Do you ever eat something and think, “This tastes so good it must be good for me?” Yeah, that line of thinking is probably not a safe one, at least for me. I mean, I can already think of several things I love to eat that taste really good to me (mmm like the mock chicken salad at Earthfare? That stuff is ahh-mazing, but I can’t just have one helping!), but have absolutely no health benefits, and, in fact, eaten in excess have detrimental side effects!
But I’ve decided I want to be more informed about what I’m eating, and then I can feel that much better about the foods going into my mouth! Eat more greens! Sure, but why? Have some fruit; it’s yummy and good for you! What exactly is good for me?
Cauliflower was on the menu tonight, and while it tasted delicious and I’d recommend this dish to you, too, I still wanted to know what about this white vegetable that always makes me think of dissecting a brain when I’m chopping it up for consumption is so good for me. I did some research. Here’s what I learned!
- Is a cruciferous vegetable – which means it belongs to the cabbage family of vegetables.
- Eating lots of cauliflower can help reduce the risk of cancers of the prostate, breast, colon, ovarian AND bladder!
- There’s lots of fiber in cauliflower and that keeps you regular, and that’s really important.
- It’s what you nibble while you’re sitting on the edge of the fountain of youth because it’s got lots of antioxidants, which are what destroy free radicals, whose destruction keeps you looking young!
- Apparently when you combine cauliflower’s omega-3 fatty acids + Vitamin K = anti-inflammatory properties that helps prevent chronic inflammation that leads to painful conditions like arthritis, chronic pain and some painful bowel situations.
- Folate (B9) is really really important for pregnant moms and for all those reasons you should visit my friends at the March of Dimes. Turns out cauliflower’s got your back with lots of folate!
- But it’s not stopping at B9, cauliflower also is chock full of some other Bs like niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine!
- Heart health is a big deal, especially in my family. My dad recently had quadruple bypass surgery and our awareness of the nastiness of cholesterol is uber-heightened. Cauliflower can help reduce cholesterol! Plus, this little white vegetable contains allicin (also found in garlic), which apparently helps to reduce the occurrence of stroke and heart disease.
- It’s high in potassium but low in calories, making it a great friend to invite to your food party!
With all that power packed into one little plant, you must be so excited to try this dish! It’s really quick to put together; I had it completely ready and on the table in under 30 minutes.
These are all basic ingredients you probably have on-hand. Grab a cauliflower next time you're at the farmers' market and you're all set!
- Olive Oil - 2 T
- Onion - 1 medium, chopped
- Ground Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp
- Ground Ginger - 1/2 tsp
- Canned Tomatoes - 28 oz can, chopped
- Chickpeas - 15oz can, drained & rinsed
- Cauliflower Head - cored & cut into florets
- Raisins - 1/2 cup
- Baby Spinach - 5 oz, rinsed and chopped
- Couscous - 1 cup
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cumin, ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and their liquid, chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, and ½ cup water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew.