today...

This could also be a fantastic way to get more vegetables into your kids if they aren't eating enough. I think adding garlic powder would make them outstanding. 

Hope you give this a try, even if you do eat bread. It's always great to have a lot of vegetables in your diet, and sneaking in cauliflower in the form of a crust or bread is a great way to do it!!

~Yours in Health