In my first year of marriage, I gained 20 pounds. I had dieted leading up to my wedding day, so that, in the cherished tradition of my female forebears, I could crow for the rest of my life “I weighed (insert weight never to be achieved again) on my wedding day!” Let’s just say I was hungry on my honeymoon.
The second reason for my weight gain was that I was unemployed during the first few months of marriage, and decided to spend my idle time researching, shopping for, and cooking a three course meal for my new husband every single night. This had predictable results on my waistline.
Third, I really didn’t think I was overeating, because I was only consuming about ½ the volume of my 6’5” husband, who had the metabolism of a 29-year-old male distance runner, which he was. Paul would eat two gigantic, heaping plates of fettucine carbonara for dinner, and I’d only polish off one heaping plate. Such restraint!
The Pegster came to visit us several months into that first year, took me out shopping, and was alarmed when I had gone up two dress sizes. In her day, every new bride was instructed to apply lipstick before serving her husband his breakfast, and to maintain her girlish figure. She observed me failing spectacularly at both tasks. Ever supportive, when she returned to Winter Park, she sent me a gift subscription to “Cooking Light” magazine and a tube of Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow.
Only problem was, with regard to Cooking Light, I failed to use as directed. See, whereas some home cooks try to create “lighter” versions of favorite recipes, my approach was to take a light recipe and fatten it up. I’d double the butter and cheese, use whole fat instead of nonfat sour cream, and top my light coffee cake with twice the pecan-and-brown sugar streusel.
This is a longwinded intro to this month’s recipe, Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower, which is a riff on a dish from the now-popular website “Skinny Taste.”
See, unlike the cardboard baked goods and bland casseroles from “Cooking Light,” this ‘healthy’ recipe requires no fattening up to make it palatable. It is mouth-watering delicious as prepared, in all its low-calorie glory. I could scarf down an entire pan of the delectably-spiced, ginger-tinted flowerets.
Not only do I serve this frequently as a side dish to chicken or fish, but oddly enough, it’s become a breakfast staple on Christmas morning. Carb-counters in our family have forsaken breakfast potatoes and bagels, and this spicy cauliflower tricks you into thinking you’re eating starch alongside your eggs and bacon.
Thank goodness we’ve reached an era when we’ve learned we won’t maintain our health by chewing on boxes of tasteless, low-fat baked goods (R.I.P, Snackwells), that wellness can’t be reduced to three digits on a scale, and that it’s good to love the bodies we’re in.
Bottom line: you will find yourself craving this cauliflower whether you’re dieting or not. Dig in!
Roasted Turmeric CauliflowerCourse: SidesDifficulty: Easy
This craveable cauliflower recipe is skinny in calories, and fat on taste.
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into flowerets and bite-size pieces (about 6-7 cups)
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Toss the cauliflower with the garlic and olive oil in a large bowl.
- Stir together the turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt in a small bowl. Add to cauliflower and mix well.
- Spread cauliflower onto a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan.
- Roast, stopping halfway through cooking to stir, for about 25-30 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.
- Don’t waste the stems of the cauliflower. Chop them into bite-sized pieces and toss with the flowerets.