Cheesy cauliflower casserole

Crazy For Cauliflower

Are you crazy for cauliflower? Learn all about this vegetable and its health benefits. You can steam, fry, boil or roast cauliflower. You can also enjoy it raw in salads or with dips. For a side dish, you will love this cheesy cauliflower casserole topped with bread crumbs.
Cauliflower

Cauliflower history

Cauliflower most likely originated in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean over 2000 years ago. Popular in Europe during the 16th century, cauliflower eventually spread from there to the Americas. There are very many varieties of cauliflower separated into four major groups: Italian, Northwest European Biennial, Northern European Annuals and Asian. Cauliflower is very sensitive to the climate and the conditions in which it is grown. In unfavorable conditions, the cauliflower may develop premature heads or curds. Cauliflower is part of the Brassicaceae family which also includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens.

Cauliflower nutrition

Cauliflower is very nutritious and beneficial to the human body as it is known to fight diseases and cancer growth. It is generally low in fat, high in water, folate, dietary fiber and Vitamin C, having a very high nutritional density. Cauliflower has the compound indole-3-carbinol that can prevent or slow down the growth of tumors of the breasts and prostate. The vegetable also contains sulforaphane, which is an anti-cancer compound which is released when chewed or sliced. Additionally, eating cauliflower is beneficial to the liver and it can help to fend off certain types of prostate cancer.

Cauliflower preparation

Serving cauliflower raw will give you the most benefits when it comes to nutrition. If you must cook the cauliflower, lightly steaming it will keep its cancer-fighting nutrients intact. Cauliflower can also be fried, boiled or roasted. The leaves can be eaten or discarded. Cauliflower is often served with a gravy or cheese sauce. It can also be a substitute for potatoes for the low carb dieters because cauliflower lacks the starch that real mashed potatoes offer. The potato substitute is often called fauxtato.

Cheesy cauliflower casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 Tbsp margarine (separated)
  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 Tbsp dry bread crumbs

Directions

 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Boil water in a large stock pot.
  • Separate cauliflower into flowerettes.
  • Drop cauliflower into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Drain and place cauliflower in a 2 quart casserole dish.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of margarine in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add chopped pepper and diced garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle fried peppers over cauliflower
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch into milk.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of margarine to skillet.
  • Stir in milk mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened.
  • Add salt, pepper and cheese and continue stirring until blended.
  • Pour mixture over cauliflower.
  • Mix bread crumbs with remaining margarine.
  • Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake for 25-30 minutes.

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