Categories
Fast Food

Chipotle Tests Cauliflower Cilantro-Lime Rice In Select Stores

Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Fans of cauliflower rice will be pretty happy to hear that the grain alternative will be tested at select Chipotle locations across the country.

The fast-casual Mexican food chain announced this week that they’ve begun testing Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower rice as a new plant-based option.

Made with grilled cauliflower that’s seasoned with fresh chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt, the new test item adheres to vegan, paleo, keto, and Whole30 diets.

Chipotle Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt said in a statement that cauliflower rice is one of the most requested menu additions from customers.

Only time will tell if this will make a nationwide release on Chipotle menus. But if the stats are any indication, Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice is more than likely going to happen.

Categories
Culture

Why Cauliflower Has Become Such A Beloved Ingredient So Fast

Photo: Saute Magazine

“Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.”  -Mark Twain

Over the years, many fruits and vegetables have made their way into our diets by disguising themselves as not-so-healthy fan favorites. Kale chips posed as potatoes and earned their spot in the snack aisle; frozen bananas made a name for themselves in the form of “nice cream” and perhaps most classically, veggie burgers stood in for traditional beef patties and landed a lead role on the menus of restaurants all over. Recently, cauliflower has risen to the top of vegetable charts by doing the same. In taking on the form of popular carbohydrate-heavy classics like pizza crust or meats like steak and chicken, it has become a staple for longing vegans and low-carb dieters alike. But cauliflower is not just a stand-in for other ingredients — it shines as the lead as well.

HISTORICAL NOTE: THE CAULIFLOWER CHRONICLE

This versatile veggie is believed to have originated in ancient Asia Minor, and there is some evidence that the Romans also cultivated it. At first, cauliflower and broccoli were identical plants — until humans began to breed them for their most desirable traits and they became distinct from one another. Over time, cauliflower became popular in Europe. During the 16th century in France, it was all the rage in Louis XIV’s court. The French considered cauliflower to be a delicacy, and they served it in rich and elegant dishes — like Madame du Barry’s creamy cauliflower soup. After rising to prominence in Europe, it was later introduced in North America in the late 1600s. Although references to cauliflower consumption were mentioned in writings from United States residents as early as the 1800s, it was not commercially available here before the 1920s. Up until recently, people primarily prepared the vegetable by boiling it. However, over the past few years, it has been recognized for its versatility and now appears in a number of more interesting and palatable dishes.

GROWTH PROCESS: FROM SEED TO FLOWER

California grown cauliflower is available year-round but is especially abundant in the spring and fall. It is grown in the Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Imperial and Fresno counties. These areas meet the temperature requirements for successful growth, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to being easily affected by temperatures that are either too hot or too cold, cauliflower must be grown in a particular type of soil, with a pH level of about 6, in order to thrive. Unlike its brassica oleracea cousins — such as broccoli, kale and cabbage — most cauliflower is white. Though it also comes in purple, orange and green varieties, the type we know best maintains its pale hue because of the dark green leaves that surround it while it grows. These leaves serve as sun protection, meaning that no chlorophyll is produced. Thus, the cauliflower’s white color is upheld, making it the optimal choice for starch substitutions. The hue of the vegetable also comes into play when selecting a cauliflower at the store. It is important to seek out tightly compact heads of uniform color, with no soft or discolored areas, as they may indicate rot.

HEALTH BENEFITS: MAKING MOM PROUD

Sneaking vegetables into food is an age-old game for parents who want their children to benefit from the vitamins and nutrients they bring to the table. So while cauliflower alternatives were initially developed for those with gluten intolerances, many also seek them out as a way to easily incorporate more vegetables into their diet. In doing so, they can still indulge in beloved foods when facing diet restrictions. Ironically, many are playing mom’s classic vegetable-sneaking tricks on themselves, and the benefits include an increase in levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese and omega-3. Cauliflower is also said to be very weight-loss friendly. The estimated amount of calories in a medium-sized head clocks in at only 150 calories. Such an impressive nutritional scorecard makes it an increasingly popular ingredient, and Jordan Rost, vice president of consumer insights for Green Giant, recognized this by saying, “The cauliflower trend is pervasive. We’re seeing it in everything from cream cheese to baby food. Products that contain cauliflower are experiencing faster growth in sales than their overall categories. It’s driving growth across all foods.” Clearly, this ingredient has made a name for itself, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

RECIPE INSPIRATION: THE VERSATILITY OF HOME-COOKED CAULIFLOWER

Much like its cruciferous cousin, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower can taste delectable or disgusting depending on how it is prepared. As with certain legumes, you can turn it into flour as a replacement for traditional starches in biscuits and pizza crusts. It can also be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled or served raw. Across the globe, it appears in a variety of dishes ranging from creamy soups to light, fresh salads. In India, cauliflower is often used in curry dishes alongside potatoes and onions. Spices like turmeric, cumin and saffron complement it’s relatively neutral flavor nicely. In Sardinia, it is paired with olive oil, garlic and capers to form a salad. With such versatility, it seems impossible not to be inspired by this mighty ingredient. If you’re looking to act on that inspiration, check out this Herbed Cauliflower Rice from Bon Appétit. Or, dine like a French royal with Madame du Barry’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup.

CAULI-FUN FACT: NUMEROUS NAMES

Due to its resemblance to curds of lumpy milk, the head of cauliflower is sometimes referred to as its “curds.” Many have also commented on its brain or ear-like appearance. But the real name for cauliflower comes from the Italian words caoli and fiori which translate to “cabbage flower.”

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Article by Meghan Malloy for Sauté Magazine. Read the original article here.

Categories
Health News Restaurants What's New

California Pizza Kitchen Is First Chain To Have Cauliflower Pizza Crust

One of the fastest-growing items in the food world right now is cauliflower pizza. As a gluten-free crust option, the plant-based pizza base has taken off, with one company becoming one of Amazon’s fastest-growing and top pizza brands in just six months. Recognizing that the cauliflower pizza crust game is strong right now, national pizza icon California Pizza Kitchen is hopping on the bandwagon early. They’re officially becoming the first national restaurant chain to incorporate cauliflower pizza crust into their menu.

cpk cauliflower pizza crust

Photo courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen

The cauliflower pizza crust rollout is happening in two phases: Starting on November 27th, Southern California locations in Redondo Beach, Rainbow Harbor, and Manhattan Beach will begin offering the option to replace any crust on their menu with the brassica veggie. Early next year, every CPK location, barring those in hotels, airports, stadiums, and universities, will also have the gluten-free option available.

Photo courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen

While it’s impressive to see a chain with CPK’s reach incorporate such a hot item so quickly, it’s gonna come at a steep price. Upgrading to the cauliflower pizza crust will cost an extra $2.50 per pie. But hey, if you’re celiac or on the low-carb pizza hunt, those options just became a whole lot more accessible.

Categories
Health Tastemade/Snapchat

Cauliflower vs. Kale: Which is the Better Superfood?

 

kalecauli

Photo: Nature and Nutrition and  and Love Farm Organics

We have here an epic battle of the chic superfoods with newcomer cauliflower taking on the reigning kale. Cauliflower has risen through the vegetable ranks over the past year, but it’s time to find out if this pale vegetable can dethrone kale.

Calories (per 100 grams)

Cauliflower: 25
Kale: 49

 

Taste and Consistency

Cauliflower: With a taste more like a nutty cabbage and a texture unmistakably like broccoli, cauliflower can be a bit trippy on the first bite. Similarly to broccoli, it can also take on the taste of many sauces and spices, depending on how it’s prepared.
Kale: Even rubbed kale is reminiscent of that one time you were dared to eat grass in elementary school. It takes considerable effort to chew and only starts to lose its bitter aftertaste when cooked.

 

What’s Killing You

Both: Over-consumption of cruciferous vegetables, especially raw, can result in hyperthyroidism in those susceptible to the disease.

 

What’s Making You Stronger

Cauliflower: Pantothenic acid, or Vitamin B5, is significantly higher in cauliflower which helps mobilize fat and lower LDL cholesterol. While we’re in the B family, it’s important to note that cauliflower provides twice as much folate, a vitamin needed to create red blood cells.

Kale: Unparalleled in Vitamin A and K content, kale is making sure our skin stays youthful and our blood is clotting (it’s the little things). Its high calcium content does wonders for your bones and the antioxidants in these leafy greens may prevent certain cancers.

 

Versatility

Cauliflower: Bake them, mash them, make dough out of them, use them as rice substitutes — cauliflower florets are proving to be the all-star chameleons of the brassica world. Their subtle taste lends them to a wide variety of uses.

Kale: Often used in salads, juices, soups, and casseroles, kale has also found itself used in innovative ways such as the notorious kale chip. The texture, however, often mars kale’s ability to adapt to different recipes.

 

Winner: Cauliflower

Though it’s not as nutrient-dense as its cousin, it’s far easier to work more cauliflower into your meals. With a gentler flavor, it appeals to a considerably wider population. Kale may be a bit stronger on the antioxidant front, but cauliflower’s effect on cholesterol makes it much more diet-friendly. Don’t be afraid to mix the two. After all, it’s all in the family.