Heed the Call of the Cauliflower

_DSC0423Cauliflower might not be the most exciting vegetable, but this salad is no lame duck. Inspired by menus, magazines and cookbooks, we decided it’s time to take cauliflower to the next level. We loved it, and hope you will too. Come and cook with us!

Admittedly, cauliflower has always had that black sheep reputation among vegetables, often over-cooked and piled high in an unrecognizable mush on the dinner plate. Well, no more. The vegetable has been given an image makeover. Which is great news for us, as cauliflower, along with broccoli, bok choy and collard greens belong to the brassica family, which is brimming with anti-inflammatory compounds, is low in calories and chock-full with vitamins, minerals, fiber and photo-nutrients that help prevent cancer.

The easiest way to prepare cauliflower is to toss the florets with olive oil and roast them at 450 F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. At my house, these tiny bites of flavor go like hot cross buns. If you’re ready to move on to the next level, add paprika and top the roasted cauliflower with salt, parsley and sherry vinegar, or you use Indian inspired flavors such as curry powder and cumin and top with salt, fresh lemon juice and cilantro leaves. You see, the options are endless.

We have been tinkering with roasted cauliflower in caper dijon vinaigrette and marinated red onions. It’s a powerful punch of strong flavors which, truth be told, is not for the faint-of-heart. Going light on the capers and the garlic is key if you don’t want to be overwhelmed at your first date with this delicious salad.

Whether you choose white, orange or purple, these heads of goodness clearly deserve a proper re-introduction to your dinner table. Let us know what your favorite cauliflower dish is. Come and cook with us!

Roasted Cauliflower in Caper Dijon Vinaigrette

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Blueberry Dumplings

_DSC0309There are dishes that I like and then there are apricot dumplings. When you are lucky enough to have a generous fruit bearing apricot tree in your backyard, these sweet, colorful and delicious dumplings perfectly mark the end of summer. That is back home in Italy. Here in Northern California, an apricot bounty is not within my gardening reach. So instead, we turn to blueberry dumplings to add a fruity touch to a special weekday dinner. Sounds delicious? Wait until you try them. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

Food Scores at Your Fingertips

2014FoodScores_C01There is so much to keep in mind when you are shopping for food: organic, natural, GMOs, trans-fats, low-calorie sweeteners, fat replacers, dyes and preservatives. It can be overwhelming. That is why the Environmental Working Group has developed a new comprehensive interactive online database – and free app – that get us to make “healthier, greener and cleaner food” choices. Please welcome EWG’s Food Scores: Rate Your Plate. Come and Cook with Us! Continue reading

Barley Bonanza

_DSC0361Ready for a change in your diet? Don’t worry, I’m not talking low-carb, all-raw or juice-only. No, i’m talking about broadening your menu by taking small steps towards including lesser known ingredients. How about adding barley to your array of whole grains served at your dinner table. Think it’s too exotic? Wait until you learn more about what makes this little grain so powerful and versatile. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

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