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Ask the Expert Archive

Mom2Mom

I love cauliflower any time of the year, but during the fall and winter months you can find especially full heads of the veggie and a bonus is the prices are great this time of year.  Cauliflower is a nutritious addition to your table–it’s fat free, cholesterol free, very low in sodium, high in Vitamin C, and a good source of folate.  One problem some folks have with cauliflower is they see it as a “bland” veggie–not having much flavor.  The truth is, you can do so many things with cauliflower.  I’ve pulled together a few recipes that are sure to have you reconsidering this versatile veggie.

 

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is simple, yet delicious. You’ll combine cauliflower florets, sliced onion, fresh thyme, and garlic cloves on a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees, tossing every so often, until almost tender (about 35-40 minutes).  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, toss to coat, and continue roasting until tender (another 10-12 minutes).

parmesan-roasted-cauliflower
Courtesy of bon appetite

 

If you love breadsticks, but want to cut back on carbs, these Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks are for you.  You’ll create the “breadstick” base by ricing the cauliflower in your food processor.  Then combine it with mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, one egg, garlic, fresh basil, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper.  Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with more mozzarella cheese, return to oven, and continue baking until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Cut into breadsticks and serve.

low-carb-cauliflower-breadsticks-hero-2
Courtesy of Real Housemoms

 

Roast Head of Cauliflower with Creamy Mushroom Sauce is a creative way to serve this veggie and quite tasty.  You’ll roast the whole head of cauliflower in a roasting pan in a 450 degree oven for 45-50 minutes after brushing it with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper.  While the veggie is roasting, prepare your sauce by melting butter in a pan and adding diced onions and sliced mushrooms for about 10 minutes.  Add minced garlic and chopped thyme for a minute.  Add dry white wine to deglaze the pan.  Add vegetable broth and cream, bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened.  Mix in parmesan cheese and white miso paste and remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  You’ll spoon the sauce over the roasted cauliflower head, slice and serve.

roast-head-of-cauliflower-in-creamy-mushroom-sauce-800-4491
Courtesy of Closet Cooking

 

I’ll be back next week, just in time for Halloween, with some fresh, new pumpkin recipes.

 

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Topping the list of popular fall produce are sweet potatoes and yams.  While they are available year round, they are particularly popular in autumn with the fall holidays, like Thanksgiving, when they are featured as side dishes.  Sweet potatoes and yams are actually two different vegetables.  While they are similar, yams are from a different botanical species and are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.  Both are a nutritious addition to your menu–they are fat free. cholesterol free, low in sodium, a good source of fiber, high in vitamins A and C, and a good source of potassium.  We typically think of the traditional sweet potato or yam casserole, but there are other tasty ways to use these delicious veggies.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili is a great way to warm up on a chilly evening.  It’s also a delicious meatless meal.  You’ll use cubed sweet potato, diced onion, olive oil, diced red bell pepper, minced garlic, vegetable broth, two cans of fire roasted tomatoes, corn (cut from the cob), two cans black beans, chili powder, and cumin.  You’ll need to bake the cubed sweet potatoes and set them aside. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and add the remaining ingredients.  Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer for `5 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes at the end and let heat through.

sweet_potato_black_bean_chili
Courtesy of Cooking Classy

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad puts a new spin on potato salad.  This version calls for you to start by roasting your cubed sweet potatoes.  Then, combine black beans, chopped bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro.  You’ll create a dressing with honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt/pepper to taste.  Mix all ingredients together–this salad can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled.

sweetpotatosalad-3-650x980
Courtesy of Averie Cooks

 

Crispy Yam Tacos with Chipotle Dip will satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings.  You’ll cut the yams into finger sized slices and coat with salt, pepper, paprika, and polenta.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until cooked through. Make the chipotle spread by combining the Hellman’s spread with seal salt, lime juice, smoked paprika, and can of chopped chipotle peppers.  Prepare salsa by combining diced grape tomatoes, green onions, two cloves garlic, diced red pepper, diced jalapeno pepper, chopped cilantro, and olive oil.  Serve yams with salsa, cabbage slaw, salsa, chipotle dip, and sour cream.

yam-tacos
Courtesy of Blog Lovin

 

I’ll be back next Monday with some great ways to use cauliflower in your menus.

 

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October 4th is National Taco Day (yes there really is a Food Day for everything!).  Tacos are a personal favorite of mine–they’re simple to make, kid friendly, and fun to eat.  An extra bonus is they’re really simple to throw together for a weeknight supper.  While we typically think of the traditional ground beef tacos, topped with shredded cheese, salsa, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce, there are some really creative ways to enjoy this Mexican feast.

 

Skinny Baja Chicken Tacos are a dieter’s delight.  Sliced chicken breasts that have been coated in olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and lime are sautéed in a large skillet.  In the meantime, you’ll prepare a cabbage slaw with shredded red cabbage, Napa cabbage, carrot, nonfat Greek yogurt, lime juice, honey, and salt/pepper to taste.  A spicy chipotle sauce is made from nonfat Greek yogurt and 1-2 ancho chilies (canned in sauce). These tacos are served on warm corn tortillas and topped with pico de gallo and guacamole.

baja-chicken-tacos
Courtesy of The Live Fit Girls

 

Grilled Fish Tacos with Lime Cabbage Slaw is another great low-cal option.  Marinate a nice white fish like cod, mahi mahi, or tilapia in canola oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper for about 20-30 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.  Prepare the cabbage slaw with thinly sliced red cabbage, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced red onion, lime juice, and canola oil.  Grill fish until cooked through, break into pieces, and serve on warmed taco shells with cabbage slaw and sliced avocado.

grilled-fish-tacos4-srgb
Courtesy of Cooking Classy

 

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Tacos are especially simple since they put to use your crockpot and let it do all the work.  You’ll use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mild salsa verde, honey, lime juice, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Set your slow cooker to low and let cook 6-7 hours.  About a half hour before finished you’ll take the chicken out and shred it.  Place back into slow cooker and let finish.  This recipe calls for using a flatbread as the taco base, but you can use traditional corn or flour tortillas if you prefer.  Toppings include sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, cilantro, and sour cream.

slow-cooker-salsa-verde-honey-lime-chicken-10
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

 

Have fun with these taco recipes and I’ll be back next week with a few ideas that feature sweet potatoes and yams perfect for fall.

 

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