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Paleo Series -- Cauliflower Bolognese

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Eating Paleo has become the rage. It's not a bad idea really. There is now a lot of evidence to support the fact that many of our chronic diseases have their roots in a high-carb diet. Eating small amounts of lean protein and lots of healthy vegetables just makes good sense.

Recently, I decided to try to assuage my craving for a big bowl of Pasta Bolognese without subjecting my body to an intense glucose spike brought on by a mountain of noodles. And let's be honest: when a big plate of Italian heaven is placed in front of you, the noodles may be good, but it's the rich and meaty sauce that makes your taste buds dance, not the long strands of spaghetti you've wound around your fork in an attempt to protect your chin from a tomato-y assault.

Then I thought about a dish I'd seen that featured creamy Polenta as the starch for gluten intolerant people and remembered how satisfying it was. Still, while it would have been fine for even someone with Celiac Disease, the carbohydrate dilemma was still there. It was time to think Paleo.

Enter the humble cauliflower. Even though it is packed with vitamins and minerals, it is often regarded as broccoli's ugly step sister and served to suspicious diners staggering under a lava flow of cheese sauce in an attempt to make it palatable. Totally unnecessary and very unhealthy. There are many ways to prepare this cruciferous wonder that don't coat your arteries with crud. Remembering the creamy Polenta, I decided to make a Cauliflower Puree.

I brought a pot of water to a boil and salted it enough so that it tasted like the ocean. I threw in the cauliflower, broken into florets to cut down on cooking time, and drained them thoroughly once they were soft enough to pierce with a fork. I then dropped them in my food processor, and, with the machine running, drizzled in enough olive oil to bring it all together. I added nothing else since the generously salted cooking water had imparted plenty of flavor.

Into warmed bowls went the Puree topped with a generous portion of Bolognese. It was delicious, if I may say so myself, garnished with Nutritional Yeast as a substitute for Parmesan cheese, making it truly Paleo.

Give it a try! Not only does it taste wonderful, it comes free of the pasta bloat so many of my friends complain about.

Bolognese:

1 lb ground meat -- I use turkey

2 TBSP olive oil

1 large onion, minced

2 carrots, shredded

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes

1 TBSP dried oregano

1 TBSP dried basil

S&P to taste

1. Warm oil in a large sauce pan and add in the onions, carrots and a few pinches of salt. Stir frequently over medium heat until they become translucent. Add in the dried herbs and the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.

2. Add in the ground meat and cook thoroughly. Pour in the canned tomatoes and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes to allow the flavors to fuse together.

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