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Friday, February 24, 2012

Making Dinner Recipes Simple Yet Good for Your Family

Most moms have the same fantasy… You prepare a meal full of whole foods packed with nutrition and vegetables galore! And as you finish the last plate and set it in front of your children and husband they give you a standing ovation for all your hard work and eat all that you have prepared with zero complaints… it is yet another perfect meal!  Then we wake up and face the reality that we need to be tricky to get goodness into our families bodies…and if we are being completely honest, sometimes we need to do the same for ourselves.

 Today I want to share a crowd pleaser that is quick and healthy, and you can throw it together in 20 minutes if you have a pressure cooker or steamer.  If you don’t have either of these fine devices all you need to do is cut your vegetables really small and bake them at 400 degrees until soft.  This sweet potato and cauliflower mash is amazing and packed with nutrients.  You can season them sweet or savory, it is up to you.

Quick Fact: Cauliflower consumption has been studied for its cancer-preventing potential and antioxidant properties. Cauliflower has natural anti-inflammatory properties, high amounts of vitamin K and one cup of boiled cauliflower delivers about 3.35 g of dietary fiber…  Cauliflower also contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5, B6 (pyridoxine) and B9 (folic acid). It serves as a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium.  

Now that you are feeling empowered about putting some cauliflower that tastes great on the kitchen table, here we go!

Step #1: Chop up one head of cauliflower and 3-4 large, peeled sweet potatoes.  Cook in pressure cooker with 1 cup low sodium chicken stock (use setting per directions for CAULIFLOWER not sweet potatoes because you cut them into small pieces they will cook fine to mash) OPTION #2:  Cook using another method until very soft (don’t add chicken stock until step #2 unless boiling the vegetables.

Step #2: Use an electric mixer to blend the vegetables to a velvety texture (keep going until the cauliflower is blended completely).  If using another method to cook vegetables add chicken stock until texture is good not too wet while using electric mixer.

Step #3: OPTIONAL: Add any of the following if desired cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, maple syrup, or for a savory taste… garlic, onion powder, hot spices ect.  Use what your family likes because this dish will take on any flavor you give it or it is good left alone.  My Arleena does not like spice so she eats it as is and I add spice to mine.

This dish is excellent with Salmon.  Buy frozen, wild caught, vacuum sealed salmon that does not contain any preservatives or added colors.  (if you are blessed to live somewhere you can get fresh wild caught salmon that doesn’t have color added… that is awesome).  You can cook frozen salmon on a broiler pan in about 25 minutes just add some seasoning on top!  This is one of Arleena’s favorite meals!

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