Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

Ok, so I’m on a harvest-theme here lately, and all the dishes that have been making me happy speak of (North American) Fall.

This dish is lighter-than-expected, makes a lovely salad for surprise company, and can be bulked up easily to feed a crowd.

It’s also fantastic topped with leftover turkey pancetta and pepitas from last week’s Fall Harvest Soup recipe.

Quick note: if your coconut flakes look like mine (shreds) and you toast your cauliflower as deeply as me (I like some burnt pieces), this dish may look like it has croutons in it. Which was giving my brain a weird disconnect that was less than pleasant. The coconut in here is actually really pleasant and gives a nice little subtly sweet nuttiness with a bit of texture.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

1 smallish head cauliflower, cut into small bits or riced (I did small bits because with my current kitchen setup I just can’t be bothered to fully rice cauliflower)

1 apple (Granny Smith or Fuji – you want something with a bit of tartness or crispness)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Double hand full flat leaf parsley, chopped

Pomegranate seeds (I’m lazy and buy mine prepared – I used a good amount and keep adding more fresh every time I go for leftovers because they’re delightful and so very pretty. Use however much your eye wants to bring nice color to this otherwise very green dish)

3 Tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

Few generous sprays oil (I love a grape seed oil pump I’ve been using lately – it’s really cutting down on the amount of oil I feel I have to use)

Generous sprinkle black pepper

Liberal amount of salt

Generous sprinkle cayenne pepper

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle cumin powder

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup unsweet shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Prep a baking sheet with a liner, process your cauliflower into tiny bits, and spread in a single layer.

Hit with the oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and curry). Toss and roast for 35-40 minutes or until your desired toastiness is achieved.

In the last 5 minutes (or if you forget, stir the cauliflower, flip the pan around and put back in the oven), chuck the almonds & coconut on the pan. Roast to toast 3-5 minutes, being careful to watch and make sure these delicate additions don’t burn.

When done, add to a large bowl.

Chop and toss in the apple, garlic and parsley. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Toss to combine. Add enough pomegranate arils to make yourself happy.

Serve room temp or cold – either way is fantastic.

Serves 4 as a meal or a party as part of a larger spread

Keto Pecan Stuffing

I was so excited about this recipe when I saw it on Pinterest. 

This is pretty much everything I want in stuffing – with none of the cloyingly dry grossness that is the bread. 

Keto FTW!

Gluten-free, paleo, Keto, Whole30

Keto Pecan Stuffing
Based on Low Carb Pecan Stuffing by Simply So Healthy

4 ribs celery
1/2 a white onion
8 – 10 ounces pecans
Fresh sage
Fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used bacon fat)
1 Tbsp. unsalted grass-fed butter
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Thinly slice the celery and dice the onion. Add to a large pan with the Tablespoon fat over medium heat. Sautée until the veggies are softened.
While the veggies work, mince the herbs (you’ll want 3 – 4 Tbsp. in total).

When the veggies are softened, add the herbs, pecans and butter. Sautée until the pecans are starting to burn. Hit with salt & pepper to taste.

Want to take this stuffing from delicious to ;)&(@,!?)’ delicious? Add the drippings from a turkey and cook an additional 3 – 5 minutes. This dish is great without, but with …. holy shit, this is good.

Serves 4 or so as part of a big holiday spread. 

Bread-Free Pork & Sweet Potato Stuffing

Mmmm… stuffing. Some people seem to go bugnutty over stuffing this time of year. I think Stove Top has addressed this issue properly in their holiday 2013 spots – hilarious. I remember just such “wars” breaking out at Thanksgiving when I was a kid. My family was divided – some preferred Stove Top, some Pepperidge Farms, and some my grandmother’s oyster dressing made with wild rice (which, to be fair, was always served alongside stuffing – and was gross).

Me? I’ve never been too crazy about stuffing. Or dressing, for that matter. I loved bread as much as the next kid – but dressing, not so much. And stuffing in the bird always freaked me right out. About the only part of the whole stuffing/dressing issue I dug were the two bites of almost burnt, butter-drenched bites on the top (or bottom – depends on who was doing the scooping) of the bowl (but only if it had a lot of celery) and that’s about it. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and that infernal canned cranberry jelly were really where it was always at for me. Don’t get me started on cranberry sauce vs. cranberry jelly. I realize the stuff in the can is possibly radioactive and only maybe once met a cranberry somewhere way back in its past – but yum. Gelatinous tart and sweet tastiness. “Fancy” cranberry sauce is just wrong.

Enter adulthood, and my own Turkey Day traditions – and nary a stuffing or dressing in sight. I still do a green bean, usually some sort of gravy (sadly, not my grandmother’s giblet gravy – that recipe I don’t have and can’t find), a bevy of potatoes, and generally some sort of decadent pork dish at the center.

This paleo-ified and gluten-free stuffing would make the perfect holiday get-together side – and makes a darn tasty dinner in and of itself. Plus, any leftovers can be transformed into a luxurious lunch with the addition of — wait for it — you’ll never guess — an egg.


Bread-Free Pork & Sweet Potato Stuffing 

1 pound ground pork
4 ribs celery
1/4 c. chopped pecan bits
1 Tbsp. fresh picked thyme
5 small cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted grass-fed butter (Kerrygold)
2 small sweet potatoes (about 2 cups when diced)
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium – medium-high heat. Add the pork and start breaking up with a spatula. Sautee until deeply browned, mashing and stirring frequently to break up into as tiny pieces as possible and avoid over-browning.

While that is working, peel and petite dice the sweet potatoes. Chop the celery and garlic. Pick the thyme and chop.

When the pork is done, remove to a paper towel lined bowl to hang out for awhile (keep the fat in the pan to use for the veggies).

Add the potatoes, celery & garlic to the pan. If there is less than a Tablespoon or so of fat in the pan, add a little coconut oil. Add the onion powder, thyme, a few pinches salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Sautee the veggies, stirring frequently and turning the heat down to medium if necessary until the celery is beginning to soften and the potatoes have gone soft and golden in spots. This should take 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a smallish pan over medium heat and add the butter. Add the pecans and cook until beginning to brown.

To serve, mix all components – the reserved browned pork niblets, potato mixture and pecans and chow down.

Makes enough to feed 2 for dinner as a main dish + 1 for lunch bolstered with a couple of eggs. If you want to serve a whole gathering, scale up – keeping the ratio of thyme-heaviness, celery and onion powder appropriate to your amount of sweet potatoes.