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Healthy Retreat Recipe

November 28, 2017

vegetarian recipe

We cherish food made with love, and retreats are a perfect time to celebrate this. Enjoy a little taste of retreat with this healthy recipe for Cauliflower Cakes from our friend and private chef, Nicole Fuenzalida. And while you’re at it, discover our foodie retreats in Umbria (Italy), Oaxaca (Mexico) and Sicily (Italy).

Recipe Yield: 9 2 to 2 ½ inch cakes (Recipe adapted from

1 medium to large fresh cauliflower (3 cups chopped)
1 large egg or flax egg
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour (gluten free, chickpea or oat flour also work great)
¼-½ cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese (substitute nutritional yeast for vegan preparation)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
A pinch of red pepper flakes


High heat oil for frying such as coconut oil or avocado oil.

Separate the florets from the steam. Cut the florets into 1-inch chunks.

To prepare the stems slice them into 1/2-inch lengths. You can also use a food processor to get a quick and easy chop. You should have about 3 cups total of chopped cauliflower.

Steam the cauliflower until tender but not mushy: Use whatever method you prefer. A quick and easy way to do it is to bring 1 inch or so of water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add the cauliflower, place a lid on it and simmer it for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the broccoli, then set it aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, lightly beat your egg. Add the flour, quinoa, cheese, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add the somewhat cooled cauliflower. Using a potato masher, mash the cauliflower just a bit.

You’ll want the cauliflower bits to be small but recognizable, enough to mash into a batter and fry up easily. Adjust to taste.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. I prefer to use a cast iron. Once hot, add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot (you can test it by flicking a droplet of water into it; it should hiss and sputter), scoop a two tablespoon-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, then flatten it slightly with a spoon or spatula. Repeat with the rest of the batter, leaving a couple inches between each. Once brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed.

Transfer briefly to a paper towel to drain, then to a serving plate if you’ll be eating them right away or to a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you’d like to keep them warm until needed.

Options to serve with: crumbled feta and arugula, Garlicky-lemon yogurt and picked parsley and cilantro, Poached egg, arugula and parmesan, Pesto and sautéed greens.