Ok, PALEO PALS! Its RECIPE TIME!
In Connecticut we’re coming to the end of season for tomatoes and corn, but never fear, this is the best time for the fabulously healthy, cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetable family. This week, we have five fabulous cauliflower recipes that serve as incredible substitutes for our favorite carb-heavy foods from rice to pizza. But before you start cookin’ up a storm, I want to share with you some valuable information about the health benefits of cruciferious vegetables. This is from my favorite site for information about eating to lower cancer risk:
The four-petal flowers from these veggies resemble a cross or “crucifer,” hence the name. Broccoli is probably the best known cruciferous vegetable. Like Brussels sprouts, rapini, cabbage (green), cauliflower and turnips (white), it forms a “head.” Others – known as the “headless crucifers” – include dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens.
WHAT’S IN CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES?
Nearly all are excellent or good sources of vitamin C and some are good sources of manganese. Dark greens are high in vitamin K. Glucosinolates are compounds found in all cruciferous vegetables; Glucosinolates form isothiocyanates and indoles. Other nutrients and phytochemicals vary:
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and rapini are all excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin. Broccoli is a good source of potassium. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are good sources of dietary fiber and rich in magnesium. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and rapini contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Red cabbage and radishes supply anthocyanins. Other cruciferous vegetables provide different polyphenols, such as hydroxycinnamic acids, kaempferol and quercetin.
Now for our “creative cauliflower culinary creations” from your Health Guru’s at Stony Creek Internal Medicine and Wellness:
2 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, diced
1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
¼ tsp salt
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion to skillet and sauté till soft, about 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, place cauliflower in food processor with “S” blade and pulse until it’s the texture of rice. (Alternative: use a cheese grater to grate into rice-sized pieces.) When onions are ready, add cauliflower to skillet. Cook till soft, about 7 to 10 minutes, then season to taste with salt and serve. Use as a side dish, add to soups, any place you’d use rice.
Cauliflower Rice Variation #1, Curried “Rice”
After onion cooks 3 minutes, add 2 tsps of curry powder and a pinch of coriander. As it’s cooking if the onion mixture becomes too dry, add vegetable broth 1 Tbsp at a time until the onion is finished cooking. Add cauliflower as above. After 5 minutes, add ½ cup frozen peas, cover and cook 5 minutes more, till peas are done.
Cauliflower Rice Variation #2 Mexican “Rice”
After onion cooks 3 minutes, add 2 tsps of chili powder and a pinch of cumin. As it’s cooking, if it becomes to dry, add a Tbsp of water or vegetable broth. When cauliflower is done, stir in 2 Tbsp or more of salsa or taco sauce and heat through. You can also add ½ cup of beans for protein.
Cauliflower Rice Variations:
Now be creative. Add cooked turkey sausage (seitan or tempeh for vegetarians). Add other sautéed vegetables.
Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
1 medium head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, peeled, ends trimmed
Chicken broth, vegetable broth or half and half mixture, salted to taste
Put cauliflower in a pot deep enough for cauliflower to fill no more than half way. Add water/broth to cover. Boil till soft to a fork, around 10 minutes. Drain COMPLETELY in a colander. Return to pot. Use a stick blender to puree thoroughly. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust Basic Recipe
(I double the recipe)
Riced cauliflower (approx. 2 cups)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup grated cheese (or few tablespooons nutritional yeast)
1) Microwave cauliflower for 8 minutes
2) Strain the water
(you can wring out the riced cauliflower in a dish towel after it cools)
3) Mix all ingredients together.
4) Preheat a cookie sheet in a 425 degree oven
5) While the cookie sheet is preheating, press the cauliflower mixture onto parchment paper, so it will fit roughly the size of the cookie sheet. When cookie sheet is hot, transfer the parchment paper to the cookie sheet carefully
6) Cook for approx. 15 minutes or until crust is golden.
7) Put toppings on the crust, and bake until toppings are cooked (you can put under broiler briefly)
I would love any feedback, suggestions, add-ons or stories about how these recipes worked out for you! Drop us a line and let us know how we’re doing!
Have a wonderful weekend!