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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Sweet Potato, Kale, Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Pizza

Hey ya’ll! I just had a mini panic attack. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to blog today because my computer wouldn’t connect to the internet. After multiple scream sessions (at least without me throwing anything), I managed to get my computer back onto the internet. Today I have a special recipe for you. A sweet potato, kale, caramelized onion cauliflower pizza. Wow. That is a mouthful. It is definitely a mouthful of greatness.

Sweet Potato, Kale, Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Pizza

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1 c of Kale (you can add more if you want, which I ended up doing)
1 onion
1-2 large sweet potatoes (this depends on how much sweet potato sauce that you want)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp skim milk
1 bag of frozen cauliflower
2-3 tbsp of basil paste
1-2 tbsp of garlic
2 eggs
1 cup of fat free mozzarella cheese
Extras: I added some honey sesame chicken that I made a few days before on top, cheese for the top

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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stab sweet potato with a fork all over and place into the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes or until soft.

2. Chop onions into slices. Place oil into a skill and toss in onions. Keep on medium to high heat. Stir every few minutes for around 30 minutes. Keep going until brown and caramelized.

3. Once they have caramelized, add in the kale. Cook until it has softened.

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4. Boil all of cauliflower in a pot for around 5 minutes or until soft. Then place into a food processor. Grind until into fine bits that are easily mashed.

5. Place into a mixing bowl. Add in the basil and garlic. Mix well.

6. Then add in cheese and eggs. Spray a cooking sheet or cover it with parchment paper (then spray it with cooking spray). Place mixture on the paper and smash it down until it forms a large pizza.

7. Once the sweet potatoes are done, remove, and turn the oven up to 450. Place in the oven and bake for 25-3o minutes, waiting until the crust is pretty brown.

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8. While the crust is cooking, take your sweet potatoes and get out all of the insides and place into a small mixing bowl. Add in the milk an stir well until it makes a creamy paste.

9. Once the pizza is removed from the oven, spread the paste on the pizza as if it was sauce.

10. Then add on all of the toppings on the pizza with the cheese being the last thing that goes on the pizza. Place back into the oven until the cheese melts.

11. Enjoy!

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Look at that bad boy. It was packed with nutritional benefits and it had a ton of flavor. It was definitely one of the best cauliflower pizzas that I have made. You really can’t go wrong with caramelized onions. They are one of my favorite pizza toppings. The kale was actually really nice too because when it was in the oven it got crispy and turned more into kale chips. The sweet potato was a good alternative to pizza sauce because it was more creamy and smooth compared to the chunkier sauces that I have used. I was pretty much in a pizza coma. There was so much fiber packed into this that I was full for hours upon hours until I went to bed that night. That is a nutrition win if I do say so myself.

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The one mistake that I made was not spraying the pan with nonstick spray. It took me forever to get each slice off of the pan. It still tasted great though. The chicken was a good addition because it allowed me to get some protein while I was consuming all of this vegetables. I will definitely be making this again. It has inspired me to make some other kind of pizzas too, such as BBQ chicken pizza or a thai style pizza. I really like making the massive pizza instead of making 4 individual ones because it just provides with bigger slices and lots of little portions for me to eat throughout the week.

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I hope you enjoy my little slice of pizza heaven and have a good Tuesday. I’m going to be off to class soon, which consists of Nutrition Counseling and Food Nutrition and Behavior. Tuesdays are a long day for me, so I pack a ton of snacks to enjoy throughout the class. I will be having my leftover pizza for dinner though.

What is your favorite type of pizza?
What is the best topping on pizza?


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?