Nutrition Fact Friday: Cauliflower

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday. I’m so excited. My little brother is coming from Austin, and I am so pumped for all the fun adventures we are going to have. He is staying until Tuesday, so ya’ll know I am going to have a ton of drool worthy food pictures to share. Until then it is my favorite day of the week: Nutrition Fact Friday. This week’s topic is probably my favorite vegetable in the world, I literally came out of the womb craving this: CAULIFLOWER (Thanks mom – actually read an interesting study about how in the last weeks of pregnancy whatever the mother eats, the child tends to enjoy those tastes too).

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Cauliflower looks like the lame cousin of broccoli, but in my opinion it is like the cool older brother. Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which is why it is identical almost to broccoli. This vegetable contains a large amount of Vitamin C, and actually way more than an orange. Most people don’t know that you can get vitamin C in all kinds of forms besides citrus fruit. Vitamin C protects against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, eye health, and skin wrinkling (older people should get their vitamin c on). Cauliflower also has a good amount of vitamin K in it, which is good for blood clotting and to prevent bone loss. One of the best things about cauliflower is that it contains a lot of fiber, so the more you eat the more full you will feel. It is important to incorporate a lot of fiber into your diet because it helps with a multitude of diseases and helps keep your system in check. Cauliflower has a good amount of antioxidants in it, so it helps detoxify your system by ridding of unwanted toxins in the body. These antioxidants also help fight against cancer, so try to get 3-4 servings of cruciferous vegetables in a week.

Now that we are done with the education part of this nutrition fact Friday, I am going to share the delicious food pictures and recipes. Cauliflower is probably the best vegetable because it is so versatile and you can turn it into anything that you want.

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Probably one of my favorite things to do with cauliflower is make my delicious cauliflower crust pizzas that are literally to die for. My recipe is pretty simple to make, so I recommend checking it out. These are really great because you can add whatever you want on top thus providing yourself with even more nutrition. You can either make these with individual pizzas, in case you wanted to share, or you can make it into one large pizza that will last you for a few days. I am sort of liking the larger pizza because you can make it into a bigger and better one.

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Of course I am going to share one of my more recent recipes, which was the sweet potato, kale, and caramelized onion cauliflower crust pizza. That recipe was definitely a winner in my book. This pizza was the best cauliflower crust pizza that I have ever had since I have been making this. It actually has inspired me to come up with some new delicious ones to make in the big style, such as jalapeno popper pizza. You know you are drooling just thinking about it.

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Isn’t this a pretty neat recipe? Cauliflower fried rice for the win. You are still getting all the fiber that you would have been getting from the rice, but at a much lower calorie count. This is probably one of the better recipes that I have made. You really don’t even notice that it isn’t brown rice. I mean look at that picture. It looks exactly like fried rice. My friends at school couldn’t even tell that it was cauliflower. They just assumed that I had made some fried rice.

8557474732_3f8bef055eThis recipe is from Sweet Nicks, and it is something that I have been really wanting to try out for a while now. I think this will probably be my next cauliflower recipe. It is garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes. It is something that is really simple, but tastes really good. I love mashed potatoes, I mean for chrissakes I’m a Southern girl, but damn do those things pack a ton of calories. This will probably be my go to recipe when I’m having cravings for home style comfort food, but don’t want to gain the million pounds that come with that southern diet. Now all I need is a healthy fried chicken recipe, and I am good to go.

I hope ya’ll have a great Friday. I am off to work soon. This week we are teaching the kids about whole grains, so we will be serving things like pita with fun dips for the kids to try out. Afterwards I plan on going on food adventures with my brother and his friend for dinner. I am looking forward to it!

What is your favorite cauliflower recipe?
What would you like to see for Nutrition Fact Friday?

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Orange Cauliflower and Rice

Happy Halloween to everyone! I am having a pretty boring Halloween compared to my past. I’m just having a night in with the roommates doing school work. Oh the life of a graduate student. Actually I’m doing that because Carrianne and I are going to a crazy concert tomorrow, which I CAN’T WAIT FOR! So to make up for the lackluster Halloween events, I have a delicious recipe for you: Orange Cauliflower and Rice. I do love cauliflower (ya’ll know that from my cauliflower fried rice and cauliflower pizza).

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Orange Cauliflower

3 T Egg Whites
1/4 c of flour
1/2 c of water
1/4 c of corn starch
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped up
3 chopped up green onions
zest of orange + all of juice of orange
2 T of soy sauce
2 T of rice vinegar
1/4 c of orange juice
1 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 bag of frozen cauliflower

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1. Cook frozen cauliflower to directions on bag.

2. Mix flour, cornstarch, water, and egg whites into a small mixing bowl until a batter like texture if formed. Make sure that the batter isn’t super thick.

3. Heat 1/4 c of olive oil in a pan while you coat all the pieces of cauliflower until each piece is fully coated.

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4. Place cauliflower in pan until completely cooked and browned. Place cauliflower on paper towel to soak up oil and dry.

5. Heat 1 tsp of oil and the chopped up garlic in a new pan for a minute.

6. Add half of the green onions, the zest, and the juice of the orange into the pan and cook for another minute.

7. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Turn up the heat until it has reached a boil. Turn back down and toss in the cauliflower. Cook until it has been fully coated in sauce.

8. Remove from heat and place over brown rice (I just used Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown instant rice because I’m super lazy).

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9. Throw orange juice, brown sugar, and tsp of corn starch into the same pan. Heat to a boil for one minute, constantly stirring the dish.

10. Drizzle the sauce over the cauliflower and brown rice.

11. You can garnish the dish with the remaining green onions, orange zest, and sesame seeds.

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This dish is so delicious. It actually tastes like orange chicken minus the soft tenderness of the chicken, but the cauliflower is such a good healthy alternative. Chinese food can be packed full with calories, especially the Americanized food items like sesame chicken, orange chicken, and others. By placing a more vegetarian friendly option, you can lower the amount of calories while still enjoying the classic taste of the sauces. It was a nice warm meal to have when I was craving some greasy Chinese. I will definitely have to try this out with other popular Asian sauces. I like making healthy version of my favorite types of food because that allows me to enjoy them on a daily basis instead of just my fat day, which is Saturday.

I hope ya’ll enjoy this! Have an awesome Halloween. I’m catching up on all my missed TV shows while I make notecards, blog, and work on my review paper! Happy Halloween!

What is your favorite Chinese food item?
What are you going to be for Halloween?

Skinny Baked Potato Soup

Hey ya’ll! It is officially fall. The weather is getting chilly and I’m making soup to keep myself warm. I’m so excited that it is Friday. I’m going to the Bronx zoo today, so I am counting down the hours until I leave my apartment to go. I’m such a child, but oh well. I’m awesome. Plus this is my treat for getting an A on my midterm! Lets get to my recipe. I am going to be making a ton of soup recipes these days because it is gonna get freezing and soup is a quick warm thing to have. Today’s soup recipe is Skinny Baked Potato soup.

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Skinny Baked Potato Soup

2 medium russet potatoes
1 head of cauliflower or 1 bag of frozen cauliflower
1 1/2 c of vegetable broth
1 1/2 c of almond milk
1/2 c of fat free sour cream
salt
pepper
green onions

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1. Wash russet potatoes and then stab both with a fork all over. Place into a microwave safe dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Flip over and microwave for another 5 minutes.

2. While potato is being microwave, steam/cook the cauliflower until it is ready to be drained. Once the cauliflower is cooked, place into a blender or large food processor.

3. When potatoes are done, let them cool down and mash them in the container.

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4. Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and almond milk into the blender with the cauliflower. Blend the mixture until it becomes a thick creamy texture. Then pour into a large pot on the stove.

5. Heat on a medium to low heat until starts to bubble up. Then add in the sour cream, a dash of salt and pepper, and as many green onions as you want.

6 Mix well until you see that the sour cream has disappeared. Let heat for a few more minutes then serve into dishes (1 cup portions).

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I topped my soup with a sprinkle of fat free cheese, some more green onions, and a few pieces of turkey bacon. It literally tastes like a baked potato in liquid form. It was so delicious. It had gotten pretty chilly in the apartment, so it definitely warmed me up to eat this. You can’t even taste the cauliflower or the almond milk, so it was great to have healthy swaps that don’t ruin a dish. This makes a ton of servings too. I have a full plastic container waiting for me to enjoy every day in the fridge. It is really filling too because of all the fiber that is in the dish from the cauliflower and potatoes. This is a definite winter staple, so ya’ll should go out and make this immediately. You can get fun with the toppings too. Dress it up like it is your dream baked potato.

What do you like on your baked potato?
What is your favorite soup to have during winter and fall?

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a good Monday instead of having a bad case of the Mondays. I love Monday because I don’t have class until 3 in the afternoon, so I can wake up around 8 am and get all the things I need to do done for the day before class. It is a nice schedule. In more delicious things, I have another yummy recipe to share with ya’ll. This one uses one of my favorite vegetables: cauliflower. Ya’ll know how much cauliflower I eat from my Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe. I could just eat those things forever (I have basil in my fridge right now just so I can make some pizzas). But back to this new recipe. It contains a few of my favorite things: Asian food, pineapple, and cauliflower. Hmmmm what could that be? CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE!

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

2-3 cups of finely grated cooked cauliflower (I used a food processor to chop it up)
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 c of egg white liquids
1/2 c of chopped onion
1/3 c of chopped garlic
1 c of vegetables/mix ins (pineapple, peas, carrots, broccoli, etc)

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1. Chop up onion until fine pieces. Place into a pan sprayed with cooking spray and heat until the onions become see through.

2. Add in your mix-ins, such as broccoli, peas, carrots, pineapple, tofu, etc. Cook until you can see the vegetables are cooked and have lost all traces of frozen marks.

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3. While the vegetables are cooking in a pan, place your cooked cauliflower into a food processor to chop. Mix it in until it appears to look like a rice texture.

4. Also in a small pan, cook the liquid egg whites until you have a pan filled with scrambled eggs.

5. Toss in the scrambled eggs, chopped cauliflower, and 3 tbsp of soy sauce until all is throughout mixed.

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6. Once everything has cooked through for 3-4 minutes, you are ready to enjoy. This dish makes about 2-3 servings depending on how much extras you add in.

This dish is seriously delicious. You are getting a ton of nutrients while consuming a tasty meal. Fried rice can be full of calories for a variety of reasons. This fried rice is a much better and healthier option for you, especially for those of you that don’t get enough vegetables throughout the day! Cauliflower is such a good base to use in a variety of recipes. Cauliflower can be considered an antioxidant due to it containing Vitamin C and manganese. These help lower the levels of oxidative stress, which is extremely important in regards to a wide spectrum of health problems. Cauliflower also contains Vitamin K, which helps play a role in anti-inflammatory (good for me since I always need to decrease my inflammation)! Also cauliflower aids in digestive and cardiovascular health. It contains around 12 g of fiber for ever 100 calories of cauliflower. Wow! That is awesome. Plus you are getting fiber and other beneficial nutrients from whatever you add in.

I ended up topping mine with some sriracha because I needed that little extra kick with my meal. With my leftovers, I’m going to add in some tofu to give it some protein. I think that will be perfect along with some more sriracha sauce. I’m bringing this to class for dinner. People will probably stare at me, but not like I care. I’m always eating in class. I bring the loudest snacks ever to class like carrots and apples. It is always super awkward when it gets quiet and I’m like chomping away on things. Anyways I hope ya’ll enjoyed this! I definitely recommend going out and making this immediately!!

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What is your favorite Asian dish?
Do you eat a lot of cauliflower?

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday, which I couldn’t be happier about. I feel like weekends are still magical even when I’m not in school. Funny story about last night though. I had a major panic attack at 11 pm last night and emailed my adviser at school about 4 times. When I transferred back from Boston, I had to get approval for all of these hours since Texas is weird and requires all of these dumb credits (like Texas History – will not use that class ever), so I needed to make sure that I was still under the minimum hours of transfer credit allowed. However I convinced myself that I had way too many transfer hours and that I wasn’t going to be able to graduate and go to grad school. Luckily my adviser told me I was crazy (no he didn’t, but I bet he was thinking I was) and that I was fine. Thank god. I was going to go cry to someone at the university or something to make it better. Since that was so stressful, I have an awesome and delicious recipe to share with ya’ll! Cauliflower pizza crust. Sounds kind of gross, but oh my buhjeezus is this stuff good!

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

2 cups of grated cauliflower
1/2 c of finely chopped basil
1/3 c of liquid egg whites
1 egg
2 c of fat free shredded mozzarella cheese

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1. Preheat the oven to 450. Then you  need to cook the cauliflower. I used frozen cauliflower, so I just boiled some water, threw in the cauliflower, covered, and let cook in boiling water for 4 minutes. Once it was done cooking, I removed it from the water by draining it in the sink. Then I placed it in a food processor to chop into small bits. I then placed two cups into a mixing bowl.

2. The first time I made this recipe, I finely chopped all the basil by hand. That took forever. New and smarter plan is to throw the amount of basil you want into the food processor and chop it until you have fine pieces. Throw the basil into the mixing bowl with the cauliflower.

3. Then add the liquid egg whites, cheese, and 1 egg into the mixing bowl. Stir well until it is a thick clump.

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4. Get a cookie sheet and place a piece of parchment paper over it. Spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Grab clumps of the “dough” to make 4 mini pizzas. You keep adding to each pile until they are about the same. Then place the pizzas into the oven for 20 minutes. If the pizzas are not as crispy as you would like, add another 5 minutes to the time. However be careful of burning them.

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6. Once you remove from the oven, add on toppings that you would like. I made one pizza with tomato paste, fat free slices of ham, and pineapple. The other pizza had mushrooms, onions, and sliced tomatoes on top of it. Both pizzas were topped with fat free mozzarella and a sprinkle of low moisture mozzarella. My mom topped her pizzas with a larger amount of cheese. It just depends on how many calories you want to consume from cheese.

7. You then place the pizza back into the oven until the cheese has completely melted. This could either be very quick or slow, depending on the type of cheese you have topped your pizza with.

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Hello to cheesy goodness. You seriously can’t even tell that the crust is made from cauliflower. The basil and cheese masks that pungent cauliflower flavor, and provides a nice savory flavor to the dish. The crust wasn’t extremely crispy, so I recommend going light on the sauce. I learned my lesson from the first time we attempted this recipe. I was in charge of putting on the sauce, which I overloaded on and it soaked through the crust and all over the pan. It was still delicious though. You can cut the pizza into four little slices too. However it will not be like a perfectly cooked slice of pizza from Italy where it just flops. It takes some napkins to eat these. It is also really good as left overs.

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The Hawaiian pizza was definitely my favorite. Later on when we made more, I decided to use a honey BBQ sauce for my base instead of tomato sauce. Best decision ever. It was amazing. This is now my go to healthy recipe. It provides you with tons of fiber, it is low calorie, and it is a tasty option when eating healthy. I can’t wait to try all different kinds of toppings. Mexican pizza? Pesto pizza? You bet I have all kinds of crazy ideas swirling around in my head right now. My mom and I are such fans of this recipe that we have already made it three times and she just bought more cauliflower today, so we could eat it again. Noms. Go out and make these immediately! You definitely won’t regret it.

Have you ever made a healthy alternative pizza crust?
What is your favorite pizza toppings?

Life as a Dietetics Student

Hey ya’ll! Today I’m going to post a new addition to the blog: Life as a Dietetics student. I will show ya’ll what my daily life is like as a nutrition student, what sort of things you need to do to get a dietetic internship, and other random dietetic major tidbits. For today, I’m going to focus on a fun project we are doing in my advanced food science class. Advanced Food Science is a class that focuses more specifically on the science of food with a heavy impact on biochemistry, organic chemistry, and biology.  We had to keep a food diary for one week following a limited processed foods diet. I thought this was excellent for health reasons and just for fun.

My epic food journal. I’ve actually almost lost it multiple times during the week while recording my food because it is just a stapled together thing of paper. I also have random food stains on it because I was eating and recording at the same time. I probably should have waited till after I was done eating, but oh well I’m proactive.

At first I was freaking out because I was like oh god this is going to be so awful, but then I realized I actually do not eat that much of processed foods. Once I came to that realization, things were much easier. When we ate something we had to record whether it was not processed, slightly processed or processed. Take my oatmeal for instance, it is slightly processed because the oats were run through a factory, but are out of a bin from the health store.

When I went to the grocery store for the week, I mainly focused on not buying anything that was in packages. When I got home I realized that I only really bought whole foods, so I was going to have to get creative when it came to dishes. The dish above is my version of a mashed potato, but with cauliflower instead. Some of it is processed, but it is way healthier than eating something like a microwave meal because it provides me with tons of nutrients and health benefits.

This was a delicious snack I had. I made this yogurt combination with vanilla yogurt, a mashed banana, some brown sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla extract. It was so good and I used a grannysmith apple to dip in it. I’ve been making this yogurt combo a lot since I started making it for the assignment. Definitely a good low calorie treat to have.