Cauliflower definitely rose in popularity with the rise of Paleo, low-carb and slow carb diets. It’s a non-starchy vegetable with loads of fiber and very little carbohydrates, but its star status comes from its versatility. Cauliflower is one of those low carb vegetables that can be pureed into mock mashed potatoes, baked into mock tortilla shells, shredded into cauliflower “rice” and roasted into all kinds of crusty deliciousness.
Who knew? I certainly didn’t, but now cauliflower is one of our go-to low carb vegetables. I am a particular fan of the mock mashed potatoes on busy week nights and this roasted cauliflower when my schedule is a bit more relaxed. It has been referred to (by internet sites anyway) as one of the world’s healthiest foods.
Low Carb Vegetables Dressed up with Sauces
While roasted cauliflower with a little oil and salt is fine on its own, it pairs perfectly with a range of sauces to add variety to your meals. Mustard sauces, tahini sauces, romesco sauces and chimichurri sauces all work to dress up roasted cauliflower and make it into a flavor bomb.
The recipe below involves a twist on a chimchurri sauce (I added almonds), but for a more traditional chimichurri sauce, see this recipe. Or try it with HeathGlen’s award-winning Romesco sauce. They are all great sauces and they can go with just about any other protein or vegetable on a slow-carb diet. Eggs too (of course).
Recipe for Low Carb Vegetables- Cauliflower with Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1 large cauliflower
- olive oil or nut oil
- 1 to 2 tsp salt
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 1/4 cup extra for basting
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional additions would include: oregano, smoked paprika, or cilantro
- Heat up an oven-proof skillet in in a 375 degree oven while you prepare the cauliflower (place a small pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create some steam)
- Tear off the cauliflower leaves and cut the stem to be flush with the base of the cauliflower. Now, carefully cut out the core of the cauliflower, attempting to not cut through any of the florets so that it stays in a round head.
- Rinse and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinklw heavily with salt and rub in.
- Put the cauliflower in the hot pan in the oven, core side down and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until very tender. Occasionally baste the cauliflower with the additional olive oil.
For the chimichurri sauce:
- Toast the almonds in a small skillet over low heat for a few minutes until they just start to brown and get a fragrance (don’t burn). Set aside to cool.
- In a blender or food processor combine almonds, garlic and butter and blend until smooth. Mix in the oil and vinegar. Blend in the herbs and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon into small bowl and serve with warm cauliflower. The sauce should keep in the refrigerator for several weeks at least.
There you go….Serve with your favorite protein dish and you have a special slow carb Sunday Dinner.