Far-from-beige cauliflower and a discovery

I made Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce for dinner and it was so delicious that I’m going to give you the whole recipe, since I didn’t do it exactly the way the recipe I used told me to. I got this from Jill at Proper Fud, but I don’t think she ever blogged it, so here I am filling that gap.

First, put on some fancy wild rice mix to cook. Don’t boil it till it’s crunchy like I did. Or just use regular rice, whatever.
Then turn on the oven to 400 F and make the sauce while that heats up.

The sauce is exactly as given in the recipe:

  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 roasted red pepper (from a jar)
  • 40g fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50ml water

Sorry, Americans, for the metric. You’ll have to weigh stuff. (I love my digital scales. So handy.)

Whizz all that up in your food processor. I use the mini-blender attachment of my Braun Multimix that they don’t make any more so you can’t buy one – it’s just the right size and so much easier on the washing up than the big processor. First I ground the almonds in it, then added the bread to make the breadcrumbs, and then put in everything else and gave it a good blend. I end up with quite a dollop-y sauce, but if you wanted it more pour-y you could just add a bit more water, I’m sure.

Your oven is probably hot enough by now. Get a cauliflower and break it into florets. Spread them on an oiled baking sheet and sprinkle a teaspoon more of the smoked paprika over them, and a drizzle of oil. Into the oven with it.

After 20-25 mins the cauliflower will be roasted and a little charred around the edges. Try not to burn the rice like I did. Serve the cauliflower on the rice with dollops of sauce on top. The sauce really brings this whole thing to the next level and makes it a totally delicious dinner. A glass of wine  brings out even more facets of flavours, if you like that sort of thing.

Oh, and a discovery. Dash’s testing results came back with some helpful recommendations for all sorts of things, including his eating situation. The doctor mentioned a book called Helping Your Child With Extreme Picky Eating. I was sceptical because I’ve done all that, read the books – they just make me depressed and guilty – but I looked it up on Amazon anyway and checked out the reviews. One mentioned a website, so I took a look:

About 30 seconds later, all sorts of lightbulbs were going off in my brain. The website talks about Selective Eating Disorder, which is now called ARFID, and is an official thing people have. Here are some excerpts from the site.

Selective eating disorder was officially added to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in May 2013, and renamed Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is food refusal due to highly selective intake, lack of interest in eating, or fear of the unpleasant effects of eating without concerns of body image or weight.

“A selective eater will NOT “eat when they get hungry.” If you implement a technique designed to “wait them out” or “exert your parental control,” if you alter one of their 10-20 foods, you risk having that food drop out of their food list forever.

Children and adults with ARFID experience strong disgust reactions to the sight, smell and even the mere thought of eating unfamiliar food, which can create significant distress for eating in social settings.

Patients with ARFID are […] more likely to have a co-morbid anxiety disorder, learning disorder, or cognitive impairment […].

Therapy that focuses exclusively on the eating fails to consider the eating disturbance in its wider context as a relationship between the individual eating the food and the person who provides it.

DING DING DING!!! All the boxes, checked. All the Dash’s-eating things, making sense. I have joined the FB group and ordered the book. I read this entry and all the things I do, that are mostly for a quiet life and just because I hate causing, or suffering, angst, were suddenly validated and turn out to be okay.

So that’s a thing, and maybe it will lead to some developments. No cauliflower for him. Not yet.

11 thoughts on “Far-from-beige cauliflower and a discovery

  1. Fionnuala Three Sons Later

    Oh this sounds delicious! I don’t like cauliflower particularly but I like everything else in the recipe and I am going to give this a try.
    How great that you’ve found what Dash has re eating. It must be a relief to know it is a thing.

    1. Maud Post author

      Well, the website has given me a new facebook group to join, and I have terms to put in Google searches. So that’s a start.
      Seriously, that sauce makes the cauliflower just taste sooo good. I could have eaten the whole thing last night.

  2. Angela O'Donovan

    My God, I’ve just read about my 21 year old. I can stop over thinking all I did wrong and think there was nothing either of us could do. Guilt won’t rush away in a hurry but oh well…motherhood.. recipe sounds delish.

  3. Jill

    Well I’m glad you posted this, because I am a terrible food blogger lately, though I do have a post in the works! And this reminds me to make it again.

  4. Rebecca

    You have just described my 10 year old son perfectly. I have much research ahead of me. Excited that this year we have added two new food combos but still struggle with proteins and veg. Texture, smell, everything sets him off. Time to go find that FB group….

  5. Angela O'Donovan

    I could write a book. I won’t though. Instead I’ll forgive my younger struggling stressed out self and make sure the kitchens got lots of what he loves when he’s home Sunday. He does eat a much wider ‘range’.
    It definitely came about when eating outside the home esp in his late teens. I always thought it was texture related. There is hope. Let him eat same things repetitively and try to relax. Says I. He thinks champagne and oysters are delish’tasting cold and of the sea’ (taste developed via student Funding! ) but won’t let a pea or baked bean past his lips… seeded bread either…hes wonderful though and having picked up on your post and found the info I feel so much better.
    Definitely anxiety a thing.
    I was hauled in annually at school. Written work didn’t reflect his high ability. Got the Ed psych onto it, teaching support the lot. No one could put their finger on it. Two left feet like me. Not dyspraxic just ‘something’. Paediatrician mentioned private school-it is when he was 4. Did that route too.
    Not meaning to ramble but such an emotivery issue. Good luck. Go with the flow. From someone who stressed out for 21 Years and as result stressed him out too.

  6. Angela O'Donovan

    On a kind of funny note there was a Nigella’ effect – yes, even to a very young Boy! Giving the ever available pasta I mentioned green pesto and hoe Nigella says ‘everyone loves green pesto’. He went for it and still loves it until this day. Not red though, he loves Nigella too…


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