Monday, May 26, 2014

Baked Cauliflower and Parsnip Rice with Cheesy Pea Sauce - A vegan Paleo favourite

Cauliflower and parsnip rice/couscous is one of my favourite meals. I would be happy to eat this everyday but I really have to watch the amount of goitrogenic vegetables I consume. I neglected it for a long time telling myself that if it's fresh, natural and a fruit or vegetable in it's natural state then surely it's ok. There's so much conflicting information out there that you just have to try things for yourself to see what really works. Because the fact is some weeks I can eat what I want with no problems then the next week the exact same diet will cause me a world of grief. It has to be the most frustrating thing that happens to me. Everything else I can control (except worrying about my kids! - I'm working on that one) but this is a constant battle of trial and error. There's also a chance that it's got nothing to do with my diet, it maybe something else. Stress, anxiety, hormones, chemicals and a host of so many other things play such a big role in how you we feel making the whole situation almost impossible to solve but I trudge on with a positive mind and do the best that I can.

If you think you may have trouble with your thyroid it's best to get it checked. I was very lucky to have mine diagnosed by a good Doctor who is an holistic medical practitioner with additional qualifications in nutritional and environmental medicine, herbal medicine, Anti-aging medicine, Acupuncture, Energy Medicine and Biomesotherapy. She did do tests which from research I have done are quite complicated and there is also a lot of information saying that some tests don't tell the real story. She was able to diagnose me straight away from my symptoms that it was low and immediately put me on Natural Thyroid medication which I need a script for. It is made at a compounding pharmacy and I must say is quite expensive. I'm very lucky that we even have a compounding pharmacy here that makes it. It's not easy to get. 

Here is a list of some of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
  • fatigue and low energy levels
  • depression
  • slow heart rate
  • unexplained weight gain
  • intolerance to cold temperatures
  • fatigued and aching muscles
  • dry, coarse skin
  • puffy face
  • hair loss
  • constipation
  • problems with concentration
  • goitre (enlarged thyroid gland)

The medication is worth every cent though! I wouldn't be without it. The change to my life was immediate. When I look back every since my mid 30's I've actually felt like I had chronic fatigue. It hasn't made things perfect as you can see from above but it's definitely made a huge improvement. I had a time where I felt that maybe it was all just in my head and I didn't really need it so when it ran out I didn't renew the script. It took about 3 days and I fell in a massive hole. I felt like I couldn't move I was so drained. I quickly made a call and ordered the next repeat script! Autoimmune conditions are really complicated and for anyone that's been able to cure it completely I envy you. I have a feeling that at times it's what causes me to have good and bad weeks when there's really been no change to my diet, exercise, health, sleep or stress levels. 

I've done up this list for anyone that's interested  in what to avoid raw, they say that cooking these vegetable removes that negative effects. 

This is the first time I have actually baked the vegetables before adding them to the food processor and it's worked out perfect. While the cauliflower and parsnip where in the oven I added the pumpkin as well and as you can see it's super soft, sweet and divine especially with the crispy seeds on top. 

Baked Cauliflower and Parsnip Rice with Cheesy Pea Sauce

Make: 1-2 serving (I'm a big eater! so this is one serve for me)



1/2 cauliflower
1 parsnip
Fresh rosemary - or herbs of your choice
Himalayan or Celtic salt to taste
1 shallot (green onion)
Optional extras:
Carrot - raw or baked
2-4 tbs savoury yeast flakes

Pea Sauce:

1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 avocado
4 tbs savoury yeast flakes
1/2 to 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1/2 to 1 tsp Himalayan or Celtic salt
1/2 to 1 clove fresh garlic
1 tbs Miso (optional)



Cut cauliflower into large chunks and peel and slice the parsnip them lay them out on a baking tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until just soft. Now's the time to add any other vegetable you may want   to add such as sweet potato or pumpkin. Remove from the oven and let cook for 10 minutes then cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces and add them both to a food processor with the salt, sliced shallot, herbs and yeast flakes if using. Blend and pulse until you get a fine rice like consistency making sure not to overdo it as they will break down much quicker and turn to mash easily when cooked.

Pea Sauce:

Defrost and warm or cook the peas on a very low heat then add everything to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour straight onto the cauliflower rice that has been plated up. Keep some peas to the side to add to the top if you wish, they are also nice mixed through the rice.

Serve and enjoy.


  1. To add a bit more protein to this dish I mixed through some spirulina after after taking the photo. You could also add fish, chicken, prawns or tofu to keep it vegan. 
  2. The carrot I added to the rice was raw, I only have a small food processor so I have to do it up in batches, the first batch was just the cauli and parsnip then for the second one I added the carrot which is what is showing up in the photo. You can see the white rice at the back. 

Do you or do you suspect that you may have a thyroid problem and if you do how are you finding managing it? I'd love to hear from you. It's not easy to talk to people that don't have it because they have absolutely no comprehension of the frustration that goes with trying to get it under control and the ups and downs that it causes for no apparent reasons.

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor, Naturapath, Health Guru, or anything else of the sort. I am just passionate about being happy and healthy and the opinions and suggestions above are mine only, please seek professional medical advice if you feel you need to. #justsaying  

This recipe has been shared at

Allergy Free Wednesday

No comments:

Post a Comment


I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen



baking (70) bread (13) breakfast (72) Dairy free (211) dessert (90) Dinner (51) dips and sauces; sauces (43) extra's (17) Fitness (6) gluten free (231) Grain free (169) low calorie (51) lunch (85) Paleo (201) raw food (122) salad (21) smoothie (8) snacks (194) vegan (162) vegetarian (45)