Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Her Campus Leeds: Guilt-Free Winter Warmers

Never before has warm, comforting food been so appealing
; the first few months of 2014 have been cold and miserable and have provided little reason to leave the house. It is these gloomy months which are the ones we resolve to eat less of the bad stuff and eat more of the good stuff. Why? Because a new year inevitably brings with it the torrent of gym selfies, celebrity fitness dvd’s and copious sales, but fear not, as in the immortal words of Lurpak: Healthy doesn’t have to taste hum-drum. Whether you’ve joined the gym like a true January Warrior or just fancy something a little lighter, these three recipes will make sure you can have all of the comfort and less of the calories.
Cauliflower mash
1 Cauliflower
1 Tbsp of cream cheese
1 Tsp of butter
1 Clove of garlic
Salt & Pepper
This is a great alternative to mashed potato, requires less butter and cream and tastes twice as good. Rip off the outer leaves and most of the outer stalk from your cauliflower and chop it into florets. Boil a pan of lightly salted water and drop in your cauliflower- leave it to boil for around 10 minutes or until you can slip a sharp knife through it easily. Drain in a colander and leave to stand and steam for 5 minutes- whilst you’re doing this, melt your butter in a pan, crush in your garlic clove and add your seasoning. If you’re in possession of a food processor, then throw everything in and pulse until it looks smooth. If not, then add your cauliflower to the pan and mash with a potato masher, then mix in the cream cheese and serve!
If you have any, a little parmesan, nutmeg or chives at the last minute won’t hurt!
Cauliflower Pizza
Ingredients (for one generous pizza):
1 Cauliflower
1/4 Cup of grated parmesan
1/4 Cup of grated mozzarella
1tsp Dried oregano
1 Clove of garlic
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper
Tomato pizza sauce
Cheese of your choice
1 Pinch of dried oregano
Anything else you want..
The trick to crisp cauliflower pizza is to preheat the oven to around 220 degrees and put a baking tray in there. Grate your cauliflower on a regular cheese grater (gym warriors, this is a great arm workout) transfer to a plate and microwave for four minutes; when it’s done, tip it onto a dry tea towel and allow to cool before gathering up and squeezing out most of the moisture. In a large mixing bowl add the grated mozzarella, parmesan, cauliflower, egg and oregano and mix it together. Tear off a piece of baking paper roughly as big as your baking tray and squash the ‘dough’ into whatever shape you prefer. Slide the paper with the pizza base onto the hot tray and return to the oven for around 10 minutes- it should be bronzed and bubbly. Top with the sauce, cheeses, oregano and the ‘anything else you want’ and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow it to cool for a few minutes, remove from the paper and enjoy!
Cauliflower Fried Rice
1 Cauliflower
1 Tsp Olive Oil or Sesame Oil
2 Cloves of garlic
2 fresh chilies
2 eggs
3 spring onions
1 Handful of fresh coriander/ 1 Tsp of dried coriander
1 Handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper
Soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to serve.
Grab your cauliflower and remove the leaves, grate into a bowl and set aside. Heat your chosen oil in a wok or frying pan and add the chopped garlic and chilies, fry for 1 minute and add the cauliflower. Season and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, it should start to become golden in colour. Add most of your spring onions, keep some back for later. As the ‘rice’ cooks, make a well in the centre and crack in an egg, allow it to cook for a few seconds, break it up with a spoon and stir. Repeat with the second egg. Add the coriander and serve, topping with the remaining spring onions, peanuts, a few drops of the soy & sweet chilli sauces.
So there you have it, when the weather gets to be too much for the ‘New You’ just remember, cauliflower = comfort!

Originally written for Her Campus Leeds

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