Dinner. During the week dinner is the only meal of the day we are all share together. I know I have written before how different dinner time is now compared to before children. More mess, more noise, and recently not very relaxing as child no.1 and child no.2 have yelling matches as he and I try to connect and talk about our day. A recent development to our happy family dinner time, it will pass soon (I hope).
An approach I have adopted since having children is the concept of a dinner plan. Something I would have never dreamed of pre-children as cooking a meal at the end of the day was my wind-down and creative time. However, when my son was first diagnosed with a dairy intolerance I found a meal plan very helpful – it was amazing how reliant we were on dairy in most meals. Now that he is older and not so sensitive, I can incorporate several dairy containing meals into the week – just not every day.
When I know we have a busy week ahead with deadlines (me) and long days (him) I still often jot down a list of meals for the week ahead so I can be prepared ahead of time. I will then make a list of ingredients to shop for and know what I need to get out of the freezer to defrost during the week. Other weeks that are a little less busy I make a mental list of meals for 3-4 days at a time. I like to plan a balance of vegetable based, seafood and meat based meals.
One of the things I most enjoy about blogging is the sense of community. It is not a competition to see who is the best foodie out there, rather a interweb of support and encouragement. And an immense source of inspiration. I have gained more food knowledge and recipe ideas in the last 8 months of blogging as I have in the 8 years of food writing. One such source of inspiration is from fellow NZ blogger Eleanor Ozich and her beautiful blog Petite Kitchen. If you haven’t come across Eleanor’s blog yet you have to check it out, we share a similar approach to healthy clean eating.
I first came across this cauliflower crust pizza on Petite Kitchen and as we eat mostly gluten-free around here I had to try it. I first made it for Mika’s birthday and it was the devoured by everyone – adults and children alike. Instead of using flour this crust calls for cauliflower that is first cooked off to evaporate as much moisture as possible then mixed with egg and cheese (or coconut flour if we need to hold back on the dairy) then pressed into a pizza shape and baked. I like to top with a selection of vegetables and toasted seeds to make it one our ‘vegetable based’ meals for the week.
Adapted from [Petite Kitchen|www.petite-kitchen.co.nz} (doubled recipe)
1 cauliflower head, approx 1kg with leaves
1 Tbsp ghee or olive oil
3 free-range eggs
Handful grated Parmesan (or 3 Tbsp coconut flour* for dairy-free)
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Grated carrot mixed with grated cheese (or omit for dairy-free)
Toasted sunflower seeds
- Preheat oven 220C. Heat a pizza stone or baking tray.
- Trim the cauliflower leaves and roughly chop the head into florets. Put this into a food processor and blitz until a breadcrumb like texture. If your food processor bowl is small this may need to be done in several batches. Heat a frying pan, add the ghee/ olive oil and add the cauliflower. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often until the moisture has evaporated. Tip into a bowl and stir to cool a little.
- Add the remaining crust ingredients and combine. Remove the hot pizza stone from the oven, line with baking paper, tip on the cauliflower mixture and quickly press into a pizza crust about 1cm thick. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the crust is firm and golden.
- Spread the pizza crust with tomato paste, scatter with spinach leaves, top with grated carrot and cheese (if using) and crumble over the feta. Finish with a sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds. Cook for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.
- Note: the crust will not be as firm as a flour-based dough. It should hold together in your hand but is not crispy.
*Coconut flour is available from organic stores and some supermarkets. It is very absorbent so will help absorb the moisture of the cauliflower.