Roasted Cauliflower Sauce

I was on a panel this past weekend talking about social media and how our lives feel so curated. Remember the days when I would just post a photo of an apple and be like, "I feel like crap today so I just ate this apple because if I ate what I really wanted - APPLE PIE - I know I would binge and I hate that I'm not over bingeing yet because I'm supposed to be a body image activist but the truth is life is so complicated and hard?"

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Life feels hard again. I haven't been struggling with depression for a long time but lately I've been feeling it. I always get this way around pilot/Oscar season because it's a reminder I'm nowhere near where I have always dreamed I'd be at this point. I have been doing this long enough that I know I "shouldn't" care and I know what's really important (certainly not auditions and bookings). And I know happiness isn't about validation or even a paycheck. But I'm still hurting. And I see my sadness manifesting in old ways - the nagging hunger of fill-my-belly-even-though-it's-already-full. So I'm acknowledging it.

Tonight I made this meal to compensate for my feelings - I just wanted to make something delicious and hearty that wouldn't cause my stomach and skin to erupt in defiance after eating it.

Surprisingly, it's awesome. I basically dry-roasted a bunch of veggies (seasonings only, no oil) and then made a sauce out of some of the roasted cauliflower.

It was so good, and so nurturing. I feel like I made a new best friend.


Roasted Vegetables with Cauliflower Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Zucchinis, Chopped

  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 Head of Broccoli, Chopped

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, Chopped

  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Whole

  • Taco Seasoning

  • Onion Salt

  • 1/3-1/2 cup Dairy-Free Milk (I used Cashew)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9x11 nonstick pans.

  2. In one pan, toss the zucchini, tomato, and broccoli with a tablespoon of taco seasoning, plus salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves to the other pan and sprinkle onion salt on top.

  3. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

  4. In a high speed blender, combine half the roasted cauliflower, the garlic cloves, and the cashew milk, salt, nutritional yeast, olive oil. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides and adding more milk if necessary.

  5. Serve the roasted vegetables with the cauliflower sauce on top. Add more nutritional yeast if desired.


Lunch at Pono Burger West Hollywood

This meal is hosted.

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The Place

Pono Burger.  I love taking dudes here.  Their food is stellar and their Santa Monica space (in an old World War II Bunker) is unique.  Plus, it's the only place where they do burgers/fries AND salads/vegetarian food equally well.  When my brother Morgan came to town, the first place we went is for a hosted lunch at their West Hollywood location.

The Space

There's wood everywhere, and a gorgeous outdoor patio that's perfect for warm weather.  It's not so nice out when we went, so we opted to sit inside, by the bar, near a window with good light.  Chef Makani is there and I love listening to her talk.  The woman is so passionate about local, organic ingredients and taking care of her customers.

Plus holy mackerel her food is bad-ass yummy.

The Food

Tempura Blue Lake Green Beans.  These are just as addictive as french fries.  I think I may actually like them more, because the vegetables have a freshness/crispness to them.

Baby Kale and Farro Salad.  Also in there - dried cherries, walnuts, chèvre, and an apple cider vinaigrette.  Super fresh.

Fried chicken sandwich.  A Shoyu buttermilk organic battered breast, with shiitake mushroom gravy.  The thing is massive, on a brioche bun, with a bunch of purple potato chips on the side.  We eat half of it there, half of it cold two days later (and it's just as good).

Ancient Grain and Collard Green Wrap.  I did not expect something arriving in a leaf to taste as good as it does.  The whole thing is messy (especially left over) but super flavorful.  It has red quinoa, channeling beans, sweet potato mash and nest, coleslaw, cucumber, and tzatziki sauce.  I want the recipe!

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 Pono Burger WeHo - 8830 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood 

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts

When people talk about their life goals, I know they list off things like sky diving or running the New York Marathon.  Mine are a little simpler - attend a Quincinera and get a food processor. If you watch the Food Network as much as I do, you'll feel like your life is incomplete without one of these machines!  I have a fear that, like other kitchen appliances, it will take up too much counter space and I will never use it.  But unlike my waffle maker and blender, I have actually been using this Elemental 8-cup Processor (a gift from Cuisinart) regularly.

It makes all the things I like to have on hand - salsa, guacamole, hummus, pizza dough, homemade Larabars, and caramelized onions.  More recipes to come, but first, the Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts I made for Finn's birthday.

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I cannot believe how quickly these babies get sliced.  I use the thin slicer to make confetti out of 3 pounds of brussels sprouts in less than 5 minutes.  Once they're prepped, I leave them covered in the fridge until it's time to put it all together.  This dish is inspired by The Barefoot Contessa's recipe, but I go a little crazy and start adding a lot of yummy things like candied pecans (from Trader Joe's, where I also get the balsamic glaze), avocado, raisins, and cheese.  It turns out tasting a lot like a warm salad.

The dish is a huge hit - even after sitting at room temperature for an hour.  Finn says it comes in second place to our friend Lance's pizza - honestly, who can expect a vegetable to win that competition?  Warning, the recipe below makes a LOT of brussels sprouts - even too much for our group of 12!  I would cut it in half unless you're planning on serving this at a party.  It's actually the perfect Thanksgiving potluck dish.

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Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. Brussels Sprouts, washed, trimmed, and shredded

  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 6 Tablespoons Butter

  • 6 cloves Garlic

  • 6 Tablespoons Balsamic Glaze

  • 1 cup Golden Raisins

  • 1 cup Candied Pecans

  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

  • 1 Avocado, diced

  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a 14-inch skillet melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat. 

  2. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, careful not to burn it. 

  3. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes until tender (if they all don't fit in the pan, cook them in two separate batches).

  4. Put the cooked brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Toss with the Balsamic, Raisins, Pecans, Cheese, and Avocado. Finish with a sprinkling of the cheese and balsamic glaze.


Full disclosure: This food processor was sent for free to review by Cuisinart, but this is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links – thank you for supporting this blog!