Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cauliflower Recipe Request

We are working our way through the cruciferous vegetables. Last night I had two heads of cauliflower which I wanted to experiment with in two different ways, hoping to find a great new recipe for my family to enjoy. I like an Indian style cauliflower curry with cashews, but in spite of what you might think about my daughter, she doesn't. I made roasted cauliflower with Indian spices, and she liked it, but I wasn't impressed. And I made a raw cauliflower salad with the cauliflower processed in the food processor until it resembles white rice, and then I added some lemon and other spices and herbs and green peas. It was supposed to resemble a raw fried rice. All of us thought the idea had some potential, but we didn't like the results. There was something wrong with the flavor combinations.So, I'm appealing to you, my dear readers, for recipe containing mainly cauliflower that might appeal to me whole family. Please remember that it needs to be vegan, gluten-free, msg-free, and low fat. Email the recipe to me (click on "About Me" in the left column to find the email address) and I'll get the family to vote on which one we should try first. If it is a success, I'll share it with everyone on this blog. If it is already on your blog, point me to the link, and if we like it, I'll send everyone to your blog. If we try more then one recipe, and like them, we will give each one the proper credit.

Thank you for your assistance in this venture to learn to love all kinds of cruciferous vegetables.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I have noticed that Brussel sprouts are not a popular vegetable among most people. When I talk to friends I have noticed that there are people that like Brussel sprouts, and that usually these people learned to enjoy them when they were children. What made them like them? I think it could be the attitude of their mother and father toward these cute "baby cabbages." My mother taught me that Brussel sprouts were one of the most fun cabbages, and they were made just for children, because they are like "baby cabbages." And who doesn't like babies? The other thing could be the way they were prepared. My mom usually steamed ours until they were soft and easy to eat.

I have tried using the pre-frozen ones you find at the store, and though I patiently gave them several tries, I could never make them have a pleasant texture. If a person thought that they didn't like brussel sprouts, but had only tried to eat ones that were once frozen, they would not have an accurate impression of what they really are like, and I can totally understand why they don't like them.

I usually buy them fresh, looking for the smallest ones, because they are most tender and easy to eat. Though the big ones can also be quite pleasant cut in half with a little salt sprinkled on each side.

My newest discovery in the preparation of brussel sprouts is that they are even more wonderful roasted. And even though my husband and I have very good opionions of brussel sprouts, but daughter not yet been convinced until I served roasted brussel sprouts.

Here is how to make them.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Barbara Frohne

Preheat the oven to around 400 degrees. Wash an adaquate amount of fresh brussel sprouts. Trim off a tiny bit of the stem end, and then cut each sprout in quarters, through the stem. Place them on a baking sheet, and if you desire add some slivered onion and thinly sliced garlic. The next part is optional, but if you wish, take a tiny bit of grapeseed or olive oil, about a teaspoon or more depending on how many vegetables you have on the tray, and rub that oil around until everything is coated. Place the baking tray in the oven and cook until they are soft and starting to brown. It might take 15 - 20 minutes. Stir them a couple times. Pull them out and serve, allowing them to cool just a little bit before placing one in your mouth. They can really burn straight out of the oven. You can sprinkle them with salt before serving, or allow each person to put on just what they need. In my opinion, they taste great even without salt, but others in the family need a little.

If you really like roasted garlic, now is a good time to place a whole head of garlic on your baking tray and let it cooked with the vegetables. Once out of the oven, you can let it cool, and use right away or at a later meal.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gingered Napa Cabbage Salad

I think I've been in a cooking slump caused by spring vacation and a lot of busy-ness. But now I'm getting back on track.

I recently saw a report on some research about cruciferous vegetables and cancer rates. It said that when people increased their amount of unrefined fruits and vegetables that they ate by 20% that their cancer rate went down by 20%. But if for people who increased their intake of cruciferous vegetables by 20% the rate of cancer went down by 40%! Wow!

What are cruciferous vegetables? They are the ones from the cabbage family, including the cabbages of course, broccoli, califlower, turnips, brusselsprouts, radishes, kale, arugula, bok choy, collards, mustard greens, rutabaga, watercress, diakon and more. The next time I went to the store I looked around at all these powerful veggies and realized that I didn't put many of them in my cart. So, now I am trying to make sure we have one every day, and that it isn't the same one. We are branching out and trying new ones and new recipes for the more familiar ones.

What did we eat today? Gingered Napa Cabbage Salad. It was one I made up as I made it, but my daughter said it was really, really good. I know, she doesn't have average taste buds, but this was a new vegetable for her as for my son. What did he say? He was eagerly ate the remains in the salad bowl and asked for more.

Here is how to make it:

Gingered Napa Cabbage Salad
By Barbara Frohne

1 small to medium head of Napa Cabbage
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
juice of one fresh lime
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup old fashioned peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 TBSP honey

With a large knife, finely slice the napa cabbage into slivers. Place the cabbage into a large salad bowl.

Place the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the cabbage and mix.

Divide into serving bowls. Serves 3 to 10 people. My two kids and I ate it all ourselves today.