Monday Meals: Cauliflower for the Cauliflower Haters
Cauliflower is everywhere! You may have noticed that in the last 5 years the crunchy, white cruciferous veg has jumped from the crudités platter to the center of the entree. Its ability to masquerade as rice or mashed potatoes propelled it to fame during the low-carb craze and many adventuring chefs continue to play with its unique chameleon qualities. Whether roasted in a slab like the Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Steaks featured by Oh My Veggies or dressed up like a takeout favorite, as in the General Tso’s Cauliflower whipped up by the creative minds at Pure Wow, the versatility of the relatively mild vegetable allows it to sub for meat as well as carbs.
Cauliflower’s impressive nutritional profile and high fiber/low calorie double punch are to credit for much of the enthusiasm as well. It is high in Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin K, both antioxidants that stop free radicals from causing cell damage and disease. Cauliflower’s fiber helps support colorectal health and feeds healthy intestinal bacteria. Read more about the research on cauliflowers’s nutrition and potential disease protection, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
If you are sold on the benefits and ready to jump on board the trend, but still skeptical about presenting a whole roasted head of cauliflower (NYT) on your family dinner table, try a familiar favorite with a twist. Cauliflower Pizza Crust (thanks Food Network) is a great option. Slip that healthy veg under a tasty layer of sauce and cheese for an easy and friendly introduction. Buffalo Cauliflower Snack Bites from Eating Well might be an even easier sell. Roasted, tossed with spicy sauce and served with blue cheese dip. That’s an evolution from the raw veggie platter that almost anyone can appreciate.