One Friday evening when I was in my early twenties, I traipsed into a bar after work with a friend to blow off some steam after a long week. (Ok, that part happened more than once.) This evening in particular, we were feeling peckish, and so we ordered a plate of mozzarella sticks. And then another. And then another. Um, and then another. (Ok, that part happened more than once too.) An older bar patron looked at us with envy and said “Enjoy being able to eat like that, in a few years you won’t be able to!” Wise, wise bar patron. I can no longer eat a solid pound of breaded, deep fried cheese (and really, I think this is probably a good thing) but I do still have a craving now and then for these cheesy sticks of yumminess…
There’s got to be a healthier way! So I attempted the perfect mozzarella stick with the following stipulations: Delicious, low carb, not deep-fried and I wanted to sneak in a vegetable.
Admittedly this is not the easiest recipe because the sticks don’t hold together well until they are at least partially cooked. BUT it’s worth the trouble if you want to scratch a mozz stick itch, as I sometimes do. Happy Health!
* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.
Cauliflower Cheese Sticks
2 cups-ish cauliflower rice
1 cup shredded cheese (I used soy because I am not supposed to eat dairy, but any cheese you like that will get melty would be fine)
1/2 cup-ish almond flour
2 tbsp grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, butter, or any oil that does well at higher temperatures (NOT olive oil!)
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
salt to taste
To start you will need to make “cauliflower rice.” My recipe is posted here, but there are lots of variations all over the internet, use a different one if it suits you better. In this recipe it serves as a binder and a sneaky way to get an extra serving of veggies. Let it cool to room temperature and mix it with the egg, cheese, some salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and about 3 tbsp of the almond flour. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining almond flour with salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Roll the wet ingredients into little sticks (this part is difficult and messy, and you kind of have to hold each stick together in your palm.) Then roll to coat in the almond flour and spice mixture. When each stick is coated, add to pan and cook, turning frequently until golden brown on all sides. Let cool several minutes and enjoy with your favorite marinara sauce!