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Staying A Head of the Game

Cauliflower is healthy food champ

“You’ll want to include cauliflower as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet two to three times per week, and make the serving size at least 11⁄2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy cauliflower and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group four to five times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.”

That endorsement comes from The George Mateljan Foundation for The World’s Healthiest Foods. If cauliflower is rated that highly by an organzation “established ... to discover, develop and share scientifically proven information about the benefits of healthy eating ...”, who are we to argue?

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods website (whfoods.com), diets containing significant quantities of cauliflower have been linked to cancer prevention, particularly bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. Cauliflower serves the body’s detox system, its antioxidant system, and its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate; a very good source of vitamin B5, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, and molybdenum; and a good source of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and iron.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

1 head of cauliflower

2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced

Lemon juice from half a lemon

Olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 Servings

RECIPE from simplyrecipes.com

Cauliflower With Tomatoes

Toss 7 cups small cauliflower florets and 3 chopped plum tomatoes with 1⁄4 cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 11⁄2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric, a pinch of cayenne, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste on a baking sheet. Roast in a 450 degrees F oven, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Yield: 4 Servings

Recipe from the Food Network

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)

4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1⁄3 cup nonfat buttermilk

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon butter

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Snipped fresh chives for garnish

1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1⁄4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)

2. Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 Servings

recipe from eatingwell.com

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