When I saw this recipe I laughed. It struck me as humorous to stuff a cauliflower with a meatloaf mixture and bake it. It sounded funny AND fun! The recipe was meant to happen when cauliflower went on sale last week. Fate. My cousin Shirley was joining us for dinner so it would be company food, too. Slightly better than one of our usual “throw it together” meals. One for the blog!
Alas, the recipe didn’t work out well. I tell ya, this year has been bad for blogging. So many recipes haven’t worked out! I’ve hit an unlucky streak and nothing looks or tastes like it’s supposed to, hence it doesn’t get posted. I’ve thrown out so many good ideas I’m getting depressed. But I’m going to blog this one because it might turn out for someone else. Maybe it’s me that’s the bad penny!
I washed and trimmed the leaves and some of the stem off of the cauliflower. It didn’t have many nooks and crannies. I wasn’t sure how much of the meat was going to fit in.
I brought a large pot of salted water to a boil and precooked the cauliflower as directed.
While the cauliflower cooked I put the ground beef and seasonings into a bowl and mixed well with my hand. I doubled the recipe since there were 3 of us for dinner. The recipe below is my doubled version. I apologize for the unclear picture but it’s the only one I took of the meat mixture, unfortunately.
When the cauliflower was fork tender I poured it into a large strainer and bam, it fell into pieces. Curse words were said. I might have overcooked the cauliflower, I admit. I blame myself for the explosion of cauliflower pieces.
But I no longer had to wonder how I was going to fit the ground beef mixture into the cauliflower. As I told Shirley, I’d simply sprinkle pieces of the meat into the bottom of the baking dish and cover the top with pieces of cauliflower. Done. I put the dish into the preheated oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
While the meat and cauliflower baked I made the béchamel sauce. I was skeptical about this part of the recipe as well. I melted the 2 tablespoons of butter and stirred in the 2 tablespoons of flour to make a roux. I stirred in the 2 1/2 cups of milk, salt and pepper and cooked it for 5 minutes, as suggested.
The béchamel sauce just didn’t thicken much. Like barely. I finally added the Parmesan and stirred until the cheese was melted and the sauce was smooth. Maybe béchamel sauce isn’t very thick, I’m not a pro so I’m not sure. It was smooth and tasty!
When the 30 minutes was up I removed the baking dish from the oven and poured the sauce over the top.
I sprinkled a bit more of the Parmesan on top as suggested then turned on the broiler on high and placed the Dutch oven back into the oven.
It took 5-6 minutes for the sauce to begin to brown, mostly in spots where the remainder of the Parmesan was sprinkled. I removed the Dutch oven to the stove top. I could see a lot of liquid and fat around the outsides from the meat. It wasn’t looking particularly appetizing!
I used a slotted spoon to serve portions of the meat and cauliflower. They looked ok, just not as exciting as the stuffed meatloaf pictures from the original recipe. The flavors were good but I didn’t taste much of a flavor from the béchamel. It completely disappeared somewhere. Frankly, I’d have preferred some serious cheese on the dish!
Shirley and my P.S. thought it was good. I guess I was expecting more. I chopped up the leftovers into bite-sized pieces, added a buttload of shredded cheddar and warmed it in a nonstick skillet for dinner a couple of days later. I was more pleased with that version than the supposed stuffed cauliflower. It may be low carb but with all the cheese I added it was not low-calorie! But I finally liked the taste. heh
Lo Carb Stuffed Cauliflower
A low carb alternative using cauliflower with seasoned ground beef.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2# ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper béchamel sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan; shredded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Trim leaves and some of the stem of the cauliflower. Don’t remove much stem, you can trim it later after cooking. You’ll need it intact for cooking in one piece.
Place cauliflower in a large pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt. Boil for about 10 minutes, until it is just becoming fork tender. Any longer and the cauliflower will fall apart.
While the cauliflower cooks mix meat, eggs and seasonings in a separate bowl. Use a spoon or your hands until well blended.
Carefully remove cauliflower from pot and place in a baking dish. Place as much of the meat mixture as possible into the cauliflower. Place any remainder under the cauliflower.
Bake for 30 minutes. While the dish bakes melt the butter in a small skillet. Stir in the flour until it begins to brown. Add milk, salt and pepper and stir until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until smooth. Set aside.
Remove baking dish from oven after 30 minutes and turn the broiler on high. Pour béchamel over the cauliflower and place dish under the broiler for several minutes until golden.
Remove from oven and serve.