The paleo diet has been the catalyst for eating an incredible amount of vegetables. I would venture to say I eat more vegetables than most vegetarians I know. In fact, the paleo diet has led me to eat veggies I had purposely avoided, (kale), ones I simply ignored, (beet greens), and others I did not know even existed, (pink banana squash). The following recipe includes a food I was never motivated to try until now: Broccoflower.
Broccoflower is in the same family as cauliflower and broccoli. Because the two are so closely related they are easily cross-pollinated. The result is something that looks like green cauliflower. Romanesco broccoli is very similar to broccoflower but looks a little different due to an interesting pattern displayed by the floret. I found the broccoflower to be truly a cross between broccoli and cauliflower in both appearance and taste. It was milder than cauliflower and the texture, especially of the stalk parts, was very similar to broccoli. In the following easy recipe I employed the same “ricing” technique I have used with cauliflower. But the green color of the broccoflower really added to the aesthetics of the dish.
- 1 broccoflower floret (you can substitute cauliflower – but it won’t be quite as gorgeous!)
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1/2 a large pepper)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Begin heating a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Remove the casing from the spicy Italian sausage.
- Brown the sausage in the pan, using a fork or spatula to break up into pieces.
- While the sausage is cooking, cut up the broccoflower into smaller florets, place in a 8×8 glass dish, cover with plastic wrap and heat for 4 minutes on high in the microwave. (Alternatively, you can steam the broccoflower for a few minutes making sure not to overcook.)
- Place the broccoflower in a food processor and pulse until approximately the size of rice. (in multiple batches if necessary.)
- Once the sausage is completely browned, add the “riced” broccoflower to the pan and stir while cooking for about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the red bell pepper and parsley.
- Serve warm.
Serves 2 Paleo adults or 4 regular people 😉
I made this dish the day of a fasting blood test so I was pretty hungry by lunchtime and ate quite a bit. Even so there was enough left over to make two hefty sized portions for my husband to take to work the next couple of days. This Broccoflower with Spicy Italian Sausage recipe was super easy to make, delicious, nutritious (do not fear the fat!) and beautiful enough to serve to guests or proudly take to a potluck. I love the spiciness of the sausage but you can easily substitute the sweet, milder variety if you prefer.
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