Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cauliflower for Cancer Prevention

It may not be the most beautiful vegetable you have set your eyes on, but cauliflower has a lot of great things going for itself. 1 cooked cup of these white florets nourishes your body with over 100% of your daily need for vitamin C. Also, as part of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, brussel sprouts, kale), cauliflower contains a compound known as sulforaphane, an extensively studied compound found to prevent certain cancers by either suppressing tumor growth or even halt the developmental process altogether. Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute have found an additional mechanism by which this crazy cruciferous family may prevent cancer development. Read on if your heart so desires. 

Because of it's subtle flavor and colorless appearance, cauliflower is a big hit with mom's trying to get their kids to eat veggies. When pureed, it can secretly be thrown into mashed potatoes, muffins and pancakes, or anything else you can think of for that matter. And even though I sometimes enjoy a simply seasoned cauliflower puree, I also enjoy a nice bite out of the whole vegetables itself. 

Cauliflower Steak with Indian Spiced Roasted Pepper Sauce

1 head of cauliflower, sliced into 1 inch thick steaks
1 can black beans, low sodium, rinsed
1 cup jarred roasted peppers (red bell or pimiento)
1/4 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh peeled ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp chili flake or chili powder
olive oil
Fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 250.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat, and saute the peppers, onion, garlic, ginger and spices until tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Set aside.

Using the same skillet, heat another Tbsp of oil over medium heat and add cauliflower steaks, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Sear cauliflower for about 3 minutes on each side to create a nice browning effect, and then slide pan into oven for about 10-12 minutes until tender. 

*If you don't have a cast iron skillet, simply transfer the cauliflower onto a foil lined baking sheet before putting into oven.

To plate, place a nice spoonful of the red pepper sauce on a plate and add the steak. Top it off with black beans and basil. Enjoy!


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