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Variations on a Theme: Cauliflower

Monday, December 03, 2012

Personally, I'm a fan of cauliflower.

Cauliflower is beautiful. One white cauliflower can look very cool sitting on a counter surrounded by candles. A colorful cauliflower assortment in a fruit bowl is an outstanding centerpiece for a kitchen table.

And as we all know, beauty is more than skin deep! Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse.

To prepare a cauliflower, remove the outer green leaves and the center core.

Parboil cauliflower until tender and eat it plain for a snack while preparing dinner or add it to a salad. I like cauliflower raw and dipped into Greek yogurt. My family can be fussy and they have been known to avoid eating my plain raw or parboiled treats. The following recipes are tried and true! I've made my version of both and my family enjoys them.

Cauliflower in Red Curry

I made this last week before finding a Sparky recipe that is very much like my dinner. My version was only slightly different.

I like cumin so I happen to have some and used it. Simplify by using a curry powder. I prefer to buy a spice mixture blend of curry powder instead of each spice. Blending curry is an art form unless you have a family recipe! Buy your curry blend from a store with a rapid shelf turnover because spices lose flavor with time and sitting on a store shelf is as bad for the flavor as sitting on your own kitchen shelf! I don't see the point in buying a big variety of spices and not using them for a long time because you don't know what to do with the stuff. Try a curry powder and add it to some of your old standards (egg salad, for example). If you discover that you REALLY like curry, you can move to the advanced level to create your own blends.

The other SP recipe calls for crushed tomatoes and I use tomato paste for the richer taste and to create a smooth sauce. And I call them "chick peas" rather than "garbanzo beans" --- same thing!

1 medium potato, cut into small dice
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
4 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can chick peas, rinsed & drained

1. Place the potato in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet. Add the onion, and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the spices and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes. Stir in the water, cauliflower. Cover, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
3. Stir in the tomato paste, potatoes, chick peas. Cover again, and simmer for 10-15 more minutes over low heat.

Roasted Cauliflower

This is a 3 ingredient recipe. I use sea salt but I suppose regular salt would be just as yummy. It's easy to prepare if you put all 3 ingredients in a big bowl, cover, toss to coat, spread evenly on a cookie sheet to bake. Use the original oil coated big bowl to serve. My family gobbles it up before it gets to the table!

1 small head cauliflower cut into florets
1 tsp olive oil
Sea Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine.
Toss to mix.
Transfer the mixture to a cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, tossing as needed, or until lightly browned and crisp tender.
Serve immediately.

And a few more "recipe" variations:

Yes, broccoli can be substituted for cauliflower in the following recipes!

Northern Italian Cauliflower
My family enjoys cauliflower if I stir fry it with sliced onion and sliced sweet red bell peppers in a little olive oil. Meanwhile prepare brown rice or penne (try Barilla Plus). To Serve: Mix well. Top with fresh grated Parmesan and black pepper.

Not Fettuccine Al Fredo
Stir fry cauliflower, sliced onion, and sliced sweet red bell peppers to soften veggies in a little canola or olive oil. Melt in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Add a cup of part skim ricotta. Add 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan. Stir over heat to combine and coat the cauliflower. Meanwhile prepare fettuccine. To Serve: Mix well. Top with fresh grated Parmesan and black pepper.

Not Risotto
Stir fry cauliflower, sliced onion, and sliced sweet red bell peppers to soften veggies in a little canola or olive oil. Melt in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Add a cup of part skim ricotta. canola or olive oil. Add a cup of part skim ricotta. Stir over heat to combine and coat the cauliflower. Meanwhile prepare brown rice. To Serve: Mix well. Top with fresh grated Parmesan and black pepper.

I've seen and tried the Faux Mashed Potato recipes. Sadly, although mashed cauliflower is yummy --- it's not mashed potatoes. A kid looking forward to mashed potatoes will not appreciate Faux Potato. Appreciate cauliflower for what it is.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
DIET_FRIEND 12/12/2012 1:43PM

    Cauliflower is popular at my house--all four of us like it. The kids prefer it to broccoli!

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SPARKFRAN514 12/10/2012 10:46PM

    great ideas for Cauliflower how colorful yours are ! the only way i had cauliflower was with cheese sauce all over it and cold thanks for the new ways to fix this veggie. The first one will be the roasted one ............` I did not know they came in colors !!!

Comment edited on: 12/10/2012 10:49:12 PM

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SOCPAGE 12/5/2012 12:52PM

    Yum. Agree with you that cauliflower is fine all alone. It does not need to be a fake potato.
I noticed the spikey cauliflower in your arrangement. I just bought one at an amish place. They said it was a cauliflower, but when I got it home, I realized that I don't know anything about it. Do you just fix it like the other kind? Does it stay green? I guess I will know soon, but I would hate to ruin it. Really feral looking. It scares my husband. ha ha.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/3/2012 9:06PM

    LOVE caluiflower . . . and broccoli. Those little animals are adoreable!!!!! Thanks for sharing the recipes. Definitely going to try them. HUGS

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PHEBESS 12/3/2012 5:37PM

    I like raw cauliflower dipped in hummus!

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FLEURGARDEN 12/3/2012 4:54PM

    I've never cared for cauliflower, but Ilove those cauliflower critters!

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PROVERBS31JULIA 12/3/2012 3:09PM

    These recipes look yummy!!

There's a lady we know who frequently makes a roasted cauliflower casserole for potluck after services... it's really yummy and uses some cheese and mustard. Knowing her she probably puts too MUCH cheese - will need to plug it in through the nutritional tracker and see how it turns out. But cauliflower hardly has any calories by itself, so I would think the recipe would be easy enough to adjust.

Thanks for sharing!!


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GYMRAT_AT44 12/3/2012 11:43AM

    Nice write up! Thanks for sharing... I prefer broccoli over cauliflower, but like them both.

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KIMCOLLINGS 12/3/2012 11:16AM

    Love it roasted

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BOSS61 12/3/2012 11:08AM

    Like most veggies in our house, cauliflower is something three of the four of us can agree on. Steven abstains.

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