Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

The recipe for these Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks contains ZERO flour.  They are totally gluten-free and extremely low in carbs! You will want to keep this recipe close!IMG_6332 Holy smokes!  Is it really February already?!  Where does the time go?  In case you didn’t know, today is Groundhog Day.  Good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow once again.

So, yes.  It really is February already!  One month has really passed since New Years and I really need to start getting back on track with my low-carb eating habits.  This recipe for Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks is a winner, winner, chicken dinner!  The cauliflower binds with an egg and some parmesan cheese to make a hearty, flavorful crust.  Gluten free friends– this concoction is a terrific alternative to buying a prepackaged GF mix because the main ingredient is a vegetable, hello!? Even if you are not avoiding gluten, it is pretty darn easy to eat vegetables when they don’t taste like vegetables!  Now you can be sneaky with those picky eaters in your life! IMG_6287I used to hate cauliflower as a kid.  It was always cut up raw and served cold next to broccoli on veggie trays…and it was disgusting.  Bleh.  It was powdery, chunky, gritty, and tasteless.  I guess I probably still feel that way.  I can’t eat it raw.  I just can’t.  It’s just not good.  But…if I grind it up, mix it with some cheese, add a little ranch flavor, and top all that with even more cheese, I could eat cauliflower for days.IMG_6174

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Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

  • Servings: Makes about 12 sticks, depending on how you slice it
  • Difficulty: A little advanced, but YOU CAN DO IT!
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Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1oz dry ranch dressing packet
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty bag of frozen cauliflower into food processor.  Pulse until finely ground.  Cauliflower should resemble a powdery, rice substance.
  3. Transfer ground cauliflower to microwave-safe bowl and cook in microwave for two minutes; stirring after each minute.  This helps to fluff/steam cauliflower–you want the moisture to be pulled out of it.
  4. If steamed cauliflower is warm, refrigerate until cool.
  5. Add parmesan cheese, egg, ranch packet, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to cauliflower. Stir until combined. (Mixture will be wet and sticky.)
  6.  Pour mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread/shape into a pizza crust or breadstick shape. Do not spread too thin; should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Bake crust in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove crust from oven and layer with ranch dressing (like pizza sauce) and top generously with shredded mozzarella.
  9. Place pan back into oven for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden.
  10. Slice and serve with marinara sauce or a sauce of your choice!

***Notes:  If you do not have a food processor, I would suggest grating the cauliflower with a cheese grater and chopping it as finely as possible.  If you do not have parchment paper, you can still make this!  Just grease the pan extra, extra well.  You can also use raw cauliflower, of course.  You’ll just have to prepare it and steam it and start at step 4.  This recipe is also perfect for pizza crust!  The base is the same.  You can change the seasonings and substitute Italian seasoning or oregano.

 

 

 

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Beer Bacon Chili

beerchili5Beer, bacon, and chili.  Three powerful words that tend to grab people’s taste buds on their own.  Put the beer and bacon INSIDE the chili, and you’ll have people knocking on your door for days!

This Beer Bacon Chili is chock-full of flavor.  It is the ultimate chunky chili and can satisfy the brawniest of appetites.  It is the perfect amount of food for a family.  There’s not so much that you’ll have to eat chili for a week, which is nice.  This is my go-to chili recipe.  The bacon gives the chili a bolder, more meaty flavor.  The beer shines through in the end.  This recipe can be made your own by adding additional spices or beans.  The flavors all marry each other incredibly well.  I’ve never been in a Chili Cookoff, but I’m confident that this chili recipe is one that would stand out in a crowd.  I hope you are as enthusiastic about it as I am 🙂beerchili9Earlier this week, it was sunny and 65 degrees.  It was incredibly nice, so I did what every other Coloradoan did– took my car to the car wash.  Then yesterday came. Yesterday was wet and snowy.  Two days of a spotless, shiny car ruined by wet, sloppy slop.  Mmhmm.  Fortunately, this chili did a great job pulling me out of my despair.  (I still might be a tiny bit bitter about it, might be.) But it really is a perfect cold weather, cheer-you-up kind of meal.beerchili8Yeah, baby.

Beer Bacon Chili

  • Servings: Serves 6 (easily doubled)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 lbs. of ground beef or turkey, thawed (I used 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika
  • cayenne pepper (use up to 2 teaspoons if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 14.5oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, or crushed
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer (I used a seasonal Blue Moon from the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can of pinto beans, drained
  • variety of toppings for garnish: jalapenos, green peppers, white queso, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits

What to do:

  1. In a 6-quart stock pot, cook bacon pieces on high heat until brown.
  2. Add chopped onion to pot, cover with lid, and cook until onions on low/medium heat until they are clear.
  3. Uncover pan, add garlic, stir and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Turn stove to medium/high heat and add ground beef; breaking up with wooden spoon and stirring about 5 minutes.
  5. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Cook for another minute.
  6. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire sauce to pot and bring mixture to boil.
  7.  Once boiling, turn stove to medium/low and cover pot halfway.  Set timer for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, drain beans and add to chili. Cook 10 more minutes, uncovered.
  9. Serve chili warm and top with whatever you’d like!

 

Notes** This chili is REALLY good right away, but even better reheated and eaten the day after.  Also, I apologize for not documenting step-by-step this time.  Chili isn’t pretty until it’s done 🙂beerchili4