My Love Affair with Cauliflower

At about this same time last year, I started my love affair with cauliflower. I am not sure how it all came about. I remember being at the grocery store and seeing the clean, bright white heads all bunched together and peeking up at me. I thought, wow, it’s been a while since I’ve eaten cauliflower and it’s one of my favorite vegetables. Every time I went shopping, I would tell myself to pick a different vegetable, not to get too attached to cauliflower. Then I would find myself back in front of them again, choosing my favorite one from among their creamy florets.

Cauliflower / Nick Saltmarsh / CC BY 2.0

Cauliflower are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables which also include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and kale. Since they are a great source of antioxidants, eating cruciferous vegetables protects against cancer, in particular cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, prostate and ovaries. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. It is also low in fat, low calorie, high in water content, a good source of fiber and contains phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and other carotenoids.

So, how do I cook this delicious vegetable that earns three Guiding Stars? I either make it into a kind of mash or use it in a microwave “stir fry.” Both of these recipes are simple and super quick to prepare once the cauliflower is ready.

Simply Mashed Cauliflower

  • Cut up cauliflower into florets and steam until just fork tender.
  • Pour off and save the water used to steam for “broth.”
  • Mash the cauliflower up in the warm saucepan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
  • Mix some of the broth into the mashed cauliflower and enjoy!

Microwave Cauliflower Stir Fry

  • Cut up cauliflower into florets and steam until just fork tender.
  • To make one serving, use about ¼ of the head and place it into a bowl.
  • Add firm tofu cubes or cut-up cooked chicken. (optional)
  • Drizzle with olive oil, sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Sprinkle with garlic powder and dried parsley.
  • Microwave until hot, stir and enjoy!

The stir fry recipe is a great way to use leftover cooked cauliflower. I found these dishes to be both satisfying and filling and eat cauliflower at least twice a week for most of the late winter and early spring, when it is in season. While I write this I am getting distracted–I feel a craving coming on…