You can make this kind of salad with almost any vegetable that won’t wilt or burn when subjected to a copious slick of oil and a blast of high heat. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, winter squash and rutabagas all work well. One of the best vegetables for this salad, though, is cauliflower. The florets turn juicy and tender in the center while crisping and browning around the edges, and cauliflower’s mild flavor is amenable enough to pair nicely with almost anything else you toss in the bowl.
Eastern View: Cauliflower has bitter and astringent qualities. These qualities help to detox and lighten the body no matter what season we are in. Adding spices such as cumin, black pepper and ginger, improves the digestion process. When it comes to Kaphas and cauliflower, they’ve totally got this and we are in Kapha season right now! Kapha individuals can do all kinds of creative cooking with cauliflower.
Cauliflower crops are often sprayed with pesticides so it’s best to buy organic. In all cases wash the veggies to remove any surface chemicals. To keep things on the softer side cut out the center stem and then slice the leaves into small strips. Cook to your liking (or dosha!)
Western View: Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer. For instance, research has shown that combining cauliflower with curcumin (the active compound in the spice turmeric) may help prevent and treat prostate cancer. Other compounds in cauliflower also show anti-cancer effects. According to the National Cancer Institute:
Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. Scientists believe sulforaphane’s benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression, especially in the easily damaged inner lining of the arteries known as the endothelium.
Cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties and contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
Most Americans are seriously lacking in nutrients their body needs to function. Eating cauliflower regularly is a simple way to get these much-needed nutrients into your body. For instance, one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad With Watercress, Walnuts and Gruyère
- 1 cauliflower head, chopped into bite size pieces.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 cups watercress, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup Gruyère cheese
- ½ cups nuts of choice, I like walnuts or almonds
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl toss together the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally until tender and golden, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, with the remaining salt and pepper and then whisk in the remaining oil.
- In a salad bowl, toss the watercress, cheese, nuts and warmed cauliflower . Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and and toss until well combined.
There’s no one size fits all for what you should eat. If you would like to talk with me about what is the right diet for you, sign up for a complimentary consultation. Just click on the link to my online calendar to find a good time that works for you.