recipes

Creamy Cauliflower Dip

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One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from changing my diet is when you close a door on one food, there’s a window that opens. And it’s a chance to experiment, be creative and discover something new. Four years ago I started on this journey of healing my body naturally and along the way have had to give up many of the foods I love. I can attest, eliminating foods you enjoy and rely on from your diet is hard. And it’s easy to get stuck staring at that closed door, focusing on what you can’t have. But, I’ve learned if you can break away, there’s a whole world of foods out there to play with, and you just might find something even more interesting and delicious to love.

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Caul Me What You Want
At first glance, cauliflower may seem to be a boring, bland vegetable – a less exciting version of broccoli, which is saying a lot… But if you stop at first glance, let me tell you, you’re missing out! Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables you can stock in your fridge. It can become rice, mash, crust, soup, a dip… It can be transformed in so many ways, if you didn’t know any better, you might not realize you’re eating those boring little white trees…

Cauliflower, and really all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.), help our bodies detox. There are specific phytonutrients in crucifers that activate enzymes which work to get rid of harmful toxins. That’s why cruciferous vegetables are so often hailed as cancer fighters.

One more thing… cauliflower in particular is a solid source of of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in… can you guess? I’ll give you a hint… it’s in the head (see what I did there?). Brain health! We call it a “head,” it sorta looks like a “brain”… Gotta hand it to Mother Nature, she sure knows how to keep it interesting.

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Cauliflower “Hummus” Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2-1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets with coconut oil and cumin. Spread on baking sheet and roast 30-40 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven and cool.

In food processor or blender, combine cauliflower, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper in food processor. Process until smooth. Add water if needed to get to desired consistency. Add more to thin.

recipes

Greens + Onions + Mushrooms

Last weekend Dr. Joel Fuhrman gave us this as a cancer fighting super combo: greens + onions + mushrooms. For the green part of the equation, cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts and cabbage, are particularly beneficial. The phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables keep toxins from doing the kind of damage to our DNA that leads to cancer. The cruciferous greens modify human hormones, detoxify compounds and stop toxins from sticking around. Onions are like the antibacterial scrub to clean the system. And mushrooms are aromatase inhibitors that block the synthesis of estrogen – making them especially protective against breast cancer. The recipe at the end of this post (and pictured above) is a tasty way to get all three.

According to Fuhrman, the most beneficial compounds we get from these foods though are the isothiocyanates (ITCs). ITCs boost the immune system, but the catch is that they don’t actually exist in the foods themselves. Tricky. ITCs take shape when the foods are chopped or chewed. Think of when you’ve chopped into an onion and your eyes welled up. The smell that’s released and your ensuing water works are a result of a chemical reaction taking place. Fuhrman’s point is to chop before heating and chew well to get the maximum benefit from your foods.

Speaking of chopping an onion… here’s a video that shows how its really done.

And here’s a more complete list of cruciferous cancer fighters:

  • arugula
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • broccoli rabe
  • brocollina
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • collards
  • horseradish
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • mustard greens
  • radish
  • red cabbage
  • rutabaga
  • turnips
  • turnip greens
  • watercress

Kale with Mushrooms and Onions

What you need:

– 1 bunch kale, torn into bite size pieces
– 1 yellow onion, cut into crescents
– shitake mushrooms
– olive oil
– 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
– 1/2 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
– 1 tbsp water

What you do:
Heat pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent. Add mushrooms. Cook a few minutes. Add kale. Stir to coat with oil. Combine tamari, mirin and water in a bowl. When greens begin to shrink down, pour in liquid mixture. Stir and cook a few more minutes. Taste greens to know when they’re done. Greens will be wilted and slightly sweet, not bitter. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.