This post is part of a series in which I share recipe assignments from my culinary nutrition program. Each week, we have two to three recipes to make, photograph, and review. I’ll include links to the original recipes when they’re available or to similar recipes so you can follow along with me if you like.
This week’s theme was grain-free.
Notes: Cauliflower makes such a fantastic, health-supportive alternative to traditional wheat cous cous, and the prep time is probably about the same! I found the flavors and textures reminiscent of a tabbouleh salad, and the actual cauliflower cous cous took more of a back seat to the abundant fresh cilantro, parsley, tomatoes, and red pepper. It’s a wonderfully light, refreshing dish. I didn’t make any modifications to the original recipe, though I did opt to use the variation with dried apricots. I also divided the cauliflower into three batches in my food processor to achieve a grain-like texture. I have a nine-cup bowl, but it tends to turn the cauliflower to mush with some big pieces leftover if I try to process a whole cauliflower at once. Next time, I think I will add the optional olives too, because I have a feeling the sweet and salty contrasting flavors will work very well together.
A variation of the recipe is available here.
Notes: My first thought with these burgers was that they’re really pretty. Sort of a weird thing to say about a veggie burger, but most just look like mush, and these had bright pops of broccoli, fresh herbs and red onion. I loved the crispy bite after baking them, and while I didn’t enjoy the mouth-feel of the ground flax seeds initially, it grew on me as I ate my burger. Flavor-wise, I found the burgers to be a bit bland and they were overpowered by the toppings – they provided more of a texture than a distinct taste. I ended up using almond meal instead of grinding my own almonds, a chia egg to keep the burgers vegan, and a mixture of balsamic and red wine vinegars (I was very low on balsamic). The modifications worked well! In the future, I will chop the broccoli and red onions smaller because they made the burgers crumble slightly. I may also add additional spices, like garlic powder and smoked paprika, to enhance the flavor.
This recipe doesn’t appear to be available online, but Meghan has a similar Create Your Own Burger Adventure post. Or, if grain-free isn’t a requirement for you, I recommend my Favorite Veggie Burgers. I’m planning to make a big batch of those this weekend!
Notes: This made my apartment smell incredible! I need to simmer apples and cinnamon (and allspice and clove) more often. The apple tart turned out beautifully and totally satisfied my sweet tooth without any processed sugar. I loved the rustic look of it too. I made a couple of changes, which were to use maple syrup instead of honey, and to soak the dates in hot water for about half an hour prior to processing (they needed softening). I thought it was so smart to give the apple slices a quick bath in fresh lemon juice and water to keep them from browning. Next time, I may add some lemon zest to the filling to play up that flavor. Aaron commented that he thought rolled oats would make a nice addition to the crust (I explained that this was grain-free baking!), but I think he might be on to something…
The original recipe can be found here (it’s towards the bottom of the post).
What are you up to in the kitchen this week?
Photography by Amanda’s iPhone.