Since spring and Easter are upon us, please head over to All Through the Year Cheer to check out our Easter event. Submit any recipe you like that says Easter to you for a chance to win a lovely prize. Brandy and I are so excited to see what you all submit!
I love April Fools’ Day, especially as it relates to food. Dressing up food to look like something completely different from itself is adorable and so much fun (for kiddies and adults alike!). This April Fools’ Day I wanted to make a savory dish. I usually eat vegetarian 3 to 4 nights a week because I really enjoy eating and incorporating vegetarian foods into my routine eating (a few of my favorites are eggs, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts, and cheese). I thought a veggie-lentil “meat” loaf that actually looks like meat would be perfect for the occasion. And what better to go with meat than potatoes, right? I decided my potato fake-out would be a variation on the always-delicious mashed cauliflower.
The “meat” loaf looks decent, right? Almost edible in fact. Oh how looks can be deceiving…
Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies. I wanted to add it to the veggie-lentil loaf to bulk it up a bit, and also to tie the flavors in with the mashed cauliflower. In the end, this April Fools’ joke was on me. The mashed cauliflower ended up being the best mashed cauliflower I had ever made. It was incredibly silky smooth and creamy, and the roasted garlic gave it such a rich, deep flavor. On the other hand, the veggie-lentil loaf was absolutely inedible. I’m not even including the recipe here because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that. Ever. (Shudder.)
Cauliflower, being a cruciferous veggie (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale) can be very potent. Have you ever driven by a cabbage field and you knew instantly that it was a cabbage field because of its odor? This veggie-lentil loaf tasted how a cabbage field smells. If I ever make a veggie-lentil loaf again (trust me, it will be a while), I will definitely leave out the cauliflower.
As part of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program, I recently received two jars of sauce from Bertolli – a creamy alfredo sauce called Four Cheese Rosa and a spicy red tomato sauce called Arrabbiata. (A huge thank you goes out to Foodbuzz and Bertolli!) I love both sauces; the Four Cheese Rosa is creamy and absolutely delicious with a hint of tomato, and the Arrabbiata is a nice combination of spicy and sweet with both crushed red pepper and red bell pepper. Why am I talking about these sauces now? I decided to add some Arrabbiata sauce to the veggie-lentil loaf (both inside the loaf and on top as a ketchup replacement) and this sauce ended up being the one good thing about the veggie-lentil loaf. The Arrabbiata sauce was also amazing inside an omelet with mozzarella cheese and spinach.
I’m sending my Garlic Cauliflower Mash over to Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice for her Side-Dish Showdown!
Garlic Cauliflower Mash
(Yield: 4 servings)
1/2 small-medium head cauliflower, chopped
4 medium turnips, peeled and sliced
4-5 large cloves garlic
1/2 TB olive oil
4 oz Neufchatel Cheese
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley (optional; for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small piece of aluminum foil, place the garlic cloves (still in their peels), olive oil, and a pinch of salt; wrap up the garlic and bake for 1 hour, until the garlic is soft.
Boil the cauliflower and turnips together until very tender. In a food processor, pulse together the cooked cauliflower and turnips, the roasted garlic (removed from the peels), and the cheese until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with fresh parsley if desired.