(Two for the price of one!)
Since starting my “dettermined” effort to lose weight in January, I have been introduced to the many varied uses of the unassuming cauliflower. Who would have thought that it could be a reasonable substitute for mash, rice and pizza bases? I heard a rumour that cauliflowers have been sold out countrywide as the Banting “lifestyle” (it’s not a diet, right?) has taken off in South Africa. Well, here on the farm we have no such shortages, in fact we have them coming out of our ears!
The mash is good, as is cauliflower rice (from The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes et al) but the recipe that I would like to share is one for Cauliflower and Mustard Seed Soup from the Low Carb Revolution – Comfort Eating for Good Health – by Annie Bell. I first came across Annie Bell when she used to write food articles for Country Living (UK) magazine. Her food has always erred on the side of wholesome. (I have adapted the recipe ever so slightly.)
Cauliflower and Mustard Seed Soup
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 600g cauliflower florets (1 medium cauli)
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 3 strips of lemon zest, removed with a potato peeler
- Sea salt
- 2 heaped tsp grainy mustard
Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the cauliflower for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, lemon zest and salt, bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a low heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
Discard the strips of lemon zest, then puree in batches in a liquidiser. Pour back into the saucepan and stir in the mustard. Taste and season with more salt (and pepper) if necessary.
Since I’m trying to avoid bread, I serve it sprinkled with crispy fried, diced pancetta for crunch instead of croutons. It is quite moreish and indeed very comforting.
Another recipe for those of us avoiding wheat is Bread in a Cup . I read an article recently in which the writer claims that “common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest”. How true this is and whether this is practised here in SA I do not know, but nothing would surprise me. I think that the food industry has a lot to answer for.
Bread in a Cup
3 Tbs almond flour
1 Tbs coconut flour
½ tsp baking powder
2½ Tbs melted butter/olive oil
2 Tbs water
Optional: 50 g grated cheddar cheese / crumbled feta
Beat egg well. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Put in well buttered cup/mug (I use a Consol jar) and microwave for 1 minute 20 secs. Slice into 4 slices.
The trouble is that us wheat-flour avoiders are now all rushing out and spending an absolute fortune on almond flour as an alternative. I bought almonds recently at the Karkloof Market and when I asked where they were from I was told California. Can you not buy a fucking almond grown locally? I watched a movie last year about bees and in it were scenes of almond monocropping for miles on end in California, contributing to the demise of the bee. So I wonder if almond flour is such a good alternative. Can one ever win?
We are so lucky to be able to grow our own veg and get our eggs and meat from reliable sources but where most of everything else is concerned, we have absolutely no idea of the farming practices involved. I have for many years been a stickler for free-range / organic / pasture-fed food. Not only because I think it is more healthy or that it tastes better, but also because I think it is kinder to the animal and better for the earth.
Woolworths has a range of fruit and veg that it markets as Farming for the Future. The blurb is “Farming for the future is a plan for growing food sustainably, ethically and responsibly without compromising quality and price. This approach to farming aims to keep soil and plants healthy, to preserve biodiversity and water resources.” It’s a pity that this doesn’t apply to nonperishable food as well.