Thursday, October 8, 2009

First you eat with your eyes.

Went to the Wegman today for a few items when the Purple and Orange Cauliflower caught my eye. I love vegetables, love to eat by color so I had to put one of each in my basket. Traditional white cauliflower with cheddar cheese sauce was something I loved to make a young girl. Cauliflower in split complementary color adds the fun of eating with your eyes before the fork ever gets near your mouth.

A quick research in wikipedia reveals health benefits from these vegetarian beauties.

Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density. As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower shares with broccoli and cabbage several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. In addition, the compound indole-3-carbinol, which appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appears to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate.[8] Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the liver's ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances.[9] A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.[10]

Orange cauliflower (B. oleracea L. var. botrytis) contains 25 times the level of Vitamin A of white varieties. This trait came from a natural mutant found in a cauliflower field in Canada.[5] Cultivars include 'Cheddar' and 'Orange Bouquet'.
Purple cauliflower color is caused by the presence of the antioxidant group anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.[7] Varieties include 'Graffiti' and 'Purple Cape'. In Great Britain and southern Italy, a broccoli with tiny flower buds is sold as a vegetable under the name "purple cauliflower." It is not the same as standard cauliflower with a purple curd.
Cauliflower cheese, sometimes called cauliflower and cheese, is a British dish usually eaten as a main course for lunch or dinner. It is similar to macaroni cheese, though using cauliflower instead of macaroni. It can also be eaten as an accompanying vegetable to a traditional British "meat and vegetable" type meal - the most popular accompaniment being roast beef.
Cauliflower cheese consists of pieces of cauliflower lightly boiled and covered with a milk-based cheese sauce, for which a strong, hard cheese (such as cheddar) tends to be preferred. A more elaborate Béchamel sauce flavoured with cheese, English mustard and nutmeg, may also be used. The dish is topped with grated cheese (sometimes mixed with bread crumbs) and lightly grilled to finish it.
Pasta and extra ingredients, such as tuna, are sometimes added when it is served as a main meal. In the 19th and 20th centuries the dish was often served as an accompaniment to the roast meat and potatoes that were eaten for the traditional Sunday lunch, normally in the winter months.

I'm thinking Liz and Kelly are going to be trying new recipes with these colorful beauties.

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