During the summer, as temperatures climb up and the layers come off, it’s all too easy to focus on the foods we can’t eat this time of year, rather than those we can. In chef Alex Thomopoulos’ philosophy, instead of obsessing about the foods we can’t eat, we should celebrate the list of foods we can eat and maximize all the exciting ways in which those foods can be prepared! Alex, who has Celiac Disease, a condition with it’s own stringent dietary restrictions, has gained this attitude from years of culinary creativity dealing with her own list of “can’t eats”.
We love this all-seasons recipe for Alex’s faux couscous made with garden-fresh cauliflower. Feast on this unique recipe, also featured on her site Alex T Cooks, and never crave its grainy counterpart again! Here’s Alex…
The key to a healthy diet is to celebrate the foods that work for us. Make a list of the foods you can eat and invent new and unique ways to cook them so you can keep yourself full, happy and healthy.
It was in this mentality that my cauliflower couscous recipe was born. I was desperate for a carb on my dinner plate, so I went down the list of foods I could eat to see how I could feed my craving. Most of the recipes I found for cauliflower prepared in this way lacked flavor. I like my food packed with “smack you in the mouth” flavor in every bite. Even when you are trying to eat clean, flavor should never be sacrificed.
Cauliflower pairs beautifully with roasted nuts and tangy dried fruits. In order to balance the earthy, rich, nutty sweetness of the cauliflower you need something bright. In this recipe I use lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley.
Cauliflower Couscous with Roasted Almonds and Apricots
1 large head of cauliflower, grated (yields approx. 4 cups)
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Break the cauliflower head up into large florets. With a grater or food processor, grate or pulse the cauliflower until it resembles couscous.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes until they are golden brown. Add the cauliflower, a teaspoon of salt and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Place contents into bowl and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, dried apricots, roasted almonds, parsley. Mix to combine and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if necessary.