In the past, getting my 4-year old daughter, who is also a vegetarian, to eat cauliflower is like changing her diaper in public. It is a spectacle. Finding creative ways to prepare vegetarian meals that children won’t turn their noses up to can be a challenge. Sometimes carrot sticks and apples with a raisin as a nose can get old and boring.
As a natural food enthusiast, colorful fruits and vegetables from the local farmers market or Greenling.com gets me excited. My creative juices, no pun intended, start to flow once I get into my kitchen and begin thinking about what to feed my family. I mostly think about how to create beautifully colorful and flavorful dishes. However, the poor cauliflower lacks the beautiful colors its relative, broccoli, mustards and cabbage have and its nutritional make up is quite different. For some, preparing cauliflower with mountains of cheese seems to fix the color and flavor deficiency. But, I wanted to try something different with cauliflower. I wanted the taste to shine through and for my daughter to learn to appreciate the pale treat.
When you study the cauliflower you will find it has closely bunched tight masses that appear together on stems. Wisegeek.com's, Tricia Ellis-Christensen writes, "Cauliflower is typically white in color with light green leaves surrounding the head, while the other vegetable can be dark green or sometimes have purple streaks through it. Several varieties of both are sometimes sold under incorrect names: for instance, Romanesco broccoli is actually a type of cauliflower, and purple cauliflower is technically a type of broccoli."
While in my creative cooking mode and in much need to free up space in my freezer, I created a baked vegetable dish using frozen organic cauliflower in hopes to capture the attention and taste buds of my best food critic – my daughter. Try this recipe on for size and let us know what you think or share your cauliflower recipes at email@example.com.
Mama Mia Cauliflower Recipe
- 16 oz frozen or fresh organic cauliflower
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup diced organic red onions
- 2 tsp finely chopped organic garlic
- 1/3 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
- ¼ cup crumbled or sliced Gruyere cheese
- 1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp local organic garlic powder
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp parsley
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Pour frozen or fresh cauliflower into 9” round baking dish and pour olive oil over sprouts and coat evenly. Add diced garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt and ground pepper (to taste). Pour Italian dressing over mix and toss in pan to distribute evenly. Add Gruyere cheese and distribute evenly. Lightly sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese and parsley on top, cover with foil (no holes required) and place in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve warm.
Cook from your soul, eat and be happy. Story by Chef Cynthia, amateur chef and natural food enthusiast. You can find more organic vegetarian recipes in Cynthia's new book, "Soulful Vegetarian Cooking" to be released July 4, 2013 by Caught You Learning Publishing. You can find her colorful creations on Instagram.com/cynthianevels.