I love it when I am surprised by how good a recipe turns out! Not that I ever anticipate something being horrible, i’m no pessimist. But the truth is, sometimes the things I cook SUCK! My fiance can attest to this…
Luckily, this little experiment turned out really delicious. I have to pace myself when I eat cauliflower, though. It tends to be one of those vegetables that, well, it makes me bloat. Gassy… if we’re doing #RealTalk
Honestly, I take this as a good thing because it’s yummy, but I know that it’s important to have portion control 🙂
Alright, enough about all this talk. Let’s get into the recipe!
Since the main food in this recipe is cauliflower, I wanted to find a nutrient-rich alternative that added a little protein as the coating. So instead of panko bread crumbs as many recipes for this type of dish call for, I used Trader Joe’s Almond Meal instead.
Almond meal is friendly to several of the diets I like to pull aspects from in my recipes. It’s paleo, Whole30 and gluten free approved! Also, I used 2 eggs to help the almond meal stick to the cauliflower florets and this method is also approved by all three diets!
So your first step in this recipe is to get your cauliflower ‘breaded’ in the almond meal! It can be a little bit of a process to get each piece of your cauliflower coated and placed on a baking sheet, but I’ve got a little trick up my sleeve to make it easier for y’all!
Shish kabob skewers!
I used the skewers and just stuck it in the bottom of the cauliflower while I coated each piece with egg and then the almond meal.
You can make yourself a little assembly line with the cauliflower pieces, egg and almond meal. Then just plop them on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then they are ready to bake!
Ok, so below are all the ingredients + the instructions on how to make the final meal! I made this recipe paleo, Whole30 and gluten free friendly! However, what you eat the glazed cauliflower with is where the different diets really get separated. More on that later!
–I N G R E D I E N T S
For the cauliflower you’ll need:
- 2 12 oz. Bags of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Florrets
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups Trader Joe’s “Just Almond Meal”
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. garlic sea salt (or Primal Palate Organic Spices Garlic & Herb Flavor works too)
- 1 baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- 1 or 2 shish kabob sticks
For the honey-garlic glaze you’ll need:
- 12 tbsp. lite agave or try this Nature Nate’s Raw and Unfiltered Honey (paleo option*) or 1/2 cup pineapple juice (Whole30 option) (all options work for gluten free diets)
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 3/4 cup water + 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 3 tbsp. Coconut Aminos (a soy-free substitute to soy sauce- I used the Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Sauce)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sriracha sauce (this ingredient is not compliant with Whole30 or Paleo diets, so if you’re being super strict, leave this out or you can make your own Whole 30/Paleo approved sriracha sauce)
*there seems to be a lot of debate in the paleo community about whether honey is approved or not. I’ve seen a few sources say that it is ok as long as it’s raw and organic. While other sources say a hard no. If you are on this diet for medical reasons, please consider leaving the sauce off.
–I N S T R U C T I O N S
For the cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Set up your assembly line with your eggs in one bowl, almond meal (seasoned with the ginger and garlic sea salt) in the next and your shish kabob sticks and cauliflower ready to dip.
- Stick your shish kabob stick in the end of the cauliflower and then dip the whole piece in the egg and tap the stick on the side to drip off any excess egg before you dip it in the almond meal.
- Next up, roll around the egg coated cauliflower piece in the almond meal until thoroughly coated. Then you’ll carefully push your cauliflower piece off onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Repeat this process until all your cauliflower is coated.
- Pop these in the oven for at least 20 minutes. In my oven it took me about 24 minutes with the last 2 minutes being under the broiler to crisp the almond meal just a little more. The finished cauliflower should look like this:
For the sauce
- Combine all the ingredients except the water and cornstarch into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir to make sure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
- Add the water + cornstarch mixture into the simmering other ingredients. Stir together until everything is combined thoroughly and bring back to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens. This took me about 3-5 minutes, but I checked it frequently and stirred a few times to make sure it didn’t boil.
- Once the sauce thickens, then you’re done! The sauce should look like this when it’s about done:
Ok, now here’s the best part. Time to eat!
Below I have a few different suggestions for what you could eat the baked cauliflower + glaze
- Avocado with kale moistened with lemon juice
- As mentioned above, there seems to be a lot of debate about honey being paleo approved. Should you not be sure, I would just enjoy the baked cauliflower part of this recipe atop this suggested salad. It will be just as yummy!
- Sauté zucchini noodles in the coconut aminos, top with toasted sesame seeds
Gluten Free Diet:
- Quinoa with toasted kale
- steamed brown rice (which is what I personally ate with my cauliflower)
You can find this recipe over on the CookItHealthy MyFitnessPal profile for easy adding to your daily calorie/macro counting.
For those of you not on the MyFitnessPal app, here’s the link to the recipe nutrition breakdown.
Have any other ideas for what you could enjoy this meal with, let me know! Please let me know what you all think of this recipe and if you have any feedback!