I’ve been trying to increase my intake of vegetables and fruits because you are what you eat, and I think I’d like to look like a broccoli—long, sturdy, and with a lot of bushiness on top. So we’ve enjoyed our weekly box of fruits and veggies from the Bountiful Baskets co-op that we pick up in Garden City each Saturday.
And we’ve enjoyed the surprises. Because someone else orders the produce, we never know quite what we’re going to get. Of course, this also means we sometimes get things we don’t normally seek out. Take cauliflower, for instance. We received a number of heads three or four weeks in a row back in October.
Who eats cauliflower? You ever hear anyone say: “Cauliflower’s on—let’s make a run to Brigham City to get some,” or “LaVern, I believe I’m going to knock back another floret,” or “It’s a party! You bring the chips and soda, I’ll bring the cauliflower?”
No. We don’t hear those things because cauliflower is just weird. It’s the stuff that nobody eats on the vegetable tray. It looks like some growth spore from the planet Xenon. In fact, I want to know who started the rumor that aliens had big eyes and spindly limbs. That’s all propaganda. The aliens are already living among us, and cauliflower is their freaky pupal metamorphosis growth stage!
Or, at least, that’s what I thought. Then I ate a serving of creamy mashed cauliflower at Ruby Tuesday’s and gained a testimony of both Ruby Tuesday’s and the weird white cousin of cabbage.
So when we received our surprise veggie, did I despair or use it for target practice on the idiot orange tom cat that comes around our house? No. I went to search for that Ruby Tuesday’s recipe. And through the miracle of the internets, I found it. Or something close enough for government work.
Here it is. Enjoy.
CREAMY MASHED CAULIFLOWER
- 1 head cauliflower
- ¾ C water
- 1 T corn starch
- 1/3 C heavy cream
- 1 t granulated sugar
- ¾ t salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/8 t garlic powder
- 1/8 t onion powder
- Divide the head of cauliflower into florets that are all roughly the same size. Steam or microwave until cauliflower is tender (we pressure cook it). Drain and toss it into a bowl of ice water to bring the cooking process to a screeching halt.
- Put florets into a food processor along with ½ C water. Puree on high speed until smooth, but with some small bits for texture. Or you can simply mash it like you do potatoes.
- Pour all the puree into a medium sauce pan. Dissolve the corn starch in the remaining ¼ cup of water and add to the puree.
- Add the cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to the mixture and stir. Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, for 5-10 minutes, or until thick.
You can experiment and switch the water for milk if you’d like, or if you don’t have cream. Leftovers are delicious. Of course, if I end up lumpy and round, you know it’s the cauliflower’s fault, or the alien’s that has set up shop in my chest cavity, whichever’s the truth.
“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. Boiling reduces the levels of anti-cancer compounds, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds.
Along with other brassica vegetables, cauliflower is a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. The compound also appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appearing to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate. Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances. A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Cauliflower is also a good source of carotenoids.”
I guess the short version of all that is blah blah blah science says it’s good.
Nellie and I have been enjoying The Mentalist for two years now. It’s a CBS crime thriller mystery series about a “mentalist,” a guy named Patrick Jane, played wonderfully by Simon Baker, who used to be a professional mind-reader and psychic, and a very good one at that, but gave it up and came clean. All psychics, he says in the pilot episode, are either fakes or deluded.
But he was so good at it and made so much money–why would he give it up?
Because a serial killer named Red John murdered his wife and daughter. So Jane has dedicated his life to hunting down and killing the murderer. To do that, he becomes a consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and works with a team of investigators.
Some of the episodes are about the hunt for Red John. Many more are about other cases the team has to solve.
Patrick Jane is the main attraction of the series. His outrageous behavior, acute observation skills, and keen wit all fascinate and delight. As the series progresses, the other characters take on their own interesting personalities as well. Agent Cho, for example, provides many moments of laugh-out-loud deadpan humor.
The series is into its third season, but with the miracle of Netflix you can start at the beginning and watch them all commercial free at your own leisure.