By HILLARY LANDSMAN
When asked about different vegetables, green veggies usually get all the praise for being, well … green. Carrots and sweet potatoes have the whole high-in vitamin-A thing going on. Broccoli is a child’s nightmare. Brussels sprouts are gross, but healthy. Tomatoes are fruits, but also vegetables?
And cauliflower it’s … well, you know…? The amount of apathy towards cauliflower is pretty astonishing.
I am the middle daughter of three. My two sisters are your typical (and awesome) “middle child syndrome” siblings: According to parents.com, this includes older sisters — “they like taking charge and have oodles of confidence” and younger sisters —“they tend to be more carefree, easygoing, fun-loving, affectionate and sociable, and they like to make people laugh.” If any of you know either of my sisters, you’d know that this is so spot on; it’s kind of scary.
So then there’s me. Where does the middle child fit in?
Much like the middle child, cauliflower has the powerful characteristic of being flexible — stuck between the strong personalities of broccoli and sweet potatoes, it has the power of being able to equally support flavors, or be the star of the show.
Still, cauliflower is often left out of the mental vegetable list, while other similar veggies, like broccoli, come to mind first. Cauliflower does not have a distinctive color or nutrient and it’s often subbed out for something more “substantial,” like broccoli or greens. Well, that’s about to change. In fact, you’re going to start subbing ingredients out for cauliflower! Here’s why “the forgotten one” deserves its chance in the spotlight:
Cauliflower is low in fat and calories, and high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, choline, vitamin B6 and more. The nutrients and phytochemicals the veggie contains also might have the ability to fight cancer because of its sulforaphane content. This compound has been found to kill cancer stem cells. Cauliflower also contains anti-inflammatory nutrients as well as digestive and detoxification support. It’s recommended to eat two to three servings of cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) each week.
Substitute Cauliflower for rice! Put cauliflower in a food processor for a bit, or grate it by hand, until it has a couscous-like texture. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the cauliflower. Heat for about 5 minutes.
They can also be made to resemble mashed potatoes! Heat a pot of water on high heat. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and cook for about six minutes, or until it’s well done. Drain and pat dry. Do not let cool! Puree in a food processor until smooth.
Recipe: Mama Landsman’s Famous Cauliflower