Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hash Brown Cauliflower-

We have been preparing our house to sell over the past eight weeks. Barbecue was not high on the list of activities during this time. Mostly it was packing and hauling and storing and fixing and painting and cleaning. Food was largely an afterthought. In addition, I have been working on correcting my diet, per the directions of my doctor. I have gone as far as I safely can along the path of negligent eating, and to continue down the path I have been on would unwise.

So, I have been experimenting with my diet over the past few weeks, trying to find a path back to a more reasonable weight and healthier lifestyle. There were days of frustration, low energy and depression. Other days were more successful and even on occasion fulfilling. I discovered that restricting carbohydrates or fats or calories alone was not a good way to go. Indeed, with regard to controlling carbs at the same time as fats I found that I would be working at cross purposes.

A lot of research has been part of my diet. In doing this research, I discovered Hash Brown Cauliflower. I do not like cauliflower that much. Very little, really. Yet this was a low carb offering to replace Hash Brown Potatoes. I was up for a bit of exploration, and so placed a request with our food manager (my daughter Beth) to arrange for the necessary groceries.

I had an electric skillet for the preparation. I chopped onions, a task I apparently have done seldom. I was not anywhere as skillful as the chefs I watch on The Food Network. I suppose I need a bit of practice. Anyway, a prep bowl of chopped onions was soon made ready. I then chopped some bacon. I really like bacon. Then the fun began.

It was necessary to shred cauliflower. I quartered the heads, and used a grater we had that was a plastic box with a grater for the lid. It was quite a bit of work. It was messy. Cauliflower does not maintain it's structural integrity under this kind of stress. I suspect that a food processor would be a very good tool for this job. I don't have one available right now, but it may soon be on my wish list.

Onions and bacon in the pan. Cook until browned. Add the cauliflower. Cook until browned on one side. Flip, cook the other side. At least, that is how it would have gone with a little more real estate devoted to cooking. The skillet was just too small for the amount of stuff I was cooking. I did my best, and once I deemed it done I put it in a bowl and placed it in the oven to stay warm.

Next, scrambled eggs. This I have done often enough it was not too hard. Once the eggs were ready it was time to dish it up. I pulled out the Hash Brown Cauliflower and scooped up a serving into my bowl, adding an equal measure of scrambled eggs. I mixed them up in the bowl and gave it a try.

It was definitely different. I really liked it! Quite surprising for a fellow who really really does not like vegetables. I tried a bite with a bit of ketchup, and found that quite tasty. However, ketchup is a bit high on the carbohydrate scale, so I tried adding some Sriracha sauce. I usually go easy with this sauce, since it is quite hot. I found it needed a bit more than my usual drop or two.

This adjustment was very good, indeed. A single serving of Hash Brown Cauliflower was quite satisfying, an important point when adjusting a diet. Smaller portions, no seconds, etc.

Chopped peppers could be added to this dish. Also, mushrooms. Yes, definitely mushrooms. I also look forward to testing herbs, and maybe a bit of roasted garlic.

I would also like a good sized griddle to allow preparation to be done so as to brown the hash a bit better. That, or doing smaller batches in this same skillet.

Anyway, that was my most recent food adventure. The selling of the house and moving and buying a new place will keep me a bit busy for the next several months, but I really do want to grill up some vegetables in the near future. Vegies are a big "YES" on a low carb weight loss diet. Time to master those vegetables!