The power of the (cauli)flower

Breakfast_text
wp-1473074297458.jpgI’m still on my fresh fruit breakfasts, though probably not for much longer as the weather is beginning to show signs of cooling. Sad face. But for the moment, I’ve got a second round of raspberries ripening in my garden.

  • 1/2 charentais melon (a/b 2 c.)
  • 1/2 c. raspberries

Checklist items: berries, 2 other fruits (3 out of 18 servings)


lunch_textI love bean salads! It occurred to me that I haven’t had dill in a long time, even though it’s an herb that I absolutely adore, so I’m rectifying that right now! Lunch is a 3-bean salad with lemon-dill dressing. dill-1347095_640

  • 1/2 c. garbanzos
  • 1/2 c. kidney
  • 1/2 c. string beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 c. chopped spinach or mustard greens
  • 1/2 c. cannellini
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 T vinegar of choice
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T mustard
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Add the garbanzo, kidney, & string beans to a salad bowl along with the greens.
  2. Put the cannellini into a blender, along with the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, dill, and s & p, and blend until creamy. Add aquafaba if necessary to thin the dressing to your desired texture.
  3. Mix the dressing into the beans and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If you can prepare it the day before you plan to eat it, the flavors will marry even better.

Checklist items: 3 beans, 2 greens, 1 other vegetables, spices (7 out of 18 servings)

*the string beans technically count as other vegetables rather than beans


Dessert_text
Post-lunch sort of dessert today. Date & nut milk.

Checklist items: 1 other fruit, flaxseed, nuts, spices (4 out of 18 servings)


dinner_textWith vegetables, color usually goes hand-in-hand with nutrient density, but cauliflower is a glowing exception. Even white cauliflower is a powerhouse, easily holding its own among its green brothers & sisters in the cruciferous family. Cruciferous veg are especially protective against prostate and colorectal cancers (but help fight other cancers, too) and cardiovascular disease, as well as helping to regulate blood cholesterol levels, increasing overall immune function, and helping to protect your eyesight and your brain (see here and here for more information).

purple_cauliflower-1218701_640Plus, cauliflower is a hearty, filling, warming veg for those cold, rainy nights, like I’m having here tonight. Dinner is a cauliflower alfredo with whole grain pasta. If you want to get funky, use a purple or orange cauliflower. My recipe is based on the one from Oh She Glows, with some changes.

  • 2 c. cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 lg garlic cloves, 1 minced
  • 1/4 c. aquafaba or plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c. parsley
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic & onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. string beans, chopped (fresh from the garden, if you’ve got ’em!)
  • 1 1/2 c. whole grain pasta, cooked (I used wheat)
  1. Boil the cauliflower until just tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, water-saute the beans and the minced garlic until the garlic is cooked. The beans can stay nice & crunchy to add some texture to the dish.
  3. When draining the cauliflower, reserve some of the cooking liquid in case you need it to make your alfredo sauce a little less thick.
  4. Place cooked cauliflower, 1 garlic clove, aquafaba or milk, parsley, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, and spices into a blender & blend until smooth & creamy. If you need to, you can add some of the reserved cooking water. The mustard is important for the nutritional benefits of cauliflower. If you don’t have mustard powder, no problem! Just plan a little ahead and chop the cauliflower at least 40 minutes prior to cooking it. To find out why, see this video.
  5. Mix everything together in a large serving bowl.

Checklist items: cruciferous, 1 other vegetables, spices, 3 whole grains (6 out of 18 servings)


Taking account of the day:

20 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything today, plus 2 extra servings of spices. That’s never a bad thing!

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Charentais Melon, Cauliflower, & Kamikaze Lettuce

Breakfast_text

It’s been hot the last few days, so I’m more excited about eating melons than anything else. The Charentais melon is a common & inexpensive variety wp-1468243086441.jpghere in France. It’s a kind of cantaloupe, but I find it to be lighter and more refreshing than the cantaloupe that I was used to in the U.S. I like it much better, actually.

  • 1/2 c. cherries
  • 2 c. cut-up Charentais melon
  • 1/4 c. dates

Checklist items: berries, 3 other fruits (4 out of 18 servings)


lunch_textYou already know I love my salads. Especially with red-leafed lettuce. I’ve been waiting on a Red Kamikaze Batavia in my garden. It’s not quite ready – the red has just started to develop, but I’m impatient, so I’m taking some today anyway. wp-1468244033377.jpg

  • 2 c. Kamikaze batavia lettuce
  • 1/2 c. chickpeas
  • 1/4 c. tomato
  • 1/4 c. red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. corn
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, toasted
  • Chef AJ’s House Dressing

Checklist items: 1 beans, 2 greens, 1 1/2 other vegetables, flaxseed, nuts (6 1/2 out of 18 servings)


dinner_text

I have a weird relationship with cauliflower. I love the way it tastes even though I’m not a huge fan of the way it smells. However you feel about it, it makes a great alfredo – a dish that I loved as a kid.

  • wp-1468240819121.jpg1 heaping c. cauliflower florets
  • 2 T unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 sm. clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. peas
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked whole grain pasta

Instructions:

  1. Boil the cauliflower florets until tender, about 5 minutes & then drain
  2. Saute garlic
  3. Add cooked cauliflower & garlic with milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic & onion powders, and salt & pepper to a blender and blend until smooth
  4. Add cooked pasta, alfredo sauce, & peas to a pot and heat through

Checklist items: 2 beans, 1 cruciferous, 1 other vegetables, spices, 3 whole grains (8 out of 18 servings)


Taking account of the day:

18.5 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything.

In addition, we had 1/2 an extra serving of other vegetables or whole grains depending on how you want to count the corn.