Tempting Veggie Tots that Made Cauliflower a Welcomed Visitor

The Travelangs have been making an attempt to eat more vegetables and a wider variety of vegetables. That should read “The Mom” is making an attempt, but the rest of the TraveLangs are caught up in the journey.

It all started when the Father-In-Law needed a change in diet. We started preparing all his meals and taking them to him. We wanted to make sure he had fruits and vegetables, so salad became a staple.

It was only recently that he mentioned to my son that he has trouble chewing salad. I knew he had trouble with other things, but this information was new.

I made it my goal to provide a full meal without salad as an option (fruit is only a rare option because of high blood sugar).

So here we are. This week we have had zucchini chips, cheesy tomatoes, spinach loaf, butternut squash, roasted squash, green beans, and ratatouille (which included eggplant, a first for this mom) . . . and it’s only Wednesday.

Today’s experiments . . . I mean recipes . . . involves a veggie I have never ventured into on purpose. Cauliflower and I have never talked. I’ve seen Cauliflower at parties and it has even visited some of my side dishes at restaurants. But I have never had an initial encounter.

The Dad LOVES Cauliflower – which is once again proof positive that God does have a sense of humor.

I will make a confession here. Several years ago, you couldn’t have paid me to make broccoli. It had just been a party companion to cauliflower. One day, my son asked if we could try it. So I did – because when your kids start ASKING for healthy choices you bite the bullet and make the healthy choices. Now I LOVE it.

After a search for some veggie recipes, I decided I was going to have to extend Cauliflower an invitation.

| The Cauliflower Saga |

After my fiasco with ratatouille last night, I decided I should read the whole recipe I had downloaded for the cauliflower dish. The recipe for “Cauliflower Tots” came from CookBookMeals.com and looked simple enough.

Full disclosure: “recipe” simply offers a starting point for my cooking. I, in no way, believe it is a directive – kind of like most people driving along Hwy 431 in Alabama feel about road signs and driving laws.

| It Starts with a Pan |

Not only does it start with a pan, but my goal for every meal is to keep it to one pan. That way there is less for me to clean up. We probably should buy stock in aluminum foil with as much as we use in our cooking (not to mention crockpot liners and parchment paper).

The recipe called for softening the cauliflower in a skillet. Now, I’m prepared to invite Cauliflower into our home, but I’m not quite prepared to go out of my way for it. I decided to roast Cauliflower in the oven (and for those who are wondering I did have some great punchlines).

Something else you need to know about me is I rarely measure things. I am a full-on “pinch, dash, splash” kind of cook

I threw the roasted (and obviously happy) Cauliflower in the food processor, added some onion (what was left in the refrigerator of a sweet onion), about a tbsp. of garlic (because Garlic is ALWAYS invited), some salt and pepper, and chopped.

After they were chopped together, I stirred in some seasoned bread crumbs. I had about a cup leftover of the Full Circle Italian Style Bread Crumbs I had purchased on Saturday from Foodland Plus in Guntersville (I really like these because they are not as fine as the store brand bread crumbs). I added in two eggs, stirred everything well, and then put the “tots” on the same pan that I had used for the Cauliflower roast.

Finally, I baked at 425 degrees F, because that was what the oven was set to from the roast. I think the 400 degrees F suggested by the recipe might have provided a crisper finished product.

| The Verdict |

veggie tots for lunch

It’s usually a good sign when everyone is popping the bites in their mouth when they walk through the kitchen. If Cauliflower continues to show up with such flavorful fanfare then Cauliflower will be welcomed in our home!


The Mom

P.S. Cleanup only took about 10 minutes total!

What are some of your veggie favorites?

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