Like humans, different foods can become better versions of themselves by association. Certain ingredients are taken up to another level when married to Mr. Right; think tomato and basil. They’ve been soul mates all along, partners in crime, just waiting to bring the best out in one another. Cauliflower is another one that’s transformed when matched up with an eligible bachelor. She’s quite a plain-jane ingredient on her own, but a dead set knock-out when in the right relationship. Although if she were on facebook her relationship status would be “Its complicated". Rather than a sensible matrimony between two ingredients, she benefits greatly from more of an open-marriage, or a multiple-partnered approach.
The cauli was definitely born for promiscuity with spices; not just one, but multiple. When this multi-faceted hook-up begins, a spectacular transformation occurs, just as a caterpillar evolves into a butterfly. Cauliflower on its own doesn’t have an outstanding taste, but is a brilliant canvas just waiting to be exoticised by big, boisterous flavours. Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and many other striking spices can be added to this simple staple vegetable to create the most mind-blowing meals.
This Creamy Curried Cauliflower with Cashews really encourages the cauliflower’s well-rounded approach to loving, to not only enhance its flavours on multiple levels, but also its health benefits. This simple vegetarian dish is super-packed with nutrients and disease fighting properties that will dramatically improve your health and lower inflammation levels.
While the meek cauliflower may be a little dull on its own in terms of flavour, you really shouldn’t underestimate the huge health benefits that this quiet-achiever has to offer. It’s high in vitamins B, C, K, folic acid and beta-carotene and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, sulphur and potassium. It’s said to be an excellent blood purifier and liver tonic, and has been found by alternative medical practitioners to be a useful medicinal food for kidney or bladder disorders and constipation.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, coming from the same family as broccoli, bok choy, collard greens and brussel sprouts, which are all famous for a multitude of medicinal benefits. Studies show that a diet high in cruciferous vegetables has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk of cancers, and one Canadian study found that eating just half a cup of cauliflower per day reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 52%!
Now the cauliflower’s favoured mates are not just brilliant for their superb flavour enhancing efforts, but when banded together, spices are a serious disease fighting army. Within this recipe, there’s loads of this illness- busting going on through a range of spicy ingredients. Here’s a peek at how some of these mighty soldiers will defend you from illness:
Cinnamon is astonishingly good for you. Within Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon has been long revered due to its ability to treat colds, indigestion and cramps, and for improving energy, vitality and circulation. Today, conventional doctor’s are catching on to the benefits of this age old medicine; and it’s most widely recognized these days for it’s amazing blood sugar lowering capabilities, making it a must-have ingredient for people with type 2 diabetes. Use it in soups, stews, or in sweet recipes such as this Scrummy Gluten Free Carrot Cake, or this Quinoa Porridge with Cinnamon and Apple for a nutrient packed brekky option.
Turmeric is the bright yellow spice that stains your clothes and the corners of your mouth; a bit like the partner that leaves their clothes all over the floor, and ‘cleanliness’ is not a word used often in their vocabulary. But don’t let that deter you; there are good reasons why cauliflower would want to become friendly with this often disastrously cheeky spice. Turmeric is a definite must-have to avoid disease and promote wellness. The root has been used for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-flatulent properties and perhaps there are a few people in your family who might seriously need turmeric! Not mentioning any names... It is also rich in the poly-phenolic compound curcumin, which has powerful anti-tumour, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoy turmeric in curries, like this warming Chicken, Turnip and Cashew Red Curry, in stir-fries, homemade burgers and veggie patties, or these spectacular Spicy Meatballs.
Cumin is a delicious, earthy spice that also contains impressive health improving compounds. The benefits of cumin include fighting asthma, bronchitis, skin disorders, boils, anemia, respiratory disorders and even insomnia! It’s especially fundamental for improving digestion; the very smell of it contains an active compound known as Cuminaldehyde, which automatically activates the salivary glands in the mouth, facilitating the effective primary digestion of our food! Cumin is also a huge benefit to lactating mothers, thanks to Thymol, a compound which increases the secretions from glands, including the mammary glands responsible for breast milk. It’s also super high in calcium; a vital constituent of a mother’s milk for her baby. As well as with cauliflower, cumin combines beautifully with pumpkin and sweet potato, and adds a delicious hit of flavour to dips such as this exotic Baba Ganoush, it is a scrumptious addition to soups, and compliments curries such as this beautiful Quinoa and Vegetable Curry.
It’s no wonder cauliflower can’t limit herself to one partner. Eating a wide range of spices into your diet is a brilliant way to improve the flavour of your meals. Liberally seasoning your food with wholesome herbs and spices is a much better way of filling your dishes with flavour, rather than using processed seasonings and stocks filled with harmful additives.
This Creamy Curried Cauliflower with Cashews will be a real show stopper for a lazy weekend lunch or a cruisy mid-week dinner. It’s a quick put together, it’ll keep you on your toes with the perfect intermingling of complex flavours and spices, and has a weight of powerful health benefits that an encyclopedia would struggle to contain!
Please enjoy …
Creamy Curried Cauliflower with Cashews Recipe
- 2 TBS coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 TBS finely chopped ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 TBS curry powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 3 TBS fresh coriander
- 1 large cauliflower cut into florets
- 570 mls coconut milk
- 150 gms cashews
- 2 tsp. lemon rind
- Celtic Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped coriander or spring onion for garnish
- Over a medium heat in a saucepan melt coconut oil and fry onion until browned
- Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and stir until fragrant about a minute.
- Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, lemon rind, cashews and sea salt and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes
- Garnish with Black Pepper and Fresh Coriander
- Serve with Brown rice