Cauliflower-in-the-Round


According to the information on www.essortment.com, cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable and part of the brassica family, it is a vegetable that is many times overlooked. I think broccoli gets more attention.  Wikipedia notes, “almost all parts of some species or other have been developed for food, including the root (swedes [rutabagas], turnips), stems (kohlrabi), leaves (cabbage, Brussels sprouts), flowers (cauliflower, broccoli), and seeds (many, including mustard seed, oilseed rape). Some forms with white or purple foliage or flowerheads, are also sometimes grown for ornament.”

Cauliflower also contains vitamin C and folate. Folate helps the blood work more efficiently and is often recommended for preventing anemia. Folate is also essential for proper tissue growth and not getting enough can make you succeptible to many diseases down the road such as cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant.* When used alongside other antioxidents such as vitamin E and betacarotene*, you can keep your immune system strong. (Source: Wikipedia) *See Glossary.

There are several varieties of cauliflower: the familiar white cauliflower, the broccoflower (a lime-green hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower), and the purple-headed cauliflower. I also purchased one that was yellow/gold, which I used in today’s recipe.

On a PDF file I found on the Internet was this information: Similar to cabbage, eating too much cauliflower may create a problem for those with thyroid problems(interferes with body’s ability to absorb iodine, which the thyroid needs) but for those without this problem, cauliflower (as well as other cruciferous veggies) may help to reduce cancer risk. While raw is supposedly the best way to derive all the nutrients, I like it best steamed.


Cauliflower in the RoundIMG_0280



Utensils: large pot for steaming, steam basket
Prep. Time: 5 minutes 
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower 
Category: Vegan

Ingredients

Whole, organic cauliflower with leaves removes and bottom stem cut flat across
Olive Oil
Herbs of choice

Directions
1. Wash cauliflower well. (You can submerge it in water with vinegar to root out any critters that may be between the florets.) Cut off 1/2″ of the stem so it will lie flat in the steamer.

2. Place cauliflower in the steamer basket and be sure there is enough water below. Steam until fork tender,but not mushy, as short a time as possible.

3. Remove from steamer and place on a serving plate. Pour olive oil and herbs+ of choice over the cauliflower and serve, garnished with sprouts or kale, if you wish. (+I used curry powder. For an Italian flavor, use oregano, garlic, & thyme. For a spicier flavor, use chili peppers and cilantro. Or simply sprinkle with dill weed, dill seeds, or sesame seeds. You can also use sesame oil or another flavored oil of your choice.)

Variation: You can add non-dairy cheese shreds over the warm cauliflower while it is still in the steamer, after it is cooked. Cover and let the topping melt.

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