Sunday, January 12, 2014

Team Lean: The Ultimate Low-Calorie, Paleo, Vegan Meal

Stop the presses!

I've found the BEST meal ever!

Faux couscous.

Or better yet. Fouscous.

Oh, yes. Fouscous.

Couscous is made from semolina. It's like a noodle, but crumbly, if that makes any sense. It's really yummy, too, but our family is gluten-free, so wheat-based couscous is a no-go for us.

This stuff is made from cauliflower.

Cauliflower is crazy high in vitamin C, magnesium, B-6, and molybdenum. It's GREAT for you. Like most vegetables, it's really low in calories (only about 150 calories per head). I don't know about you, though, but that's not enough to make me eat it raw.

When I saw a similar recipe over at Melanie Johnson's blog, Antiquated Notions, I was torn. I despise raw cauliflower, but out of my love for and deprivation from couscous, I decided to give it a try. I developed this recipe for the stovetop and gave it a Northern African flavor (that's from where couscous originates).

Here we go!


1 head cauliflower
1 large onion
2T fat
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. corriander
2 pinches dried basil
1/8 tsp. garam masala

Chop one cauliflower and one large onion into small pieces. Pulse them in the food processor until it resembles small crumbles (couscous). Set aside until all of the cauliflower is crumbly.

Heat 2 T of your choice of fat (olive oil, coconut oil, butter, etc.). When it is melted, add 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic and the cauliflower/onion mixture. While cooking add 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. ground coriander seed, 2 pinches of dried basil, 1/8 tsp. garam masala (or just cloves, if you don't have garam masala). Cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and fragrant (about 10 minutes).

And that's it.

For an extra punch of nutrients, add a side of collard greens. I found some pre-chopped last week and about did a dance in the store (I despise chopping greens even more than I despise eating raw cauliflower).

For extra protein, throw in some fava beans, or pintos or navy beans, if (like me) you don't have a local source for favas.

One batch of this feeds about 5 people, so for my crew, I make two heads. No one left the table hungry. You can absolutely STUFF yourself on this with minimal caloric impact. Eating a quarter of a batch would be about 80 calories. Add a side of greens, some beans, and you are set for the best low calorie meal ever!

This is a homeschooling blog, so here's the educational bit. Cauliflower is so called because the farmer ties the leaves up over the flower buds (the white part) to make it especially white. The leaves look like a hood, or caul, ergo CAUL-i-FLOWER.

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