The Gluten-Free Low Carb Southern Vegetarian: Mashed Cauliflower Potato Recipe with Southern Fried Tofu

February 29th, 2008 yum Posted in Cauliflower, Low Carb, Southern, Vegetarian, potato allergy 8 Comments »


caulmash.jpgYou may have noticed by now that I am definitely a girl who loves her carbs. I have never been all that interested in low-carb as a dieting strategy, but one thing I really appreciate about the low-carb movement is the innovation of its proponents, and the new and unusual way they use fresh, natural ingredients like coconut, bean flours, and vegetables. Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with coconut flour, and I’ve been a long-time fan of using bean flour in recipes like the socca or pakora. But vegetables also can be a powerful ingredient in low-carb recipes- and while I love potatoes, I also love the idea of finding substitutes for them that can provide me with more nutritional bang for my buck, so to speak. Sweet potatoes are a big-time favorite over at our house, and I love them roasted, mashed, and baked as “fries”. But when I first saw a recipe for cauliflower-based-mashed-potatoes my interest was really and truly piqued. To be honest, cauliflower is one vegetable I’ve never warmed to. Oh, I’ll eat it- in soup, roasted in the oven (choice when mixed with broccoli), or fried up in an indian curry (my favorite way to enjoy cauliflower), but I just don’t crave it the way I crave broccoli. (mmm, broccoli.) But if I could use cauliflower in a recipe and capture the spirit of yummy, creamy mashed potatoes- wouldn’t that be great? It also occurs to me that this would be a great recipe for any readers with a potato allergy or potato intolerance.

I hadn’t done much research into the nutritional value of cauliflower, but according to my friend Wikipedia:

southmeal.jpg“Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density. As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower shares with broccoli and cabbage several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. In addition, the compound indole-3-carbinol, which appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appears to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate.[7] Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances.[8] A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.” (source: Wikipedia)

I had no idea it was THAT good for me!

I decided to look at the entry for potato, and found that equally interesting.

“Potatoes contain a number of important vitamins and minerals. A medium potato (150g/5.3 oz) with the skin provides 27 mg vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)), 620 mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Moreover, the fiber content of a potato with skin (2 grams) equals that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals. In addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber, potatoes also contain an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols. The notion that “all of the potato’s nutrients” are found in the skin is an urban legend. While the skin does contain approximately half of the total dietary fiber, the majority (more than 50%) of the nutrients are found within the potato itself. The cooking method used can significantly impact the nutrient availability of the potato.” (source: Wikipedia)

untraditionalsouthern2.jpg It seems like I can feel pretty good about eating my potatoes as well, although I would have to include the skin in dishes like mashed potatoes to have better fiber content.

Regardless, I’m happy any time I find a new way to enjoy a vegetable, especially a vegetable I don’t always enjoy. This recipe was really tasty, and appealed to my taste buds more than any cauliflower recipe I’ve tried, so I pronounce this experiment a SUCCESS. We enjoyed our mashed cauliflower recipe with an old favorite- southern fried tofu, and a new take on slow cooked southern greens from my Cookin’ Southern Vegetarian Style cookbook. The greens recipe wasn’t noteworthy, but the rest was super-yum. And it certainly made this gluten-free vegetarian happy!

Next Week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap theme ingredient is the cauliflower. What’s your favorite way to prepare cauliflower? Share in the comments!

Garlic Cauliflower Mashed ‘Potato’ Recipe
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves
1 cube GF vegetable bullion
1 tablespoon lowfat greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon chopped green onions or chives (optional)
1 pat of unsalted butter (optional)
Freshly ground Italian Seasoning (with rosemary, garlic, red pepper) like that by McCormick OR your favorite seasoning mix
Freshly ground pepper
Mix your vegetable bullion cube with a 1/2 cup of hot water and let dissolve. (You can help it along if you’re impatient like me.) Put in a pot with lid along with the rest of your water and three whole or halved garlic cloves. Add your cauliflower florets and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. Then you can remove the lid and let the cauliflower simmer energetically for a few more minutes, letting the broth reduce. When you’re certain the cauliflower is soft, take off burner, and drain cauliflower. You can throw away one or two of the garlic cloves, but keep one!

Combine garlic, cauliflower, yogurt, and parmesan in your food processor and process until smooth. You can add seasonings before or after blending. Taste and adjust seasonings. Put in a serving dish, top with one pat of butter, any extra seasonings and chopped green onions or chives. Enjoy!

I have always disliked cauliflower, but I actually really enjoyed this recipe. It still tastes like cauliflower, but somehow in a good way- and the parmesan adds tons of flavor. DH enjoyed it, but he likes his cauliflower plain too so it wasn’t as big of a deal for him as it was for me.

Great for low-carb dieters!

Southern Fried Tofu
Vegan  Tofu  
1 lb fat-reduced firm tofu, sliced horizontally in 3 slabs, and
pressed for 45 minutes.

Seasoning Mix:
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast flakes (the fluffy yellow kind)
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic granules
1 tsp. Onion granules
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp. Dried tarragon
1/2 tsp Dried Dill Weed
1/2 tsp. Dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. Curry Powder
1/4 tsp. Dry mustard
1/4 tsp. Ground rosemary
1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper

Dipping Liquid Mix:
2/3 cup low-fat non dairy milk (dairy works too)
2 tsp. Fresh lemon juice (or vinegar)

Flour Coating:
2/3 cup brown rice flour (sorghum or white rice work too), as needed

1 tbsp. Canola or olive oil (or more if needed)

1) Mix all seasoning ingredients (nutritional yeast-ground rosemary)
together in a bowl.

2) Combine milk and lemon juice and stir together

3) Place flour in a mixing bowl.

4) Cut each slab of tofu into 4 triangles, resulting in 12
altogether. Dredge tofu first (one piece at a time) in flour, soured
milk, and seasoning mix. I find that this recipe makes enough mix for
2 recipes at least, so you may wish to put only half of the mix in a
shallow bowl for this step, so you can use the rest later. Follow
these steps for all the pieces.

5) Coat a big skilled with a layer of canola or olive oil, and heat
it. Add the tofu pieces in a layer, browning and then turning over
once. I also turn them on their side to brown the sides as well. You
may have to do several batches, adding oil as needed.

6) Place fried tofu on plate w/ paper towel or on rack. Left over
tofu may be heated in oven for a crispy exterior. YUM!

We usually serve them over mashed potatoes or rice, with a side
of sauteed green veggies (green beans or spinach). I loved these so
much we took nutritional yeast with us when we lived in Japan, and
made it a “comfort food meal” when we were feeling homesick.
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Gluten Free Southern Vegetarian: Barbecue Tofu Recipe, Vegan Gravy Recipe, and Whole Foods GF corn muffin review

November 6th, 2007 yum Posted in Southern, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Foods, tofu 15 Comments »

deliciousmeal.jpgdeliciousmeal2.jpgI know I usually wait a bit longer to post recipes, mostly because I generally have more ideas for posts than time to blog about them. But this time, I wanted to hurry and post this fantastic recipe we enjoyed for barbecued tofu last night. It was one of the best totally new recipes I’ve had in a while- and it was the result of months of daydreaming about the concept. And that concept was… a delicious, rich barbecued tofu recipe that would satisfy the most fervent carnivore. DH commented on its “meaty” characteristics, but it’s sure to thrill vegetarians due to its savory, sweet, richness paired with the light freshness of tofu. The caramelized vegetables add more interest to the dish, and remind me of an old favorite recipe for barbecued beans. In fact, if you add more liquid, this recipe would make a fantastic barbecued bean recipe, too.

As an added bonus, this recipe is full of great nutritional elements. I learned fairly recently that blackstrap molasses is awesome, especially for those with low iron or calcium deficiencies. One tablespoon of unsulphured blackstrap molasses contains 20% of your daily requirements for Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron. Not too shabby! Eat one fifth of a pack of tofu prepared with Calcium Sulfate (Chinese Style) and you add another 15% of your daily requirement for Calcium, 8% of your daily requirement of Iron, and 30% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, D, B12 and Vitamin E. Add greens and watch this meal turn into a real nutritional powerhouse! Yeah! No wonder I feel so good after eating one of these vegetarian Southern style meals.

But a meal is not made up of protein alone, even if that protein is delicious barbecued tofu. I served the meal with greens slow simmered in a touch of sesame oil with a splash of wheat-free tamari. And, I made my favorite vegan gravy recipe in the world- a recipe from the brilliant book, Vegan Vittles. The greens were a little bland until I added a small dab of margarine and drizzled them with vegan gravy, magically converting them from blah to yummy.

And of course, what Southern Meal doesn’t have a bit of cornbread, or at least a corn muffin? I tried Whole Foods’ new reasonably priced gluten free corn bread and muffin mix, and was thrilled with the results. You add buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and butter to the mix, bake it, and get a absolutely delicious corn bread or muffin that easily compares (if not surpasses) my old favorite, The Gluten-Free Pantry Yankee Cornbread Mix, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6). The 365 Whole Foods Corn Bread mix is cheaper than GFP (if you’re buying it in a store, although maybe not if you buy the GFP in bulk from Amazon) and got high marks from DH. The only thing that I didn’t like was that it required buttermilk, which I would have to buy special for the recipe, and SUGAR. I mean, of course I have sugar, but why don’t they provide it? If they want it added separately from the rest of the ingredients, they could include a separate bag or something. And, if they want to accommodate sugar-free diets, why not explain that on the package or give healthy alternatives? Nevertheless, this simple little mix yielded a sweet little corn muffin that complimented the barbecued tofu perfectly.

So the next time you’re feeling a little down, and like you need a meal full of vitamins and minerals, why not try a decadent Southern style vegetarian feast? Not only will your taste buds do a happy dance, but you might feel a little more energetic and well nourished at the same time! :)

southernmeal3.jpg deliciousmeal3.jpg southernmeal.jpg southernmeal2.jpg

Interested in seeing more of my Gluten-Free Southern Style Vegetarian and Vegan Meals? Click Here! (Note: this post will remain at the top of your screen, but scroll down)

While hunting through my cookbooks for a tasty barbecued tofu recipe, I came across Isa’s recipe in Vegan with a Vengeancefor a Pomegranate Tofu Barbecue that looked really tasty… If I’d had the ingredients, I might have made that instead. I’m pretty happy with this recipe, but if you want to dabble in a more exotic sauce, tell me how it turns out!

Check out another recipe for gluten-free corn muffins AND a review of this very recipe over at one of my favorite family’s blog- Odds that Never End

Barbecue Tofu Recipe
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
onion powder and/or garlic powder to taste
gluten-free cooking spray

2 generous tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 generous tablespoons ketchup or tomato paste (if you like things less sweet)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons gluten free tamari, such as San-J or Braggs
1 large clove garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
2 teaspoons toasted Asian sesame oil
2 tsp. tahini or other nut butter
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder or cayenne pepper
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Olive oil
1 small or 1/2 of a large (sweet) yellow or green pepper, cut into large squares
1 small or 1/2 of a large red onion, sliced into strips

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut tofu into 3 or four slabs, and press between a towel for 30 minutes or so while you prepare the other ingredients. When it has pressed for long enough, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, and spices in a shallow bowl or plate. Then carefully cut your tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and dredge them in the flour mixture. Spray a baking sheet with your spray oil and carefully place your tofu cubes on the sheet. Spray them thoroughly with the cooking spray. Put in preheated oven and bake for at least 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the tofu is golden brown. Turn tofu and put back in oven until other side is browned. Keep turning and putting back in oven until each side is evenly browned. (Entire process probably takes no more than 30 minutes altogether, and may take less time depending on your oven and patience.)

While tofu is in oven, combine sauce ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Heat cast iron pan on medium and add a little olive oil. Once the oil is warm but not smoking excessively, throw in your red onion strips and let cook slowly without burning. Turn as few times as possible. When the onion seems softened and has started to caramelize, add you pepper squares and saute until the pepper is soft and a little charred, if possible. When veggies seem to have reached their maximum sweetness, remove from pan and reserve.

Put your browned tofu in the cast iron pan and gently pour your barbecue sauce over the tofu. Mix them in the sauce carefully,trying not to remove their coating or break the tofu. When tofu seems evenly coated, add your caramelized veggies back in the pan and combine carefully. You can heat them on low heat in the pan, or stick them in the oven at 325 for up to thirty minutes, depending on how dry you like your sauce. Remove and enjoy!

This tofu was awesome with cornbread, vegetarian gravy, and slow cooked southern greens. It’s a keeper! I’ll be making this recipe many times again, although I may fiddle with the sauce to make it a little less thick in the future. DELISH! DH enjoyed it a lot as well.
Nutritional Yeast Gravy
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Braggs GF liquid aminos
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp garlic granules (if desired)
1/8 tsp black pepper
Heat brown rice flour and nutritional yeast flakes in a dry nonstick frypan on a medium temperature, and let them lightly brown and release their fragrance. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add water, braggs, olive oil and seasonings, whisking continuously until mixture is silky smooth. Return to heat and stir until gravy reaches desired consistency.
I serve this gravy every holiday with mashed potatoes and (on thanksgiving) my portabello stuffed acorn squash dish. It’s so easy you can make it anytime, and top brown rice, pasta, baked potatoes or tofu patties. DH enjoys it too, and it’s considerably easier than the typical American gravy made from scratch.
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