My Office is Having a “Chopped” Cooking Challenge and I Am Totally on Board!

Some friends at work came up with a really fun idea: a cooking challenge, inspired by “Chopped” on the Food Network! They posted three ingredients on our internal social media platform on Friday, and over the weekend, everyone that wanted to participate could make a dish using those ingredients. Then, on Monday, everyone posts pictures of their dish and we all get to check out everyone’s creativity and get inspiration for future meals.

I don’t think it’s an actual competition, although maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know if a winner will be declared or not. But it’s definitely a clever way to engage people, and a challenge like this can provide a nice escape from the constant stream of depressing pandemic-related news.

The three mystery ingredients were purposefully left vague, to allow participation from vegetarians, vegans, and those with other dietary preferences or restrictions:

  • Protein
  • Cereal
  • Cheese

I took JJ for a 4.5-mile walk on Saturday morning, and it was during that walk that I developed my plan. I decided to make a sandwich, but without bread. Here are my ingredients that I used to satisfy the rules:

  • Protein: Turkey Breast Slices
  • Cereal: Great Grains, with the raisins and dates picked out
  • Cheese: Smoked Gouda AND Parmesan.

Do I get bonus point for using two kinds of cheese?

So how do you make a sandwich without bread? By using cauliflower rice patties! They’re pretty easy to make, and they’re tasty, too.

You each sandwich, you need one cup of cooked cauliflower rice, one egg, a couple tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkling of your favorite spices. I used Herbes de Provence. I also decided to add in 1/4 cup of Great Grains cereal, for the purposes of the challenge – although this is optional. Mix all those things up in a bowl, and you end up with your batter.

You’re going to spoon the batter into two piles on an oiled griddle or big, wide skillet (that’s at medium-low heat), and quickly shape them into flat patties. Then just let them cook, without disturbing them, for about five minutes on each side. Be careful when you flip them!

I laid a piece of smoked Gouda on one of the patties after I flipped it, so it would start to melt into the crevices and crannies.

RELATED CONTENT: How to make cauliflower crust pizza. It’s easy and healthy!

Once the cauliflower patties are done, you can use them to assemble any kind of sandwich you want. I’ve blogged before about making a caprese sandwich using this technique, and that was delicious. For this meal, I put the cheese-covered patty on the bottom, and layered on turkey breast slices and baby kale. I carefully smeared a little mayo on the other patty, and also added a few dots or sriracha.

Here’s the finished product!

The cauliflower patties are a bit more delicate and crumbly than bread would be, but this was one darn good sandwich. Lots of flavors and textures, and super low carb. In fact the only carbs came from that 1/4 cup of Great Grains, and that’s only 1/3 of a serving of that particular cereal.

I can’t wait to make another breadless sandwich. It’s a wonderful way to add some veggies into a meal that usually doesn’t have many, and since it’s a sandwich, the options for what goes inside are literally limitless!

I’m actually posting this recipe on my blog before I share it at work. I’m excited to see what other people come up with, and I encourage all of you to come up with clever cooking competitions with your friends, whether you’re under a Stay-at-Home order or not!

Keep it up, David!

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