While everyone else may be thinking about traditional holiday vegetables like candied yams, sweet potato pie, green bean casserole, brussel sprout gratin, creamed spinach, and corn pudding (did I forget anything?) – I’m thinking about how to eat more cauliflower. How to get you to eat more caulifower. Not just cauliflower, but I am always scheming new ways to get more vegetables into my families diet. Don’t get me wrong, I want to eat sweet potato pie and creamed spinach on Thanksgiving, but what about every other day of the year? We’ve all heard it before, we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. It sounds so simple right? Then why are most of us not getting our recommended 5 servings a day?
For me, getting in 5 or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables boils down to 2 things – Habit & Simplicity
1. Healthy habits. I have adapted healthy habits over time. One thing I know for sure is you don’t develop new habits or get rid of old ones overnight – be patient with yourself and start small, and most importantly, stick with it. The only way to get more fruits & vegetables into your diet is to be intentional. I choose an apple over a bag of chips (which means I have to intentionally buy apples and not chips) and I think about cauliflower for dinner instead of frozen tater tots. If you are new to vegetables, start with 1 new vegetable a week – and be open to trying something new every week. Over time you will know what’s in season and find your go-to favorites. If you are really feeling adventurous, take a trip to your local farmer’s market to learn more about what is in season and where your food is actually coming from.
2. Keep it simple. I’m not gonna lie, cooking dinner every night can be a chore, even for me. Thinking about what I am going to cook for the week, shopping, chopping, cooking and washing the dishes – it can be a lot after a long day of work and kids, so I keep it simple. Recipes that call for a lot of special ingredients, sauces, and multiple pots … I save those for special occasions. If you choose to keep it simple during the week, you are more likely to stay on track.
What I hear the most from friends is, “I would eat more vegetables if I knew how to cook them”. So here you go, roasted cauliflower – it doesn’t get more basic than this. Yes, you could cover this cauliflower with cheese sauce, add bacon or pancetta, get fancy with some browned butter and bread crumbs, but does it really need all that extra stuff to taste good? Right now cauliflower is in season and its natural flavor is fantastic. Roasting the florets with some basic seasoning and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is all it needs. Keeping it simple allows the cauliflower’s natural nutty, slightly sweet, and creamy flavors to shine.
|Roasted Cauliflower with Olive Oil & Fresh Thyme|| || |
- 1 head of cauliflower, root trimmed and cut into bite size florets
- 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼-1/2 (to taste) teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
- 4 sprigs of fresh Thyme leaves removed from stem or ½ teaspoon good quality dried Italian seasoning
- ½ lemon
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the upper third.
- Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with parchment or lightly grease with a splash of olive oil.
- Rinse and dry the cauliflower.
- Remove the large stem with a sharp knife. Think about removing it in the same way you would remove a pumpkin stem. Cut out the stem by cutting around the stem and remove. Then turn the cauliflower onto the cutting board, floret side down, stems up. Slice the stems down the middle into bit size pieces. If you keep the stems intact the florets will stay together instead of crumbling into small pieces.
- Place the florets into a large bowl and season with olive oil, salt & pepper, red pepper flake, and thyme or Italian seasoning. Using your hands toss well until seasoning is distributed and the cauliflower is evenly coated.
- Pour the cauliflower out onto the lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. This will help with even roasting.
- Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your florets) or until the florets are golden around the edges and fork tender.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle a spash of olive oil over the top of the cooked cauliflower along with the juice of ½ a lemon.
- Toss and serve warm.