Cauliflower: The New Kale

The year 2013 was all about the green leafy vegetable kale. But for 2014, cauliflower is being hailed as a top food trend because of its delicious taste and versatility. Home cooks and professional chefs alike are incorporating this vegetable into dishes. For instance, Kitchen Table, located in downtown Omaha, Neb., uses cauliflower in combination with chickpea pesto, mozzarella and roasted red pepper jam in one of its sandwiches. The French Bulldog, also in Omaha, has jumped on board with the trend as well. The establishment combines cauliflower with other veggies, freshly shaved cheese and pine nuts.

Health benefits of cauliflower
This cruciferous vegetable is known for much more than its unique taste – it also boasts numerous health benefits. Cauliflower is packed with antioxidants such as as beta-carotene, which protects the body from damaging free radicals. You’ll also find plenty of vitamin K in this veggie, which helps to prevent chronic inflammation that can lead to health issues like arthritis and bowel conditions. Cauliflower offers digestive support as well. Just one cup of boiled cauliflower gives the body about 3.35 grams of dietary fiber. Glucoraphin, which protects the stomach lining, is found in the vegetable.

Creative ways to use cauliflower
If you don’t love the taste of raw cauliflower, you can transform this versatile vegetable right in the kitchen using skills you learned from your cooking school online classes. Here are a few ways to enjoy cauliflower:

Mashed potatoes
If you love mashed potatoes, you’re in luck. You can mash up cauliflower for a much healthier alternative that is equally as tasty. All you have to do is chop the veggie into small bite-sized pieces and peel about five garlic cloves, cutting them in half. Then steam the cauliflower and garlic together for about 15 minutes. Add fresh herbs like chives and basil to your steamed, seasoned veggies and put everything into a food processor until it reaches a mashed potato-like consistency.

Pizza crust
The next time you plan on whipping up your very own homemade pizza, consider using cauliflower for the crust. Those following low-carb and paleo diets have found using this vegetable in place of traditional crust is both healthy and delicious. Cauliflower crust offers a slightly spongy texture and holds up well when topped with a variety of pizza ingredients like baby spinach, red bell peppers and feta cheese.

Roasted cauliflower
Roasting cauliflower really brings flavor to the veggie and gives it a crunchy texture that makes for the perfect side dish. Mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon of paprika and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Mix them together and drizzle over cauliflower florets in a baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s done, stir in 2 minced garlic cloves and bake another 10 minutes for a tender and lightly browned side dish.


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