Roasted CauliflowerSo my parents drove down to visit me this month and when they left their condo, I got all their leftover perishable items. For reasons unbeknownst to me, one of these items was a still-packaged head of cauliflower (something neither of my parents would eat, let alone buy).

I think I’ve had raw cauliflower on a veggie plate maybe 2-3 times in my life. But I really don’t like to waste food and I knew there had to be some way to cook this weird vegetable, so for my oddest adventure in cooking thus far, I give you Roasted Cauliflower!

This dish turned out a LOT better than I thought it would. However, the recipe I cited uses way too much salt. Next time I will use half that amount. Otherwise, pretty damn good for a vegetable. I served this with blackened sheepshead that my dad caught off the west cost of Florida.

When you cut up a raw head of cauliflower, it seems like you have a lot of food. But beware – cooking it yields 3-4 small servings.

Bengali spiceThere are several spice suggestions in the recipe I used. I decided on the panch puran & nutmeg variety. I had never tried panch puran (a Bengali spice) before and it sounded good. After a trip to an Indian Market and 29 minutes in the oven I had a new, tasty way to eat cauliflower.

A little more about cauliflower:

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. The word cruciferous comes from the Latin word Cruciferae, which means cross-bearing. Supposedly the petals of the cauliflower plant resemble a cross. You learn something new every day.

Other cruciferous vegetables include:

  •       Broccoli
  •       Kale
  •       Horseradish
  •       Bok Choy
  •       Cabbage
  •       Watercress
  •       Collard greens
  •       Brussels sprouts
  •       Turnips
  •       Daikon
  •       Arugula

As you can see, cruciferous veggies aren’t the most popular crowd. But they ARE vegetables, which means they MUST be good for you, right? 🙂

Right out of the ovenAfter some research, I discovered a lot about cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables. First off, cauliflower contains a sulfur compound called sulforaphane that can lower blood pressure, improve kidney health, and has been shown to KILL cancer stem cells (slowing tumor growth). You will also find anti-inflammatory nutrients (like I3C), antioxidants, phytonutrients, Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, fiber, protein, and lots of other good stuff in this unpopular veggie.

Cauliflower is a great source of a B vitamin called choline, which may boost cognitive function and even improve learning and memory. It also helps your body detox (and God knows I could use some of that!).

I’ve always had a weak digestive system so I was happy to discover that not only is cauliflower is a good source of dietary fiber, it can also help protect the lining of your stomach.