Crazy for Cauliflower

Cauliflower Thumbnail

Get Crazy for Cauliflower!

Many people’s first encounter with cauliflower was an unpleasant one. But with the right preparation, this member of the cabbage family could become an enjoyable addition to your table.

Fresh head of cauliflower

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chard, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas and turnips. A study in the Journal of Nutrition says that we’re still not eating enough cruciferous vegetables. That’s a shame, because research shows that compounds in these vegetables help fight off cancer of the colon, stomach, lung and possibly breast.

Cauliflower has a naturally mild, sweet flavor. Versatile in the kitchen, it can be steamed, baked, sauteed, or even grilled.

Using Cauliflower

  • To use, first separate the florets.
  • To prevent discoloration, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the cooking water.
  • When cooked, it can be refrigerated for up to three days.
  • Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, raw cauliflower can be refrigerated for up to five days.

Mark Twain said,

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

We think it’s worth giving this educated vegetable another try. Following is a recipe with ginger that takes the bland out of the bounty.

Gingered Cauliflower Recipe

1 small head cauliflower, chopped into large florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (coriander) finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Have chopped cauliflower, hot water, oil and spices near stove, ready to use.

Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat about 30 seconds. Add oil and heat another 30 seconds.

Add cumin and saute just until the seeds turn brown, about 10 to 20 seconds. Add ginger and stir briefly. Add turmeric and stir to mix, then add cauliflower and stir to distribute spices evenly on cauliflower.

Add hot water, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the cauliflower is almost tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring gently halfway through cooking.

Transfer liquid in skillet to a small pan and heat to a simmer. Cook gently to reduce amount by half. Meanwhile, increase heat under cauliflower to high and gently stir-fry to lightly brown cauliflower (about 5 minutes).

Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro to pan of reduced liquid, mix to blend and heat through. Add to cauliflower, gently stirring to evenly distribute. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve promptly.

Per serving: 38 calories, 2g total fat (0g saturated fat), 4g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 2g dietary fiber, 20mg sodium
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Vegetable, 1/2 Fat


Cauliflower Quote by Mark Twain
Cauliflower Quote by Mark Twain

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Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing