It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t cooked as much as normal. But last night, I was due. I came home after the gym to find meat surprise in our crockpot.
Not knowing exactly what was in this concoction gave me the opportunity to create any sides I wanted. With a fresh bag of okra from Gainesville and a head of cauliflower that has been sitting in my fridge way too long, I decided to get to work.
Despite the components, it wasn’t a decidedly southern meal. I didn’t fry the okra, didn’t cover the cauliflower in cheese sauce and didn’t serve country fried steak. Instead, I roasted the okra in the oven and drummed up a savory cauliflower casserole. The meal was good and tasty–and after the first couple bites, I got used to the kick in meat surprise.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 pieces of bacon
- 1 tbsp butter
- 8 oz chicken stock (low-sodium)
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp tangy mustard
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
2. Cut or break cauliflower into florets and boil in water for roughly 10 minutes.
3. While you’re waiting on the cauliflower, cook the bacon. As you can tell, I like mine a little crispy.
4. When the bacon is cooked and cooled, crumble it and set aside. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If I’m being completely honest, I started nibbling on the bacon crumbles, and before you know it, I was down to about one piece of crumbled bacon. So I had to go back and cook another piece. Bacon is one of my downfalls, along with chocolate and cheese.
5. Once cauliflower has cooked, drain, add butter and stir until it’s melted. Then set aside.
6. In medium mixing bowl, whisk chicken stock, parsley, salt, pepper, mustard and soy sauce.
I had a little hiccup along the way. The soy sauce (yes, I know this contains wheat) was brand new and I couldn’t seem to open it. I tried with my bare hands until they were raw. Then I wrapped a dish towel around the top and tried again, but to no avail. Then I got wise and ran the top under hot water for 30 seconds. That seemed to do the trick.
7. Add in cauliflower and pesto (here’s my homemade version), and stir.
8. Place mixture in 8×8 casserole dish and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 25 minutes, and voila!