Sulforaphane is an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. As we know, the nutritional value of some foods is reduced during the cooking process. Boiling cauliflower significantly reduces the levels of its anti-cancer compounds with losses of 20 to 30 percent after five minutes, 40 to 50 percent after 10 minutes, and 75 percent after 30 minutes. Steaming, microwaving and stir-frying, however, do not have a significant effect on the nutritional value.
Cauliflower can be used in many different ways -- puree it for use as a soup thickener or add it to stir-fry and salads. Cauliflower is also hearty enough to be roasted! So go ahead, eat up!
Cauliflower Salad with Caramelized Onions and Toasted Almonds
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon agave nectar
4 cups cauliflower florets (about 12 ounces)
1 tablespoon top-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lightly toasted almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon peel, grated
In a small saucepan, place the onion, vinegar, water, and agave. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the liquids have nearly evaporated. Watch carefully, stirring occasionally so the mixture doesn’t burn. Let cool.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the cauliflower 3 minutes, or until just al dente. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain well and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Drizzle the oil over the cauliflower and toss lightly. Add the onions and toss again. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Divide among four plates. Sprinkle with the almonds and lemon peel.
NUTRIENT ANALYSIS PER SERVING: 100 calories, 4 grams protein, 14g carbohydrates, 4g total fat, <1g saturated fat, 3g monounsaturated fat, 130 milligrams omega-3s, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 323 mg sodiumAdapted from Positively Ageless - A 28-Day Plan for a Younger, Slimmer, Sexier You by Cheryl Forberg RD (Rodale)