Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower Steaks

Have you ever had something so unexpectedly delicious that you just don’t know what to do with yourself? That’s what happened with these cauliflower steaks. I’m sure they are delicious simply because they are delicious.  BUT. When all you’ve eaten for 5 meals in a row is lettuce with more lettuce and a bit of lemon juice and avocado thrown in for good measure, they turn into the most

I’m sure they are delicious simply because they are delicious.  BUT. When all you’ve eaten for 5 meals in a row is lettuce with more lettuce and a bit of lemon juice and avocado thrown in for good measure, they turn into the most incredible delicacy you’ve ever had in your whole life.

The good news is, the “steaks” are approved for all phases of The Plant Paradox Program* and are lectin free, nightshade free, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and everything else free.

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Cauliflower Steaks

An unexpectedly delicious to your next meal. 

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Plant Paradox, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Emily Levenson

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp avocado (or olive) oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Trim the green ends off the cauliflower and then cut in half. Take one half and cut in half again (about 1/2 - 3/4" thick). You should have one piece with two cut/flat sides. That's the "steak". Do the same with the other half of the cauliflower and set aside the remaining portions for another use. 

  3. Heat a cast iron skillet (or another oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of avocado (or olive) oil and add the cauliflower steaks to the pan and sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt before turning. Add another tbsp of oil and sear for 3-4 minutes more. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

  4. Remove from heat and transfer skillet to the oven. Roast at 400°F for 15 minutes. 

  5. Remove from oven and serve hot. 

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, wheat free, corn free, soy free, lectin free. 

PS — In case you’re more of a visual person, I found this video on making Cauliflower Steaks from Katie Quinn to be SUPER helpful.

 

*This is an affiliate link.

Phase I of The Plant Paradox Plan: What we got and what it cost

Phase I of The Plant Paradox Plan: What we got and what it cost

We have officially embarked on Phase I of The Plant Paradox* Program (AKA The Program).

And by we, I mean myself and my husband.

We are following The Program as closely as possible and are using all of the recipes in the book. We are also going to be doing the vegetarian and vegan modifications since we couldn’t find the requisite pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, or Quorn products in our local stores.

What we’ll be eating in Phase I:

  • Breakfast: Green smoothie
  • Lunch + Dinner: Salads with either wild-caught salmon or cauliflower “steaks”.
  • Snacks: 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts or romaine boats with guacamole.

We purchased everything at Trader Joe’s and WholeFoods. Below is an itemized list of what we got and how much we spent on those items.

Our stocked fridge for Phase I of the Plant Paradox Program. Holy shit, that's a lot of greens.

From Trader Joe’s: 

  • Organic Power Greens Mix
  • Wild Arugula
  • Organic Romaine Hearts
  • Organic Brown Omega-3 Eggs x2
  • Mint
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Hass Avocadoes x2
  • 1lb bag lemons

Grand Total: $34.78

From WholeFoods:

  • Basil
  • Organic Baby Kale
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Organic Lemons
  • Organic Vidalia Onion
  • Organic Green Cabbage
  • Organic Red Cabbage
  • Organic Curry Powder
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Organic Romaine Lettuce
  • Organic Red Butter Lettuce
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Organic Cauliflower x2
  • Hass Avocados x6
  • Organic Italian Parsley
  • SweetLife Liquid Stevia
  • Avocado Oil
  • Wild Caught Salmon

Grand Total: $97.47

The total cost for food for this 3-day cleanse is $132.25 (or $66.12 per person). To put this into perspective, that number is around what we spend for a week’s worth of food for 3 people.

And that’s on the low end since we’re not doing a whole lot of animal protein. A choice that was made for us when we couldn’t find the requisite pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, or Quorn products in our local stores. I’m fine with it, but I think The Husband would prefer to have a bit more variety in what we’re eating.

So I guess my initial excitement around our grocery bill being lower than usual was a bit premature. Ah well, you win some and you lose some. Fingers crossed that Phase II is a bit more budget friendly (ahem).

Can cleaning up my diet really do THAT?

Can cleaning up my diet really do THAT?

Even though I’m less than a week into this dietary change (I totally cheated and started early), I’ve noticed something exciting: my period has been a whole lot more manageable.

Instead of the usual large irritated red bumps (likely cystic acne) on my forehead and hair line, I’ve had two very minor red spots or blemishes that have disappeared in a day after a long hot shower. Also, my sugar cravings have reduced tenfold and are now officially satisfied with one fig and a small Saturn peach here and there.

While I was extremely tired one evening and went to bed much earlier than usual, I have had zero PMS symptoms. No back pain, cramps, chocolate binges, crazy mood swings, or major bloating. No weight gain, either. In fact, I’ve actually gone down a pound or two. And that NEVER happens when I’m on my period.

I did have some cramping yesterday after my period started, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d call it a 6. No need for medication or any other kind of intervention. Laying in bed and reading seemed to be all the therapy I needed. I also had a few weird dreams last night and have been a bit more irritable today, but compared to what it’s been in the past, this period and the associated symptoms feels like a cake walk.

I knew rationally that eating better can have a positive effect on my period. But to experience it, and so quickly to boot, has been surprising, to say the least. A happy surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

I’ll be curious to see if this continues to be the case with continued adherence to the PP Plan. And I’m actually looking forward to getting my period again. Which, seriously? Who says that?!

There is something seriously wrong with me. 😂

Have you ever noticed that the way you eat has an impact — positive or negative — on your period?

Eating like this is going to cost me what?

Eating like this is going to cost me what?

Any time we create change, there is a cost connected to it. (Tweet this.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the suggestions in The Plant Paradox (AKA The Book) and how they will impact our food spending. For starters, the Plant Paradox Plan encourages all organic fruits and vegetables, specialized oils, pastured (not organic or free range or cage free) poultry and eggs (or Omega-3 if you can’t find that), grass-fed and grass-finished beef, and wild caught seafood.

The eggs alone are anywhere from $2-4 more expensive for a dozen Omega-3 eggs. I haven’t been able to find the poultry, but the beef is at least $4 more per pound. And let’s talk avocados, which the diet is a hearty advocate of. Those are close to $2 a piece unless they are on sale or you buy the small bundle of avocados from Trader Joe’s.

So imagine my surprise when I went food shopping yesterday and ended up spending less than what we normally do on food for the week. 

I intentionally tried to find a lot of the products we’d be eating on the Plant Paradox Plan just to get a feel for what our food spending will be like. Much to my surprise, our bill was actually $50 less than what it normally is. Even though I got all organic produce, 2 dozen Omega-3 eggs, a large bottle of extra virgin olive oil, and some new items to try (nutritional yeast, jicama). I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t buy any meat, poultry, seafood, grains, or beans.

I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t buy any meat, poultry, seafood, grains, or beans.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on the grocery bill over the course of the next 3 months to see how things compare as we get into the thick of it and find our footing with the foods we eat and like. I’m also certain that things will vary depending on where we’re shopping, so I’ll be taking note of that too.

And, of course, I’ll be tracking it here too. I’ll share our weekly haul and what our planned menu is for the week. And if we eat something amazing that’s not in the book or find links to PP-safe meals, I’ll share those, too.

(Yes. I’ll be sharing recipes again. And yes, I’m excited about it.)

Knowing WHY can make all the difference in the world.

Knowing WHY can make all the difference in the world.

When making big changes, knowing WHY can make all the difference in the world. (Tweet this.)

Over the years I’ve eliminated just about every single food possible in the quest of feeling better. Some days were easier than others, but the ultimate quest for better health and happiness has been a solid anchor to keep me in check.

Of course, my brain gets the best of me and convinces me that it’s okay to have an occasional french fry or helping of pasta with tomato sauce. Even though I know with absolute certainty that it will lead to feeling like shit for a few days after.

It’s worth it for a bite of pasta, I say.

Or, I would happily suffer if it meant I could eat french fries again.

But the truth is, it isn’t and I wouldn’t. I’m miserable when I veer off course. My body knows it. My head even knows it, it just likes to play tricks on me to see how committed I am to my goals.

This time around, I am embarking on a major change in my diet (and life) with the ultimate goal of finding health and happiness. Why? Because the alternative is, quite simply put, miserable.

So anytime my head tries to get me to veer off course, my gut will step in and say: Will this add to your life or take away from it?

While things may feel good in the moment (a heaping plate of french fries or spaghetti with tomato sauce), if it makes me uncomfortable or unhappy in the end, it just isn’t worth it. Anchoring myself in that deep sense of purpose will ultimately lead to my success and happiness.

Discovering YOUR why.

When taking the leap and creating change in your own life, it’s easy to focus on the simple or surface level reasons for creating change. But the deeper you can go, the more likely you’ll be to stick with it.

Here’s how to go deep:

Ask yourself the following question: Why do I want to make this change?

And then ask it again: No, really. WHY?

Keep asking why until you have literally exhausted every single thing you can think of.

You can write it out or you can talk it out with a friend. Both are effective tools for getting to the heart of the matter. And once there, you can use that knowledge to stay motivated when things get tough and feel impossible.

Anything is possible, so long as your willing to put off momentary pleasure for long term results.