Roasted Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce

I saw this recipe in Mark Bittman’s column this morning in The New York Times and immediately put it on the menu for tonight.  My husband is not a huge vegetable fan, but he does enjoy both cauliflower and peppers so I knew we had a hit.

Ingredients, serves about 4

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium-to-large head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Directions

  1. Prep: Fill a large pot 2/3 of the way with water and set to boil.  Adjust rack in oven about 4 inches from heat and turn on broiler.
  2. Put the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning as each side browns, until they have darkened and collapsed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Wrap the peppers in the foil and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.  Remove skins, seeds, and stems (Bittman advices doing this under running water).  Set aside.
  3. Heat the oven to 450ºF.
  4. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and submerge the head in the salted, boiling water.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook at least 15 minutes (until you can easily insert a knife in the center).
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet and pat dry.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast until nicely browned all over, about 40 to 50 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a food processor.  Turn the machine on and stream in 1/4 cup of olive oil; puree into a thick paste.  Taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Cut the browned cauliflower into wedges and serve with the romesco sauce.

 

Healthy Eating Facts

  • Cauliflower is an excellent source of phytonutrients and enzymes that help neutralize toxins damaging to the body’s cells.
  • Cauliflower is also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, dietary fiber, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, and manganese.
  • Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and potassium.
  • By weight, red bell peppers contain three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit.
  • Bell peppers also contain lycopene which researches believe many help fight certain kinds of cancer.

 

Sweet Quinoa Breakfast

This sweet coconutty breakfast is a new favorite of mine and good for you, too!

Ingredients for one serving

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (or regular coconut milk)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of honey (use your judgment, it depends on how sweet you want it)
  • slivered almonds, a healthy palmful, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine the quinoa and coconut milk.  Bring a  boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 12 minutes (closer to fifteen if you double the recipe).  Check occasionally, when nearly all of the liquid has been absorbed, it’s done.
  2. Meanwhile on a small pan toast the almonds, coconut, and sesame seeds over a low heat, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning and to ensure that everything toasts evenly.
  3. Add the honey and cinnamon to the cooked quinoa, mix in the toasted ingredients and enjoy.

 

Why is this healthy?

  • Quinoa is a resistant starch which means it stays with you longer and makes you feel fuller.  Resistant starches are also good for your colon.  Additionally, quinoa is packed with vitamin B, vitamin E, and antioxidants.  It is also gluten-free.
  • Cinnamon, even less then a teaspoon, improves how your body handles sugar by turning on your insulin receptors.
  • Almonds are high in antioxidants, have vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Coconut flakes are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and zinc.