Take cauliflower up a notch with a 5 minute sauce and a side dish that can easily be turned into a vegetarian main with Cauliflower Steaks with Spicy Romesco Sauce and Olives.
About two weeks ago I was prepare dinning and my husband turns to me and goes “I want to do Whole30 again.”
I admit I was shocked at first and the words “okay. . .” came out of my mouth. I was a little surprised at myself because the first go around, which was just about this time two years ago, left me feeling miserable at the end. There were a lot of circumstances at that time that led me to feeling that way but I found the diet to be such a challenge and barely made it to the 30 days. I said yes this time because all those stresses in my life were gone and we really did need a diet reset.
Recipe developer may be my job title but it doesn’t mean I always have the best diet in the world. Sometimes I taste 3-4 different dishes in a day. Sometimes those dishes are desserts, sometimes I spend all day making cookies and then having one or two for lunch because it’s all I have time for. Then sometimes we just end up eating out because when you’ve been in the kitchen all day cooking you don’t really want to reheat what you’ve made earlier in the day. We were in a rut and not in a healthy eating one. Whole30 was going to fix that and the extra benefit would be a few pounds taken off the waistline, which shhh don’t tell was our other reason for doing it.
The first time we did Whole30 we pondered and planned for a month. This time we just jumped right into things. Out went the non-compliant leftovers and any dairy we thought wouldn’t last by the end of 30 days. The cheese we knew would last got wrapped tight and placed into the back of the fridge to be enjoyed again at some point in the future.
Then I started to meal plan. Unlike last time I wasn’t going to get board with my meals. The first night I really got into things, I had all 4 burners going and then oven. I was exhausted but dinner was delicious and then I realized I can’t keep this up. I need to figure out no wheat, no dairy, no sugar and no legume friendly 30 minutes meals.
I also started to discover every which way to cook cauliflower.
Cauliflower is so cheap right now, my favorite fruit and vegetable stand in my neighbor is selling farm fresh cauliflower 2 for $5 and I just keep going back for more.
It’s been roasted, riced and mashed and now it was time to steak it. I didn’t know if cauliflower steak was still a thing but I’ve always be late on trends anyway. Plus this is a meal that can easily go vegan/vegetarian or bulked up more with a piece of protein on the side and completed in 30 minutes.
The romesco sauce takes all of 5 minutes and I’ve cut time by using jarred roasted red peppers because who has time to roast their own? This sauce makes more than enough to keep for leftovers unless you’re my husband who dumps it on everything, in that case, make extra to keep. This is a sauce that’s great on pretty much anything.
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes from a can
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1-2 teaspoons harissa paste (add more for additional heat)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
- Heat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Slice the cauliflower down the center and cut into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch steaks, cutting through the center stalk as best you can to hold the steak together. You should be able to get 2-3 steaks per head of cauliflower. Cut the remaining cauliflower into florets and save for a later use or roast along side the steaks.
- Place on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon avocado oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes, flipping about halfway through. The steaks should be roasted dark and be nice and caramelized and crispy.
- While the cauliflower is roasting place the red peppers, almonds, crushed tomatoes, parsley, harissa paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Drizzle the olive oil through the top and stop with thick and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- To serve: place a generous serving of sauce on the bottom of a plate, place the cauliflower steak on top and then top with chopped olives. Garnish with parsley if desired.
- Store leftover romesco sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.