Tomato Sauce Braised Cauliflower


I’m welcoming myself back!  Trying to get better at my time management, forcing myself to cook blog worthy meals, and actually blogging them.  Wish me luck!

At work (Kaia FIT Lafayette) we are finished up week four of our current six week Brik, or boot camp program.  I decided to really clean up my diet during this time.  No sugar, no alcohol, no wheat, no grain, no dairy.  I’m not doing a strict Whole30 but I’ve stayed pretty close to being on track.  I was with my dad during his birthday last week so I had a few beers with him and cake to celebrate.  But afterwards I jumped right back in.  No regrets but motivation to keep on keeping on.  And so far it’s been a great and easy experience.  I don’t focus on what I am not eating but instead focus on all the good stuff I am eating.. veggies, lean protein, and some fruit pretty much makes up my daily diet.  Typically I do eat a clean diet but the chocolate consumption was out of hand.  I’m too embarrassed to admit how much I was eating!  Amazingly it was no struggle to give it up.  In fact there are bars sitting in the cabinet that I haven’t touched.  Go me!


Now for this meal!  I love a good tomato sauce.  We eat plenty of tomato sauce with ground beef over cauliflower rice.  It’s a weekly staple for quick and easy cooking.  This is along those lines except I used ground turkey and braised a whole cauliflower.  Really there is nothing to it.  And it looks pretty fancy.  If you have the time go ahead and make your tomato sauce from scratch.  I used a jar that I love (sugar free) and added capers, kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, parsley, and smoked paprika.  The cauliflower is pushed into the sauce and simmered until tender.  My kids happily gobbled this up without question to where the pasta was.  I’m pretty happy to know there are leftovers waiting for dinner tonight!


Tomato Sauce Braised Cauliflower

Tomato Sauce Braised Cauliflower

Whole cauliflower braised in a puttanesca style tomato sauce. A beautiful presentation for a simple meal!


  • shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced/pressed
  • 1 crook neck squash, chopped (substitute zucchini)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 32 oz jar tomato sauce (sugar free- read your labels!)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup pitted & chopped kalamata olives*
  • 1 whole head cauliflower, leaves removed from bottom
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil, to serve
  • pecorino romano, fresh grated to serve (if you are not dairy free)


  1. In a large pot heat up a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and squash. Saute 5 minutes until starting to soft. Add the garlic and ground turkey. Continue to cook until turkey is browned. Drain off any excess liquid.
  2. Add the jar of tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, parsley, smoked paprika, capers, and olives. Bring to a simmer. Season with s&p.
  3. Place the head of cauliflower into the sauce pressing down so it is 2/3 of the way submerged.
  4. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until cauliflower is tender crisp.
  5. Serve with plenty of fresh basil and pecorino romano.


I recently discovered dried kalamata olives from trader joes. They are AMAZING. I love the intense olive flavor they offer.

Leave the ground turkey out for a vegetarian meal.

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