I don’t know about you, but I think that to live a healthier lifestyle, I need to eat a lot of fruits and veggies. Super simple right? During my research on how to incorporate more veggies into my diet, I came across the word cruciferous. Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Cruciferae family. These are cool-weather vegetables that have blossoms resembling a cross, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress, and radishes. click here for more info on these veggies.
The more I began to dig into this, I discovered many health benefits to adding these into your diet. According to Healthline Media Inc, cruciferous vegetables are generally rich in fiber, which means they will keep you full longer, making them the perfect food to incorporate into your diet if you are trying to lose weight. Some studies have shown that increasing the number of cruciferous vegetables in your diet could reduce the chances of getting cancer and cardiovascular disease.
To gain the most out of these vegetables, you need to cook them the right way. Since cruciferous veggies are a great source of fiber, they will keep the digestive system moving. For someone who struggles with digestive issues, cooking them is the best option, but this reduces the nutritional benefits. According to experiencelife.com’s article “The Power of Cruciferous Vegetables”, “glucosinolates in crucifers need the enzyme myrosinase to form sulforaphane and other health-promoting compounds. That magic happens when the raw veggies are chopped.” So, it’s important to make sure you chop them before you cook them. You can also even combine, raw, cooked, lightly cooked and even fermented cruciferous.
Now that we covered the educational part, let’s talk about some recipes you can try to incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into your daily diet. Today I want to focus specifically on cauliflower. There are two ways you can prepare it, and one of them is a side dish. I am including this Healthy Cauliflower Rice recipe from the Food Network. You can also prepare it as an entrée called Roasted Cauliflower with Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette. Both recipes are included below. Enjoy!
Healthy Cauliflower Rice
- 1 large head cauliflower separated into 1-inch florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves finely chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Trim the cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible. In 3 batches, break up the florets into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles couscous.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. At the first wisp of smoke from the oil, add the onions, and stir to coat. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown at the edges and have softened, about 8 minutes. Add the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Spoon the cauliflower into a large serving bowl, garnish with the parsley, sprinkle with the lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Serve warm.
Roasted Cauliflower with Kalamata Vinaigrette
- 1 2 1/2-to 3-pounds head cauliflower
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to taste
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
- Cut cauliflower lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Put in a large 4-sided sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast, turning once or twice, until golden and just tender, about 25 minutes.
- While cauliflower roasts, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, olives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Serve cauliflower drizzled with Kalamata vinaigrette.
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Photographer/ Content Creator
Camila Pesantez is the owner of @camipphotography. She is a wedding, portrait, and fashion photographer based in New England. She loves capturing authentic, candid, fun, and spontaneous moments. In her spare time, Camila enjoys singing and serving at her local church, cooking, and spending time with friends.
What sparked your passion for the industry?
The creativity behind it. It’s what I use to express my creativity and feel free to express myself through it. The photography world is so diverse and the possibilities are endless.
Cake or Pie? Why?
Pie because it has a lot of texture and moisture and reminds me of a nice cozy fall day at home.
Favorite dish to cook at home?
Vegan meat pasta. I have my own recipe, and I make it at least twice a month