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Cauliflower by anything you like, just serve it for dinner.

After blogging about beans and tofu and other protein related topics (because it seems to be a non-vegetarian’s biggest concern) for several weeks, I realized I hadn’t written a whole lot about, well, vegetables. I think because they have been often delegated to the “side-dish category,” many tend to forget that they can be used as entrees. However, rather than tackle the whole produce section of possibilities, this post will address the cruciferous or cabbage family, focusing in on cauliflower.

This family is actually rather large, including the familiar broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, but also radishes, horseradish, mustards, the I-can’t-believe-I’m-even-mentioning-them Brussels sprouts, and turnips. Cruciferae means “cross-bearing,” describing the four petals of mustard flowers which resemble a cross. They contain several phytochemicals that beneficial to our health, including Indole-3-carbinol. (Don’t worry there will not be a test on this.)

*The thing to remember is that it is known for enhancing DNA repair and slows the growth of cancer cells.*

Boiling reduces the levels of this compound, so that the longer you boil it, the more that is lost. However, other preparation methods, such as steaming and stir frying had no significant effect on it and other desirable compounds.

Celebrity Guest

So let’s get to the cauliflower already.

By way of one more diversion: Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman). Like many, I have been captivated by her story as told in her book, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels—A Love Story. As the book’s blurb says:

“That’s when I saw him—the cowboy—across the smoky room.

“I’ll never forget that night. It was like a romance novel, an old Broadway musical, and a John Wayne western rolled into one. . . . I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, let alone a tall, rugged cowboy who lived on a cattle ranch miles away from my cultured, corporate hometown. But before I knew it, I’d been struck with a lightning bolt . . . and I was completely powerless to stop it.”

She has a blog with several recipes and other useful helps, including a detailed, picture-filled recipe for making Cauliflower Soup.

Brains for Dinner

I’ve heard cauliflower referred to as “brain food,” and perhaps this blogger did too, because she says it makes her “think a lot.” Her recipe for roasted cauliflower is given here. She believes in this simple recipe so much that she discusses “this recipe at Farmers’ Markets, at parties, in the bank lines and on airplane rides.”

I guess it beats talking about the weather.

Because children will eat almost anything with peanut butter on it:

My favorite way to prepare cauliflower, and the one I’ll probably use this week, is to steam good size pieces until tender, then serve with the following spicy nut sauce spread generously over the top.

Spicy Peanut (I’ve used almond butter with great results) Sauce

¼ C. peanut butter (try crunchy!)

1 T. tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos

1 T. lemon juice

2/3 C. water

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed

Dash of cayenne (or what your family will eat)

In small saucepan, combine peanut butter, tamari and lemon juice. Combine well and stir in half the water; mix until smooth. Add garlic and cayenne. Heat over high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Slowly stir in the remaining water, then continue stirring and cooking until smooth, but thick.

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