Cauliflower everything is all the rage right now. I can see why! Being a private chef and health coach, I am always looking for ways to increase the vegetable content of my recipes. Cauliflower makes it easy to do.
In the brassica family, cauliflower, along with broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale and collard greens are some of the healthiest vegetables to eat. Cauliflower is known for its cancer fighting properties, due to the phytochemical and fiber content and is high in vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables:10 reasons to eat your veggies: Reap the benefits for better health | Mahoney
Roasted veggies:Eat more roasted veggies with colorful three-cheese casserole | King
All of this, as well as being lower in carbohydrates and sugars, makes it worthy of a starring role at the table. As an extremely versatile and mild tasting vegetable it lends itself well to be a good candidate for sneaking into almost every recipe. I am not exaggerating.
I personally use it in soups, stews, beans, stir-fry, as a rice substitute, and added to potatoes for a lower carb, and healthier version of mashed potatoes. It is also used to make pizza crusts, crackers and many other low carb convenience foods. The only thing I haven’t used it in yet is dessert.
Cauliflower takes on whatever flavor is added to it and can act as a healthy filler to bulk up recipes.
There are about 80 North American varieties and the hybrids come in purple, orange and green colors. The purple color is due to the presence of a subtype of flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins. and contains glucoraphanin which can be converted to anti-cancer properties in the body.
All the different types and colors have slightly different vitamin, mineral and phytochemical profiles but are equally beautiful and nutritious and deserving of a place on the plate. One very convenient way to utilize cauliflower is by purchasing frozen cauliflower riced.
You can leave it in the freezer so it’s always available until you are ready to add it to most any recipe. You can "rice," grate or blend your own but buying it "ready to go" takes a step out of meal preparation. It makes putting a meal together quick and easy. There are many ways to use riced cauliflower.
One of the ways I like to use it is for fried “rice.” Fried rice using cauliflower in place of rice is very satisfying, nutritious and delicious. You can use any recipe for fried rice and just substitute cauliflower rice in its place. If you don’t want to fully substitute the cauliflower for rice, try a combination of half rice and half cauliflower.
Here is my recipe for fried cauliflower rice. This recipe has eggs but you can easily make it vegan. If desired, add chicken or tofu for additional protein. Try it out and see what you think. This recipe is gluten and grain free, plant based, healthy and nutritious.
Feel free to experiment and add more or less of any ingredient to make it suited to your taste. It is a forgiving recipe but don’t forget to season it well!
Recipe by The Kitchen Goddess
Thaw cauliflower if using frozen. Prepare all your vegetables, ginger and garlic, and set aside. Crack eggs in a separate bowl, whip and set aside. Put ½ tablespoon oil in a small pan and cook eggs until just done. Set aside.
In a larger pan sauté in remaining oil, onions, carrots, and celery for a minute or two. Add cabbage, ginger and garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
Next add your riced cauliflower, peas, coconut aminos, and mirin or white wine. Continue tossing everything as it cooks. Sprinkle in salt, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Fold in scrambled eggs.
Let it all cook another couple of minutes and then serve. If you want to add chicken or tofu cook that separately first, set aside and use the same pan for the eggs.
Garnish with green onion, if desired, and serve alone or with a small salad (cucumber and red onion with rice vinegar and olive oil is a great addition).
Jill Welch is a natural foods educator and chef with more than 25 years of experience in helping people improve their diet and lifestyle. For more information, visit at TheKitchenGoddess.com.
Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat using the link at the top of the page.