Cooking With Mark

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese
Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

Having fun with cauliflower

Here are two ways to make the dreaded but nutritious vegetable more palatable

Ask me what vegetable have I always pushed around my plate and never consumed and I’d tell you for sure it would be cauliflower. I mean, why would anyone in his or her right mind think this was food? It has always been a plate filler, never a side I’d order in a restaurant.

When it comes to food, there are very few things I don’t like and — surprisingly to some — top on that list are strawberries and goat’s cheese. I have the sensitivity of a truffle seeker in spotting these horrendous ingredients.
One nightmare situation occurred when I attended a wedding some time ago. Failing to return my food ‘likes and dislikes’ card on time, on the big day, I met not only the bride and groom but also those above-mentioned ingredients on the menu.
It’s not going to be a good day when goat’s cheese tart is on offer as a starter. To make matters worse, a strawberry surprise was on the menu as dessert.

Eat foods you like, avoid foods you dislike, but also be open to the food you’ve never tried has been my line of thinking.

Munching on a few crumbs of pastry, I managed to avoid the cheese. As for dessert, I managed to convince my plus one to make ‘that call’ when it was served, then conveniently excused myself for a few minutes and returned to the dinner table after the plates were cleared.
I think forcing people to eat things they dislike only leads to problems later in life. Growing up, I was always told to finish whatever was on my plate before getting down from the table. A truly tough task if there were foods one didn’t like. So, I’d say no, don’t make food a punishment.

Eat foods you like, avoid foods you dislike, but also be open to the food you’ve never tried has been my line of thinking.
I have had food-related issues before, and have had to seek professional help. I’ve undergone extensive food tests, from dietary advice to meal plans.
Food intolerances weren’t a thing as a kid; I just knew what tasted good and what didn’t. Including cauliflower! So taking home the results from an intensive weeks’ stay at a Swiss clinic, I was told fruit was something I shouldn’t eat as part of my diet. See you later, strawberries.
But obviously, I need to get my ‘five-a-day’. So, how could I have a balanced diet?
After a detailed consultation with a nutritionist at the clinic, I was told that top on the list of things to add to my diet was cauliflower! So with the proven nutritional facts, I set about finding new ways to include a reasonably inexpensive ingredient to add to my diet and make it tasty in a dish.

Cauli-power facts

1 As its name implies, is a flower growing from a plant.
2 There are 3g of fibre in one cup of cauliflower, which is 10 per cent of your daily needs.
3 Cauliflower is an excellent source of antioxidants.
4 It’s high in choline, a source of methyl groups needed for many steps in metabolism.
5 Fresh cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and improves digestion and detoxification.

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