I have just finished reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I don’t normally read a lot of non-fiction and particularly not books that might sit in the self-help section. But Quiet had been recommended to me by a couple of people and the local library had a copy so figured I had nothing to lose. I loved it so much that I have bought my own copy.
It is not a traditional self-help book in that much of it is about considering introversion and what that means in today’s society. There are some tips to help introverts like me but the focus is much more on how introversion is not a bad thing and that introverts have as much to contribute as anyone else if given the chance and appropriate environment. I am much more comfortable with my introversion now than when I was growing up but I still found the book reassuring and comforting – introversion is not a bad thing.
One of the other things I like about the book is that while it is talking up introverts, it also has examples on how introverts and extroverts have worked together to get a better outcome. Just not necessarily in the traditional team setting. Neither introversion nor extroversion are wrong, just different and both should be valued.
But you are probably actually here not to hear about my reading adventures but to get ideas of cooking and eating. Quite a while ago, I discovered a place in Canberra where I could get chipotle in adobo sauce. I used a small amount to make this Moroccan chicken and since then the remainder that I minced and put in ice cube trays has been languishing in my freezer. At the time I made the Moroccan chicken I was seeing heaps of recipes incorporating chipotle in adobo and then as soon as I find it, poof, they disappeared. How does that happen?
But then I came across this recipe for cheesy chipotle cauliflower casserole. Just the title of this recipe is enough to make me swoon. I love cheese, chilli and casseroles and yes I also love cauliflower. Growing up, cauliflower with cheese sauce was one of my favourite meals. My mum tells stories of going to stay in a caravan with my gran and me insisting on cauliflower with cheese sauce for every meal. Then in brackets after the recipe title it says low carb and gluten free. I am not on a low carb nor gluten free diet but eating foods that proclaim themselves as such does make me feel like I am eating a healthy option though with the cheese and other creamy goodness in this recipe it is pretty clear why low fat does not rate a mention.
My main grumble with this recipe is that I didn’t manage to get mine to look as pretty. I printed the recipe without the picture to save on printer ink and then chopped my tomatoes to finely. Not that this affected the taste mind you, just the visual appeal.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
For the puree:
- ¼ head of cauliflower
- ½ tbs of heavy cream
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbs of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp pureed chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
- A pinch of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the casserole:
- 1 and ½ tbs salsa verde (I used ready-made)
- 2 tbs of light sour cream
- 4 cherry tomatoes chopped in half
- ¼ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
I dialled back the salsa verde as the one I have bought is quite spicy – or maybe I am just becoming a chilli wimp. I also skipped the pickled jalapenos as it was a bit expensive to buy them just for one meal.
I followed the instructions fairly closely the first time around but found that resulted in rather brown cauliflower. My microwave is 1100w and with the smaller amount of cauliflower it got overzapped. So second time around I only cooked the cauliflower in the microwave for 5minutes before adding the butter and cream and then 6 minutes afterwards. It was still a bit overdone but only slightly and I don’t think it affected the taste. I baked the casserole for 20 minutes – I often find I have to cut back on the cook time when I shrink a recipe. Preparation time is about 5-10 minutes and cook time is about 35 minutes.
My cauliflower wasn’t smooth after processing – I have a cheap and nasty processor but it was nicely crumbled and tasted great. The recipe comes in at about 350 calories and I found it quite filling with the cheese. It goes well with a nice piece of toasted sourdough.
Note there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive a small portion of the price.