Well, it's January 25th. Are you still in your "resolution" frame of mind? Eating healthy and all that jazz? I'm still trying to incorporate more fresh produce into our diets and it's been a change for the better.
Growing up one of my memories is going to the grocery store with my grandmother on Fridays whenever I was out of school. I loved it. It was a very bonding time for us as strange as that may sound but it allowed me to feel closer to her. One of the things I remember most is that she had a particular way she shopped. Always produce first, then canned goods, then meat, dairy and frozen foods. The funny thing is I inherited that trait from her and that's exactly how I shop today. OCD anyone?
One of the interesting things about shopping this way is I can tell exactly how much I spend on produce, or dairy, or meat just by watching the checkout. (Yes, I make sure to organize how my groceries actually go on to the belt as well ... sigh ...) While our grocery bill has stayed about the same, there's been an interesting shift in the amount I spend on produce compared to dry goods. I think that's a good thing. I remember being told that if you're trying to eat healthy, at least 90% of your total bill should come from the aisles in the grocery store around the outside - totally avoid the middle aisles and you'll notice a difference in the quality of the foods you're eating. And, lo and behold, that's right.
In purchasing so many vegetables, I now need to find recipes to use them up - because I refuse - REFUSE - to throw any of these good veggies away. In keeping with that vein, I saw a post last week from Paula, the Cookbook Junkie, that was for a Cauliflower Gratin which she got from the American Dietetic Association cookbook, Cooking Healthy Across America. It looked so delicious I knew I had to try it - even if I made a few changes to it.
How was it? Actually, really delicious. The tang of the mustard and the creaminess of the cheese balanced really well with the vegetables. The kale wasn't so wilted it reminded you of Popeye spinach so that was definitely a good thing - but it also didn't have that bitter aftertaste that raw kale can sometimes have. I think making it again I would add some more seasonings to it (seasoning salt and pepper), but if you're looking for a different vegetable dish, give this one a try.
Thanks, Paula, for posting it!
Fresh Cauliflower Gratin
(via The Cookbook Junkie, via American Dietetic Association Cooking Healthy Across America)
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons salt (I omitted)
- 1 whole head cauliflower, trimmed and washed
(I used 2 cups kale, trimmed, 1/4 head cauliflower, 1 zucchini, halved and sliced)
- 3 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons honey mustard or stone ground mustard
(I used a mixture of horseradish mustard and honey)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish with the cooking spray.
- Bring 3 quarts water to a boil; add the salt and the cauliflower. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.
(Add the zucchini in about 4 minutes before it's done to slightly blanch.)
- Combine the mayonnaise, mustard and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
- Remove the cauliflower with a large slotted spoon. Place in the prepared casserole dish and separate the cauliflower florets slightly. Cover with the mustard mixture and top with shredded cheese.
(In the casserole dish, add a layer of kale before the cauliflower/zucchini mixture.)
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.