Recipe: Cauliflower Cheesy Garlic "Bread" (Low Carb/Keto)
(Secret high five to myself! 😜)
At that time, it was a weekday and I was heavily craving for carbs. Dominos cheesy bread to be exact. During my stricter days, I'd go without carbs for about 2 weeks then treat myself to a whole pizza or a whole order of cheesy bread. Because it's goooood. (I've done it again. Just talking about it is making me crave. UGH. MY LIFE. 🙄) So here I go again, rummaging through my kitchen, looking for "fixes" like an addict. And hello, cauliflower!!! (Love you 😚)
The humble Cauliflower. This could very well be the best friend of any keto or low-carb follower. It can be prepared in so many different ways and still provide satisfaction and a whole array of nutritional benefits. It's classified as a cruciferous vegetable along with the others like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and kale to name a few. The latin word cruciferae literally means "like a cross" or "cross bearing" - because it's said that the petals of the vegetable, when growing, resemble a cross (I guess when you chop it crosswise from the bark or centre core, you'll see it. Well.... I don't. HAHAHA. Anyways, carry on.)
There are a few benefits that the cauliflower can offer. It's low in carbs, high in fibre, very filling, versatile AF, has anti-inflammatory properties, and packed with lots of antioxidants and B-vitamins. You can use it to replace rice, make it mimic mashed potatoes, grill whole cross-section slices to make steaks, fry nugget pieces and coat like buffalo wings, and give you the illusion you're eating bread. And it worked. Carlo ate about half of this whole cheesy garlic bread.
As with other vegetables, this contains a lot of water too. So if you're making anything to assemble (like this "bread" or even cauliflower "hash browns"), make sure to take your time to squeeze out the remaining water. Believe me, it will make all the difference. You won't end up with a soggy middle and only the ends crispy.
Groceries nowadays offer pre-made cauliflower rice too (already crumbled cauliflower pieces). It's a lot more expensive but thank you food geniuses for providing this option. A few years ago, this was very hard to find. Probably in local specialty food markets. But now, most of the mainstream grocery chains offer it. And it's not limited to just the crumbled/rice version - there are ready-made cauliflower pizzas, mashed cauliflower, breakfast buns, and a whole lot more. Thank you technology! Onward we go!
Cauliflower Cheesy Garlic Bread (Low Carb/Keto)
This makes about 10-12 cheesy garlic sticks... or 4 very generous slices.
You'll need a food processor (I don't have one [surprise, surprise🙄] so I used my Ninja and it worked out well), a sieve/colander/strainer, cheesecloth or a tea towel, a bowl, a spatula, baking/parchment paper, and a baking sheet.
1 medium head of cauliflower (this will make about 3-4 cups of crumbled pieces)
1 1/2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I personally prefer flat-leaf parsley. I find the flavours more vibrant than the curly variety. Might just be me though. But if you use curly parsley, not a problem at all.)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
2 eggs, large
1 cup mixed cheddar, grated/shredded (I like using the mixed cheddar, light and sharp. I find that there's a balance from the salt and the sharpness of the cheese.)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded (if you want more of this for the topping, add 1/4 cup to the topping portion)
*Combine both kinds of cheese and divide this into 2 portions.
salt and pepper
1 cup marinara sauce for serving
some parsley, chopped, for topping
1. Pre-heat your oven to 450℉. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Using your food processor, blitz the cauliflower florets into crumble. Depending on how big your food processor is, this may take a few batches to get about 3-4 cups of crumbled cauliflower.
3. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the cauliflower for 5 minutes on high. (If you don't have a microwave or refuse to use one, you can always cook the cauliflower first before crumbling. Boil the florets for about 8 minutes and strain. Then blitz in a food processor.)
4. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a cheesecloth on top of a strainer. (Now you get a mini workout with your guns 💪... your biceps). Twist the cheesecloth and strain as much water out of the cauliflower. This will really make a difference.
5. Place the strained cauliflower in a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients, but only add 1 portion of the cheese. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Top with remaining cheese portion and bake for 15-18 minutes. If you feel like it's still soggy, bake for 20 minutes tops.
8. Let this cool for about 3-4 minutes before slicing into sticks.
10. Enjoy! (And fool everyone around you letting them think it's actually bread! [Insert evil laugh😈] "I just nourished you with vegetables, you silly rabbit!)
*If you get the pre-shredded cheese bags, that's no problem at all. Gotta save some time and take it! But if you can grate the cheeses, the better. Because the pre-shredded cheeses will always have a coating of starch or cellulose to keep it from absorbing moisture.... and can stand long shelf lives in the grocery.
**If you make this thinner and omit the garlic and parsley from the recipe, you can turn this recipe to a low-carb pizza "dough". You'll have to double bake it though. Meaning, baking it naked and on it's own as a dough for about 10-12 minutes. Just so it dries up and it gives you a more solid and holdable slice. Take it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Then go ahead and assemble your pizza with sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you want.
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