There is quite the surge right now with a good ol’ standard side dish vegetable: cauliflower. It seems that every where you look, it’s there. With the latest trend toward low carb eating, many are grabbing more and more of this valiant veggie. So let’s carefully contemplate cauliflower’s case.
What is cauliflower anyway?
Do you love how words are formed? Then you will love this one! The original word comes from its Latin name used back in the 1500’s: coleflorie. The prefix cole– means that it is in the plant family called Brassica. Along with cauliflower, plants in this family include other cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cabbage. (Ever wonder why the side dish made with cabbage is called, “Cole Slaw”? Well, now you know!). If you are interested click here for more on cruciferous vegetables.
The last part, florie, means what you think it means: flower. When you are eating cauliflower, you are eating hundreds of flowers that haven’t yet bloomed. These bumps and lumps are called curds. The curds are made up of collections of premature flowering buds.
You could even call this light colored bud veggie, “bud light”! Since it is becoming more popular, maybe next year’s Super Bowl will have a Cauliflower Bowl…or maybe not…
A great starch replacer
Cauliflower has become the latest low carb substitute for the high carb, starchy staples of potatoes, pasta and rice. Its flavor and texture works well for replacing these starchy foods. Fun recipes are everywhere. And, because one cup of cauliflower has more Vitamin C than an orange and it is a cruciferous vegetable that helps fights cancers, its a healthy option. It also comes in many colors like purple, orange, or lime green.
My hubby didn’t like cauliflower. He just wasn’t a fan eating it boiled. Then one day, I snuck it in on him. I tried a recipe for mashed cauliflower, but didn’t tell him what it was. He ate it up, then looked at me and said, “Wow, this is good….what is this?” Yep, he was quite surprised. Score another one for cauliflower.
Most of us are familiar with finding cauliflower in the produce section typically wrapped in plastic. But, now cauliflower comes in countless ways! I just saw a bag of “Cauliflower Tots” that were in the frozen foods section. Nice replacement of the potato version and a great way to get kids their veggies (and hubbies). If you want to try making them at home rather than buying them, here is a good make at home cauliflower tots recipe.
Better than just boiled
I only remember my mom serving cauliflower as a boiled side dish. Like my hubby I was not a huge fan. But these days there are many ways to make cauliflower: try it mashed, totted, riced, or even made into pizza crust!
Because of its popularity and demand, you can now readily find bags of riced cauliflower in the produce section (it’s been cut up into tiny rice-sized pieces). They are usually by the packaged items like premade salads and slaws. For those of us who don’t want the prep work, this a great time saver! And, this version can be added to salads, soups, and slaws speedily.
One of my favorite ways to make vegetables is by roasting them. Just take the whole cauliflower head, remove the core, break into pieces into a large bowl, coat with olive oil, throw on some minced garlic, salt, and pepper and bake in a 400 F oven for about 15 minutes. Yum!
See you again next week for continuing the ABCs when D won’t mean a bad grade on your work!