We have been taught since early childhood that animal protein is essential to a nutritionally balanced diet, but Dr. Joel Fuhrman of his national best seller Eat To Live argues that the common food pyramid is grossly outdated and misunderstands the nutritional value of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. These essential foods provide a more valuable balance of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals by caloric intake that your body needs and craves than animal protein does, and thus are dubbed Nutrient Dense Foods. For instance, you get twice as much protein from 100 calories of broccoli than you would from 100 calories of steak. It also provides your daily needs of Vitamin A, C, K, fiber, and is even rich in kaempferol if you are following a hypoallergenic diet. In addition, 100 calories of broccoli provides more calcium than one glass of whole milk! Dr. Fuhrman does of course leave room for animal protein intake, but the evidence about nutrition in fruits and vegetables is impossible to ignore in today’s modern world if medicine.
Unfortunately, the concept of meat and potatoes as a dinner staple has left a lasting impression on many Americans. I struggle every day to pack substitute lunches for Asher’s preschool lunch, and I cringe at what they consider a balanced meal for children. Apparently these caretakers would prefer that I let my children subsist on fish sticks and Ragin’ Roast Beef Friday than teach them to eat salad!
But enough about broccoli and the failed school food system, it’s time for some cauliflower! Today I’m sharing a Cashew Cauliflower dish that I got from Veg Kitchen with Nava Atlas which is mind-blowingly tasty. Even my roofing contractor walked in today to fix a roof leak and remarked how good it smelled!
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small red bell pepper, roughly chopped with seeds and veins removed
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely diced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup whole roasted and unsalted cashews
1 cup diced pineapple
1⁄3 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, whisk 1⁄4 cup water with the cornstarch until smooth. Set aside. Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute. Turn heat high and add the cauliflower, bell pepper, and soy sauce and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the cornstarch and the cashews and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the florets have softened. Stir in the pineapple and cook about 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately.
This photo of Asher was not staged! He stole my broccoli from the refrigerator. Most likely to get a rise out of me. Proud mama!