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Recipe: Cauliflower Casserole

By Marni Sumbal

cauliflowerYou’ve probably been in this situation when you experiment with a new fruit or vegetable in a meal. As a person who has not yet learned to appreciate the value of cauliflower in my diet, I was a bit nervous when I cut up an entire cauliflower for our dinner last night and did not consider option B for dinner.

However, as I was putting the ingredients together in my head, I had a feeling that this recipe would turn out better than expected. As the creation came together, I quickly realized that this meal had so many of my favorite foods that I probably wouldn't even notice the taste of the cauliflower. And I was right!

So what's so special about this cruciferous white vegetable?

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, which are great for wound healing/collagen repair and blood clotting, respectively. It is also a good source of potassium, phosphorus and B vitamins and acts as a wonderful antioxidant which helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. Plus, it is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can also aid as an anti-inflammatory. Cauliflower also contains fiber to keep your GI system healthy.

Of course, with cooking we will lose some of these vital nutrients but in my opinion, eating your fruits and veggies in their natural form (cooked or raw) is better than not eating them at all.

I hope you enjoy my latest creation.

cauliflowerCauliflower Casserole

1 stalk cauliflower (cut off the stems and cut into smaller pieces)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion (sliced)
1 medium green pepper (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 vine tomato (larger, chopped)
3 eggs + splash of milk
~ 1/4 cup marinara sauce
Shredded cheese
Spices: pepper, paprika, curry powder

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Steam cauliflower in large pot w/ a little water on med heat (cover to speed cooking time) for about 5-8 min.
  3. When you can easily smash cauliflower with wooden spatula, turn heat to low and add olive oil, garlic and onions (water should be gone; if not, drain water from pot prior to adding olive oil, garlic and onions)
  4. Give a few tosses and add curry powder — cauliflower should be smashed and chunky
  5. Turn off heat, add tomatoes and green pepper and combine
  6. Add cauliflower mixture to a nonstick glass square casserole dish (sprayed with nonstick spray, especially around edges)
  7. Scramble eggs with milk and add marinara sauce, pepper and paprika to egg mixture; combine well
  8. Slowly pour egg mixture over cauliflower mixture until evenly covered
  9. Bake for 25-30 min or until top is firm and golden brown around the edges
  10. Turn off heat and sprinkle with cheese and place casserole back in oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted

Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and holds a certification by the American Dietetic Association in Adult Weight Management. She is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach, Ironman finisher and an Oakley Women ambassador, and she has contributed articles to a number of triathlon organizations, such as Lava Magazine, Triathlete Magazine, IronGirl.com and Beginnertriathlete.com. To contact Marni, email trimarnicoaching@gmail.com, visit trimarni.blogspot.com or become a fan of TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition on Facebook.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.

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