Tag Archives: flour alternatives

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Mongolian Beef and Broccoli over Cauliflower Rice

Always on the lookout for new Whole 30 recipes, I stumbled on this gem from thehealthfoodie.com today. I am allowing myself to use soy sauce, cause my little grocery store would scoff at me if I asked for coconut aminos. I can see the little old lady with the perpetual scowl who works there shaking her head with a grimace if I would ask. I also didn’t use the honey, and I used regular old table salt, not that fancy high faluting Himalayan salt. It was delicious.

I think the best thing out of this recipe, though, is the cauliflower rice! Oh boy, I’ve heard people say it was good, but dude. That was good. I can make that for many side dishes, not just this one. DH doesn’t particularly like spaghetti squash, which I try to use as a replacement for pasta, but he liked this. I didn’t tell him what it was, though, so he may have thought it was something like couscous or something. *shrug* But the important thing is that he liked it.

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli over Cauliflower Rice
adapted from thehealthfoodie.com

Cauliflower Rice
1 small head cauliflower, zinged into rice-like pieces in the food processor
1 T lard
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 T garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 T sesame seeds
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T roasted sesame oil

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli
2 T lard
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ cup soy sauce
2 T garlic
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt and black pepper
1 T tapioca powder
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
½ bag frozen broccoli

First, make the cauliflower rice: Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few quick times (about 10 to 15) until it resembles the texture of rice. You may have to do this in batches, because if you put too many in the bowl, the blade won’t touch the top pieces and the bottom ones will start to turn into mush.
Add the lard to a large skillet set over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, sesame seeds, salt and pepper until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add riced cauliflower, vinegar and sesame oil and continue cooking for an additional 5-8 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked but remains a tad crunchy.
Remove from heat.

Now, make the Mongolian beef: Heat the lard in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, tapioca powder and a pinch of salt and pepper to a glass measuring cup and whisk until well combined.
Pour that mixture in the pan with the onions and let it come to a boil. Continuously whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 2 minutes.
Dump the steak slices in the pan with the sauce. Cover and simmer the meat in the sauce for 4-5 minutes, or until no red meat is apparent.
When the meat is almost done, add the broccoli. Cook until heated through.

Delish. It was very, very good. A little salty, because of the soy sauce, and so I may take out the extra salt next time, but not enough of a problem to wreck the dish. I was surprised that it wasn’t too hot, because of the red pepper flakes, but it wasn’t. The meat was fork tender and very nicely flavored. We had enough for DH, Boobock and I, and enough for a really nice healthy meal for lunch on Friday. Some additions I thought of after the fact: bean sprouts, large rings of onion, sweet or jalapeño peppers (?) with the meat, peas and carrots in the cauliflower rice (after the whole 30 is over).

Here it is, before devouring.
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Also, a hint on finding a lid for a cast iron skillet. Use an upside down cast iron griddle pan! Works like a charm.
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Thank you, thehealthfoodie.com for the inspiration!

Zucchini fritters

My goodness, is this going to be a blog about zucchini?  Well, no, that isn’t the plan, but with bucketsful coming out of the garden that is what I am spending most of my free time thinking of how to use.

So, zucchini fritters.  As you know, I am trying to eat paleo, so using flour is a no no.  The Zucchini Flour is a nice substitute for this recipe.

Once again, I used a zucchini bat. I used one that was about 15″ long, and this recipe yielded 6 fritters. I cut the ends off, split lengthwise, and scooped out the seeds just like in the zucchini flour post. Then, I laid it cut side down so I wasn’t cutting a moving round boat and cut it into large strips.

zucchini strips

I put this into the food processor and shredded, then set into strainers to drain. I sprinkled salt on and worked the salt into the zucchini and waited about 15 minutes.

shredded zucchini

 

I then squeeeeeeeezed the zucchini between my hands to get the moisture out.  Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze.  You want it to be quite dry and firm when you are done.  My notes, in fact, said “squeeze the piss out of it.”  So do that.  Then just add the spices, an egg, and the flour.

zucchini fritter ingredients

I used:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Jack’s Seasoning (an all purpose seasoning salt…with less salt flavor than most)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 cup zucchini flour
  • 1 tsp salt – but this was too much salt when combined with salt used to get the water out.  I will eliminate this next time.

Mix together (with your hands) and make into patties.  If it still feels too wet, add more zucchini flour.  I used an electric skillet on 350* and cooked them in lard.  You can use any other oil, of course, but then you will be missing out on the yummy goodness of lard. You want them to brown nicely on one side before flipping them.  Messing with them too much will make them fall apart, so just leave them alone until you need to flip, then flip carefully.

cooking zucchini fritters

Perfect!  These are very filling, and each of us could only eat one with our meal.  They turned out almost sweet.  I had tried these before with almond flour, and the almond taste completely overwhelmed the rest of the flavors, so using the zucchini flour is definitely the way to go if you can’t use regular flour.  To warm leftovers, I would use a skillet on pretty low heat so you can warm them up all the way through without burning.

done zucchini fritters

Zucchini flour

I’m currently trying to eat Paleo, to help with weight loss and fertility issues.  I have PCOS and am insulin resistant, and following a low carb/whole foods diet is really helping with my hormonal and weight problems.  So, of course, that means no flour.  I’ve tried just not using it (impossible with some recipes), I’ve tried almond flour (expensive, and gives some recipes a strange flavor).  And of course, I have zucchini coming out the wahzoo, so I might as well experiment.

Turns out, zucchini flour is easy peasy.  Takes a while (the drying part), but isn’t difficult.

First, grab a zucchini bat.  You know the one.  The one hiding under the leaf that you haven’t check for a week or two.  The footer.  Grab that one. Cut off both ends.

large zucchini

 

I then stand it up on one flat surface and carefully cut it in half.  Carefully.  If you have crappy knife skills, don’t do this.  In fact, if you have crappy knife skills and/or bad hand eye coordination, why don’t you just go ahead and skip this post…

zucchini standing up

Now, scoop out the seeds.  I use a large heavy spoon and just scoop scoop scoop.  It doesn’t have to be perfect…this isn’t fine furniture.  I discard the seeds into the scrap bucket to go to the chickens.

scooping out seeds

 

 

I don’t have a mandolin slicer, so I tried a few different things.   I tried just slicing with a knife, but they were uneven.  I tried the food processor, but that gave me little chips, not long slices.  Not efficient.  So, I came up with this way…again, if you have clumsy hands, just look away now, please.

Use the stem of your food processor and put the slicing disk on it.  Hold the stem like a handle.

stem and disk

Now, carefully use the slicing portion of the disk to slice the zucchini lengthwise.  The zucchini is a semi-circle at first, and I slice the bottom portion off, and keep slicing that plane until the two sides fall apart.  You can see in this picture that I am pushing the zucchini to the left with my right hand over the slicing disc, and the slice of zucchini is coming out underneath.  You have to really pay attention to where your fingers are and how close you are to that sharp knife edge, but if you are careful, this really saves some time.

sliced zucchini

 

Once the zucchini falls apart, and the two sides are left, repeat for each of those sides.  The slices come out perfectly the same width.  I then cut in half lengthwise so more will fit on the dehydrator.

sliced zucchini

 

Ready to put on the dehydrator.  I dehydrate this until super dry on 140 degrees.  I usually wait about 24 hours, but that is because it takes me that long to get back to it.  It could be done earlier…just be sure that it is crisp.

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When the zucchini is completely dry, put it in your blender and blend into a fine powder.

zucchini flour

I store mine in a quart mason jar.  You could oven can this if you get enough, since it is dry.  (Oven canning isn’t safe for anything other than dry ingredients, though.)

zucchini flour in jar

I have the following Food Processor and Dehydrator:
Cuisinart DLC-2007N Prep 7 7-Cup Food Processor, White

Nesco American Harvest FD-61WHC Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator All-In-One Kit with Jerky Gun