Move over kale — there’s a new Brassica oleracea in town! Every year there seems to be a chosen one, the fruit or veggie that’s going to rock your world with its former underappreciated benefits. This year, it’s cauliflower.
Why Cauliflower Is Good For You
This cruciferous veggie is stepping out from behind its superstar siblings broccoli and kale, taking its rightful place in the spotlight as a superfood. Hard to argue because it really is a nutritional powerhouse.
You will find the check marks in all the right columns:
- Low in calories;
- Low in fat;
- Low in carbs;
- Generous in fiber and protein.
But not the least of all, it is king (or queen) of vitamin C; one cup of chopped cauliflower offers up 85 percent of your daily value. It’s also a great source of vitamin B-6, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, just to name a few.
Most surprising is its versatility. It can be mashed like potatoes, grated and used for your next pizza crust, or paired with cheese for the ever popular mac-n-cheese. And of course we can’t forget it’s a standby for stir fry or steaming.
I have tried many of these preps and was surprised at the flexibility given how pungent the odor is when steaming it.
Egg Salad Without Eggs!
So I set out to see if I could add to the growing resume of this newly popular ingredient. Easter is soon to be upon us, and the pictures of eggs and their ultimate destination of egg salad are not sparse. I looked at a picture of an egg salad sandwich and thought to myself, “that looks like cauliflower”.
And so it began. I set out to make a delicious cauliflower “egg” salad that tastes, feels, and chews just like the classic. Only it contains no eggs, or any animal products for that matter, so it is vegan, as well as gluten-free.
It is great for a sandwich, a wrap, or served on top of your favorite greens. Perfect for a picnic on a hot day as the risk of spoilage is nowhere near as high as it’s animal product counterpart.
Cauliflower “Egg” Salad
It’s so easy to make: steamed cauliflower, chopped veggies, and “eggy” cashew mayo. One note: You can shortcut the making of the cashew mayo by substituting it with vegan store-bought mayo and adding all of the listed spices to that. It should taste good as well, but I want to disclose that I did not taste test that version.
1) Chop head of cauliflower into medium size florets and steam for approximately 20 minutes or until fork tender. Do not overcook as you do not want them to turn into mush when chopped. Once steamed immediately place florets on a baking sheet to cool.
2) While cauliflower is steaming place cashews in high-speed blender with remaining sauce ingredients. Blend on high-speed until smooth, or only small nut fragments remain if you chose not to soak the nuts prior to blending. Set aside.
3) Dice scallions, red pepper, celery and green olives. Set aside.
4) Place 1/2 of cooled cauliflower florets (or less if you have a small food processor) into food processor and pulse approximately 10 times into diced-sized pieces (you can dice by hand if you do not have a food processor). Pour diced cauliflower into large mixing bowl, dice remaining cauliflower and add it to the bowl as well.
5) Gently mix remaining diced veggies and olives in with diced cauliflower and lightly season with salt, black pepper, and garlic salt if desired.
6) Pour cashew mayo over diced veggie mix and gently stir so as not to mash the cauliflower. The cashew mayo yields about 3/4 cup. I did not require all of the cashew mayo to nicely coat and bring all of the diced veggies together. If you prefer a wetter salad you can add more.
Now you are ready to toast some bread for a great sandwich (we used Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread above), spoon into a leaf of romaine or Boston lettuce for a fresh wrap or just dollop several scoops on top of a bed of greens for a delicious salad! Enjoy!
For more cauliflower yumminess check out my post of 6 Plant-based & Gluten-free Ways to Make Cauliflower Decadent and Delicious. Or if salads for sandwiches suite your mood check out my plant-based and gluten-free Chickpea “Chicken” Salad.
And in a very fun twist to this recipe, I was so flattered when I was contacted by artist Kathy Sturr who loved the recipe so much she illustrated it and had it published on theydrawandcook.com. Check it out:
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