Cauliflower “Bread” ??

Delicious Cauliflower

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio

If you are keeping up with my vegetable of the week, you’ll know that last week we talked about Brussels sprouts.  This week, we are having a look at cauliflower, also in the same family, and therefore, boasts some of the same nutrient benefits as Brussels sprouts.  A-B-C, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower – look, it’s almost like I’m going in alphabetical order!  Stay tuned, though.  Next week will be a special post!

I wanted to feature cauliflower this week because it is so versatile and is a great vegetable for those who don’t get their recommended daily servings.  Keep reading for more.  One of my interns, Kalie Thompson, DI, Baptist Health Dietetic Internship Program, wrote up this blog and we are happy to share our love of vegetables with you!

Looking for a new vegetable to try? Well, have you had some cauliflower lately? In just one cup, you will get an array of nutrition benefits. It is low in calories, only 27 per cup, 320 mg of potassium, 5 g carbs, 2.5 g of fiber, 2 g of protein, and also has plenty of vitamin C, folate, B6 and Vitamin K.

Cauliflower is extremely versatile!! You can enjoy it fresh with your favorite healthy dip, roasted, sautéed, boiled, or steamed.  You can even make it like rice or mashed potatoes- what a good way to get in your veggies without all the extra calories.

Fun Facts about Cauliflower!

Did you know…?  There are actually four major groups of cauliflower.  There is Italian, Northern European Annuals, Northwest European Biennials and Asian cauliflower.

There are many different colors and types of cauliflower! The white cauliflower is the most common; while the orange cauliflower, found in Canada, contains 25% more Vitamin A.

In Europe you can find green cauliflower, which is often called “broccoflower.”  In Great Britain, the purple variety is common and they are commonly called “Graffiti” or “purple cape.”

Looking for a new cauliflower recipe? “Hold on to your hats”! Below is a delicious recipe for you to try:

Cauliflower “Bread”

Ingredients Makes 4 Slices of ‘Bread”

Cauliflower crust

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield 3 cups of cauliflower rice)
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Cauliflower crust “bread” slices
Preheat oven to 450°F and place a rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.
In a food processor, rice the cauliflower florets (it should be evenly chopped but not completely pulverized). OR, you can manually grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater. It only takes a few minutes to grate a whole head of cauliflower.

Transfer cauliflower rice (about 3 cups) to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Place the cauliflower rice in a clean towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can (I usually squeeze out over a cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry, otherwise you’ll end up with mushy dough, impossible to use as slices of bread.
Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, mozzarella, salt, pepper and mix well.
Spread cauliflower mixture onto the lined baking sheet and shape into 4 squares.
Place in the oven and bake for about 16 minutes until golden.
Remove and let cool 10 minutes before peeling them off the parchment paper (be careful not to break them!)

Nutrition facts

One slice: 93 calories, 4.4 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein and 435 mg of potassium.

Note

When I make this recipe, I use ¼-1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese in place of the Mozzarella.  I usually top my “bread” with a variety of vegetables and a serving of lean meat.  I especially enjoy this treat topped with a bit of pesto, chopped chicken, and a spoonful of gourmet tomato sauce.  In a way, it tastes like pizza, but honestly, it’s even better!  Also, while this may look like it is a time consuming recipe, it is pretty simple all in all.  It does not take long to grate the head of cauliflower and while it is baking, you can assemble what you’d like to put on your “bread.”  Additionally, it keeps and reheats well!  Enjoy!

– Tiffany

CB

One of my open faced “sandwiches,” topped with a portabella mushroom, sautéed spinach, tomatoes, lean chicken sausage, and some shredded cheddar cheese

Brussel Sprouts and Bacon!

Bountiful Brussels Sprouts

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio

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It’s a new week so time for a new vegetable- Brussels Sprouts !  Many people may shy away from this cabbage like vegetable, it was even one of America’s most disliked, but don’t hate, this veggie has much to offer.

Aside from once being a favorite food in Brussels, this cruciferous vegetable has nothing to do with Belgium.  In fact, they are thought to have originated in Rome and are cultivated from wild cabbages.  They are part of the Brassica family, a cruciferous vegetable, along with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, and turnips, among others.  In addition to being full of vitamins and minerals, this class of vegetables is known for their potential to reduce the risk of cancer.  A sulfur-containing compound, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates are what give them their cancer fighting abilities!  Some of those same compounds are what give Brussels sprouts a pungent bite, but if you follow the recipes and tips below, I’m sure you’ll want to pop these mini cabbages instead of candy, just like I do.

Need more reason to incorporate these little gems into your diet?  Here are some nutrition facts.  1 cup of Brussels sprouts provides 38 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 340 grams of potassium, 155 grams of Vitamin K, and almost your daily dose of Vitamin C.  As you can see, Brussels sprouts are nutritious and when you cook and pair them with the right foods, they are absolutely delicious.

I made this recipe a while back but made some modifications based on Chef Zach Lutton, from Zedric’s, recommendation.  It should be a hit with everyone, even those of you who don’t eat any vegetables at all.  Why?  Because I made it with bacon, sausage, and syrup!  What?  Yup- keep reading!

 

Sweet, Savory, and Bacony Brussels Sprouts

Serves: 4

Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 bag of fresh Brussels sprouts (about 4 cups), ends cut off then cut in half

4 links low sodium bacon, diced

4 links chicken sausage (I use Casual Gourmet Roasted Red Pepper & Spinach from Costco), diced

1 cup red onion, diced

1 tablespoon dried cranberries (or more!)

1 tablespoon chopped pecans (or more!)

2 tablespoons sugar free maple syrup (I use Maple Grove farms)

4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with tin foil and evenly spread Brussels sprouts.  Give them a light spray of Pam and add a sprinkle of salt to bite the bitterness.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until sprouts begin to crisp and some of the outer leaves fall off.
  2. In the meantime, add the 4 slices of bacon in a skillet, cook until soft and drain most of the oil. Add diced onion, and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Add in the sausage and cook until done, about 4-5 minutes.  Add in the chopped pecans, cranberries, syrup, and balsamic vinegar and cook down a few more minutes.  Allow to thicken a bit, but don’t let it get stuck to the pan.
  3. When both the sprouts and the stove top portion is complete, toss together and serve.

 

Note: The nutrition facts have been calculated for the ingredients above.  You could serve this meal with baked sweet potato for more carbohydrates or serve with additional pecans, almonds, or diced avocado for more calories from your healthy fats.

This is such a tasty meal that both veggie lovers and non-veggie consumers alike will be hooked!  Try it today and let me know what you think.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 265; Fat: 10 g; Carbohydrates: 20 g; Protein: 22 g; Vitamin A: 27 %; Vitamin C: 83%; Calcium: 10%; Iron: 11%.

Eat your veggies

 

keep-calm-and-eat-your-veggies-13

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio

It’s no secret- most Americans do not get enough vegetables, so I am going to make it my mission to encourage people to do just that!  Every week, I am going to share some healthy facts about different vegetables and include a simple recipe for you to try.  I want all kinds of people to take place in this “challenge” and plan on sharing on Facebook, with my coworkers, and our Meals on Wheels blog.  This comes at a good time as well seeing as I have so many interns this spring.  I can put them to work!

Just so you know, when I say veggies, I have green and other brightly colored, nutrient dense vegetables in mind.  I know foods like corn, potatoes, beans, and peas are considered vegetables, but for now, let’s focus on non-starchy vegetables, seeing as those are the foods lacking in the typical American diet.

One of my friends via social media said he was going to try asparagus today- he said he’s never had it.  I regularly urge him to add some veggies to his day so hopefully this will be a start of a new healthy habit, not only for him, but for you as well.

A for asparagus…  Shall we go in alphabetical order?  Maybe I can take weekly requests, maybe I can post based on new recipes I’ve tried.  We shall see, but for today, let’s talk about this low calorie, nutrient dense vegetable that resembles some kind of tree and whose meaning comes from “stalk or shoot.”  That’s Greek in origin, of course, and is one of the many nutritious foods that come from that part of the world!

Asparagus, and other green vegetables, are low in calories and packed with fiber and nutrients.  This stalk provides antioxidants, folate (important for women of child bearing age), fiber, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K.  Additionally, it has a flavonoid called rutin that may be known to have anti-inflammatory benefits.  It is a natural diuretic and in traditional medicine, was used to cure skin conditions, toothaches, and improve fertility.

If you’ve ever had asparagus (and hopefully you have!), you may notice an odd smell after using the restroom.  The body converts a compound in asparagus into asparagic acid.  This acid is actually a related to methanethiol, the essence that is found in skunk spray!  But, don’t let that deter you from eating this nutritious vegetable, it is completely safe.  Your sensitivity to it is based on genetics and some people are not affected.

You can purchase fresh asparagus or frozen, which is equally nutritious and sometimes more convenient to prepare.  If you buy it fresh, store it in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped a damp paper towel to keep it fresher, longer.  Before you prepare it, wash it and cut off the woody ends.  You can cook asparagus in so many different ways, but the most simple, and one of my favorites is by giving it a quick once over with non-stick cooking spray, a sprinkle of Tony Chachere’s Salt Free Seasoning, and baking in the oven on a cookie sheet for 12-14 minutes at 400 degrees F.  You can taste your tress for doneness based on personal preference.  Sometimes, the thinner stalks cook more quickly and of course, the thicker ones take longer.  You can also put them on your Foreman grill or an outdoor grill and many people enjoy them simply drizzled with olive oil and a dash of salt.  Eat them however you like, just be sure to include them as a part of your healthy meal plan.  Need some more ideas?  Check out these recipes.

Here is a recipe that is a great side dish to a variety of meals and like the author says, it’s “Quick and easy.” http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/16/lemon-parmesan-asparagus/

Need a whole meal idea?  Try this simple chicken and veggie skillet meal.  http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chicken/balsamic-chicken-and-vegetables/

Feel free to share your favorite asparagus recipe for others to enjoy!