Monday, May 28, 2012

The Incredible Cauliflower

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!  

Summer has officially and finally arrived.  Sitting on the deck of our lake home and contemplating the upcoming July 4 extravaganza we host every year, I recalled conversations I've had with friends about how holidays are associated with specific types of foods.  "It can't be Christmas unless I eat fill in the blank food."  Seriously, "what is Thanksgiving without turkey??"

On this train of thought, I got to thinking about my traditional holiday foods.  For Easter and Thanksgiving, I love having sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie.  For Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day, I immediately think of burgers on the grill, hot dogs, brats (or bratwurst for those of you who don't live in Wisconsin), coleslaw, potato salad, watermelon, brownies - you get the idea. 

But...what do you do when following a no sugar/no grain/low carb diet like I do?  Sure, it's easy to have your burger/hot dog/brat without a bun.  Turkey for Thanksgiving is a natural fit as is.  The real trouble comes with trying to find alternatives for sweet potato casserole and potato salad.  My solution?  Bring on the incredible cauliflower!

Anyone who has done a low-carb way of eating knows the amazing versatility of cauliflower.  It is a wonderful vegetable that can be roasted, steamed, microwaved, sauteed, etc, and it can take the place of rice, potatoes and even pizza crust.  Low in calories - about 25 in a cup (raw) - 3 grams of fiber and loaded with Vitamins C and K, it is a very healthy, cruciferous veggie.

I have quite a few cauliflower-based recipes and I'll post them in the future.  But today, in honor of Memorial Day, here is a "Potato" Salad featuring our incredible cauliflower!

"Potato" Salad

16 oz bag frozen cauliflower 
4 large eggs, hard boiled and chopped 
2 stalks celery, chopped 
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 TBLSP yellow mustard 
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup sour cream)
2 TBLSP pickle relish
salt and pepper to taste
Paprika (optional)

Steam cauliflower until just done - soft but not mushy.  Drain well and let cool.  Cut into bite-sized pieces and place into your serving bowl.  Toss with chopped hard boiled eggs, celery and onions.  In separate bowl, stir mustard, mayonnaise, pickle relish, salt and pepper until well mixed.  Fold mustard mixture into cauliflower mixture.  Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.  

Cover and chill for at least two hours.  This makes 6-8 servings.

(As with all mayonnaise-based dishes, take care when eating outside on hot days.)