nothing exciting here, folks–just cauliflower

Fellow readers, I will warn you up front that the following post is quite average. I go on about a (healthy) side dish using a simple “recipe.” No fancy ingredients, no new and exciting cooking methods.

But in full disclosure, this is how I cook for my family. The marshmallows? Lava cakes? Crème fraîche and buttermilk ice creams? These are projects and making them is the equivalent of my playtime.

What happens, though, when lunchtime rolls around? I dig in my refrigerator for salad greens, a carrot, feta or blue cheese, Greek olives, and a vinaigrette and throw together a salad. Suppertime for the fam? I hunt down a protein (pork chops? scrambled eggs? steak? chicken? all contenders); carb–which I try to make a whole grain (brown rice, millet, quinoa, barley, etc) though sweet potatoes work, too; and one or two veggies–frozen or fresh. We dig into one of the aforementioned “projects” for dessert, but mealtime rarely allows the luxury of finding and following a recipe. I use what I have to whip up something that (usually) works.

Last night’s cauliflower side dish is a fine example and its simplicity made it a good candidate for a blog post. We’re running low on veggies, but I did have a nice-looking head of cauliflower in the crisper. My plan was to boil and mash it, just as you would potatoes. Mixed with sour cream or a bit of half-and-half and a handful of dried parsley, mashed cauliflower makes a fun veggie side. But as I cut the cauliflower into florets, roasting seemed a better option.

A quick chop into smallish florets and tossed with just a bit of olive oil, the cauliflower went onto a baking sheet. I gave it a generous sprinkle of cumin seed, smaller sprinkle of curry powder, and dusting of coarse salt. The cauliflower roasted at 425°F for 20 or so minutes, after which I tossed the roasted florets with a touch of chopped fresh basil–as much as for color as flavor.

The side went well with our oven-fried chicken drumsticks and reheated leftover rice pilaf. Gourmet it was not. (And I’ll note that my kids preferred cutting up their own carrot sticks to eating the fragrant and “exotic” curry-scented cauliflower.) But it took little time to pull together, was inexpensive as I’m using what’s already in my kitchen, and it’s as healthy a meal as they come. Maybe someday I’ll have the time (and energy) to pull off more ambitious mealtime menus. But this works well for now and leaves me time and energy for those playtime projects I love so much.

roasted curry cauliflower

roasted curry cauliflower

9 thoughts on “nothing exciting here, folks–just cauliflower

  1. Maybe nothing exciting but intriguing: the cauliflower photo looks somehow upside down what attracted my attention 🙂 so maybe next time I will try to use curry and cumin to a cauliflower.

    • lol–it might just be upside down. never sure what I’m doing when I’m snapping pix! curry and cumin are lovely together on pretty much any vegetable. Thanks for stopping by:-)

  2. I LOVE roasted cauliflower! But whenever I make it as a side I ended up munching on it before it comes dinner time. *sigh* Have you ever done cauliflower risotto where you grate the cauliflower and make a quick risotto out of it (no rice needed)? It’s a pretty awesome side dish and super easy/quick. I’ve done it a few times and am also happy with it. http://attemptsindomesticity.com/2012/07/26/much-maligned-risotto/

    Anyways, I hear you on easy dinners. I eat ramen a lot because my husband works nights so it’s just me for dinner. I add tons of veggies to it, and an egg usually, but it’s still a little sad.

  3. hey–thanks for the “risotto” recipe. Looks like fun. Ramen and egg (love eggs!) sounds good to me. Gotta say, you’ve been an inspiration to me for kicking it up a notch in the dinner dept. You’ve got some good meals going on:-) p.s. is it your bday yet?

  4. I’ve been known to mash cauliflower in with my potatoes, to make a lighter side dish, but I haven’t tried roasting it before! Will have to do that – sounds tasty.

    • yay–another cauliflower masher:-) sometimes I feel like a weirdo as I can’t just let well enough alone and eat foods as they’re meant to be eaten. But boiling ,then mashing almost any veg is so cool! Like a physics project where you’ve changed states of matter. You Must try roasting as it intensifies the natural sugars and sweetens whatever veg you’re working with (see, now chemistry).

  5. Give it a go, yes. I say eating healthy veggies often gives a person leeway for the extra baked goods and such:-) Thanks for stopping by, Pretty Baking lady!

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