Sans Meal Plan: Cauliflower Crust Pizza

For most people, cauliflower was not a popular vegetable growing up. It has a strange texture, very little flavor, and kind of looks like a bleached brain. Grossed out yet? Well don’t be. Cauliflower is actually an extremely versatile veggie — the transformer of food, if you will — and can be quite delicious. Try whipping up some mashed cauliflower, which tastes incredibly similar to mashed potatoes; if you’re feeling particularly daring, go for these insane triple-layer ricotta cauliflower mini cheesecakes. Below is one of our favorite renditions of the polarizing veggie – a surprisingly easy cauliflower crust pizza.

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We made two pizzas for a party of six, one with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and sautéed mushrooms, and one with pesto, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, and artichoke hearts. The original recipe, adapted from Love & Lemons, makes two 8-inch pies, but we doubled the recipe and made 2 larger pies. This recipe can also be vegan-ized with the omission of cheese!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups ground raw cauliflower flourettes (about 1 small head)
3/4 cup almond flour
3 eggs
pinches of salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

STEPS:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and chop the cauliflower, discarding the leaves and as much of the stem as possible. Load the cauliflower flourettes into a food processor and blend until it has reached a “riced” fluffy texture. (Note: if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender like we did – you just have to work in small batches and use the “pulse” mode on high.) At this point, the cauliflower should not be sticking together.

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It should look like this, but less dense… oops.

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Sans Meal Plan: Egg white vegetable frittata and sweet potato wedges

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It’s a widely known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is meant to provide the fuel that jumpstarts your day—whether it’s a meal to pregame a 9 a.m. midterm, or a bite at 11 a.m. before a Sunday spent in the Rock (Ed. Way too real.), it’s important that your body gets the nutrients it needs to keep you going. We love breakfast so much that we even made it for dinner.

This week, we whipped up an egg-white vegetable frittata accompanied by baked rosemary-paprika sweet potato wedges (we’ll call them wedges, but they’re really just fries). This is the perfect meal if you want to throw something together that’s quick, easy, and uses those veggies in your fridge while they’re still in their prime. There’s a lot of room for creativity, too—throw in any combination of vegetables, cheeses, or meats that sounds best to you. Yes, it might be considered breakfast, but who’s complaining? Check out the recipes after the jump.

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Sans Meal Plan: Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

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We’re off meal plan, and when it’s gross and cold out (I’m sorry, what exactly was coming from the sky this past week?) we can’t help but hole up in our apartments and take to the kitchen. Cold weather is the perfect excuse to eat some hearty root vegetables, and our favorite is the sweet potato. There are several ways that you can transform sweet potatoes into the perfect, satisfying meal—we opted for this delicious Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger recipe.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers with Crunchy Guacamole (Serves 3):
(adapted from Made to Create)

What you’ll need:

Burger Ingredients

  •  1/3 cup quinoa
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup white kidney beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chipotle or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic power (or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs 
  • Olive oil for cooking

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A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Sign up for a spring Market Share!

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Being on meal plan getting you down? Hungry for some fresh produce? Don’t worry, there’s STILL time to sign up for a Brown Market Share!

The Spring 2014 Market Share will run for 11 weeks, from February 6 to April 24. Distribution conveniently takes place every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Brown/RISD Hillel (the corner of Brown and Angell). Expect a variety of locally-sourced, farm-fresh produce every week. This includes root vegetables and wintergreens, as well as fresh bread, dairy products, and meat!

The deadline for sign-ups is this (UPDATE) Thursday, January 30 at 11:59 p.m . For more information, check out their website or Facebook page, and if you’re ready for a nourishing semester, click here to sign up.

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Sans Meal Plan: Puerto Rican-style rice and beans

Being off meal plan has really pushed my culinary boundaries. From making my way through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook to exploring the aisles of Trader Joe’s, I’ve tried it all. (Except maybe duck. I haven’t delved into fancy poultry.) However, when I don’t feel adventurous or I’ve had a hard day, there’s always one recipe I can fall back on: Puerto Rican-style rice and beans. It’s easy, it’s filling, and it reminds me of home. I could also eat it for a week straight and not get bored—an ideal recipe for any off meal plan cook.

Not pictured: the huge mess that is my kitchen.

Not pictured: the huge mess that is my kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • A couple of tablespoons of olive oil
  • Half an onion, minced
  • 1/3 of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 tablespoon of Goya seasoning (I use Cilantro y achiote, but any type works because Goya = food of the Gods.)
  • 1/4 tablespoon of oregano (I used thyme in this recipe, because I am a dorm room cook and I grab whatever herb is at arm’s length.)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons (or 1 large spoonful) of white cooking wine
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • A can of Goya red kidney beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Half of a chicken bouillon cube. Because Puerto Rican-style rice and beans are not strictly vegetarian. Oops.

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Sans Meal Plan: Steak Night

Given the amount of Scrubs I watched back in high school, I almost never think about it. For all the inside jokes and times I pissed myself laughing, Scrubs is sits deep in the recesses of my pop culture knowledge —back next to Salute Your Shorts, The Jersey or Don’t Look Under the Bed. In fact, I think about hating Zach Braff more than I think about Scrubs itself. Or I think about John C. McGinley in the abstract (because that’s where he looks best). There is one occasion on which I think about Scrubs immediately and without fail. That occasion is Steak Night. Continue Reading