This just in…Cauliflower is the new Kale

super cauliflower

It is a new year, and that means a whole new set of trends. Last year was all about kale but food experts are predicting the newest food trend in 2014 will be cauliflower. That’s right, I said cauliflower. Usually taking a backseat to its commonly paired broccoli, cauliflower will take 2014 by storm!

Did you know cauliflower is actually a type of cabbage?
Cauliflower is loaded with vitamins B and C and is a good source of protein. Cauliflower contains antioxidants that if eaten regularly, will help reduce your risk of heart diseases and cancer. Also, it could potentially help decrease the risk of inflammation diseases such as arthritis, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. Take that kale!

The sky is the Limit with Rainbow Cauliflower
Experts are saying to look for different colour cauliflower this year too. They taste the same as white cauliflower and retain their colour even after cooking but will add a splash to any meal. Some even say, different colours will add health benefits such as orange cauliflower contains higher levels of beta carotene which encourages healthy skin and purple colour comes from anthocyanin, which may help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting.

But how do you eat it?
Any way you want…being so versatile, cauliflower can be eaten raw, steamed, baked, grilled and used in soups to make them extra creamy without using cream along with countless other ways.
I’ve always loved roasted broccoli and cauliflower drizzled with olive oil and a dash of salt but I am looking forward to cauliflower becoming the next superfood so more recipes will be calling for it.

But just in case you are not ready to give up kale, here is a great Cauliflower-Kale soup recipe from William Sonoma:
Cauliflower-Kale Soup with Crispy Kale Topping
• 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
• 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn into
1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 7 cups (56 fl. oz./1.75 l) chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/3 cup (1 3/4 oz./50 g) pine nuts, toasted

Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and the edges are browned and crisp, about 22 minutes. Reduce the oven to 300°F (150°C).

In a bowl, toss half of the kale with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt. Place on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast, stirring once halfway through, until the kale is crispy, 26 to 28 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining kale, increase the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a Vitamix blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Top with the crispy kale and pine nuts and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.