Tuesday, 18 May 2010

WAYS TO COOK AND EAT CAULIFLOWER

I've seen today on the news that sales of cauliflowers are falling dramatically. The popularity of this vegetable has apparently sunk to an all time low and there are fewer and fewer cauliflower growers in the UK. That's a bit alarming - and I don't really know why - is it the colour? Is it the taste? Or lack of it?
Well, it may be all three, but let's examine the colour issue first. Some people may believe it doesn't rank very highly as a "green" vegetable - but here are the nutritional facts:
  • a 100g raw serving will give you 25 calories - brilliant and filling! Raw? I hear you say? Yeeugh! I hear you cry? Don't knock it 'till you've tried it (more later)
  • 0g fat and 0g cholesterol
  • 3g dietary fibre (10% of your RDA)
  • Vitamin C (a massive 70% of your RDA)
  • Protein 2g
  • Iron (2% of your RDA)
  • Calcium (2% of your RDA)
  • has a very low Glycemic Load (2) and is mildly anti-inflamatory
Cooking lessens these amounts a little but probably not that much, providing you don't cook it to mush!
Okay - back to the raw recipes - you can mix finely cut small florets into salads with broccoli, Spanish onion and your favourite dressing more ideas HERE. Or you can use raw cauliflower in a dip - just wash, drain well until dry, separate into small mouthful-sized florets and arrange on a dish around a bowl of curry flavoured dip or mayonnaise. You can alternate the pieces of cauli with strips of raw courgette and carrot to give your dish some extra colour. Enjoy!

Cooking cauliflower is a bit like cooking brocolli - don't overdo it. If you have a steamer then that works well, but dropping the florets into boiling water for 8-10 minutes (depending on floret size) is all I do and they are still "al dente" - not raw, but crisp and firm. If you want to use it as more than a just an accompaniment vegetable, try Cauliflower Curry, Vegetable Pilau, Roasted cauliflower, or Cauliflower fritters!
The trick with cauliflower is to add some stronger, spicy ingredients to compliment its more delicate taste. And don't forget - despite the fact that cauliflower is often seen as expensive, it's quite bulky and an average head will give you enough for a meal for 2 people, so it is still fairly frugal.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

IT'S NEARLY SUMMER - START YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!

In my many recent visits to the local charity shops in the last couple of weeks, I've realised that there seems to be an abundance of bric-a-brac and gifts - people are spring cleaning and having a clearout while they're at it! They're cleaning under their beds and finding little bags of unwanted Christmas gifts that they didn't know where to put at the time, so they just rammed them under the bed- I know- I do it! They're getting out their summer clothes and coming across boxes of stuff in the back of their wardrobes that they just don't have the space to keep any more. That's where we score! The charity shops are also quieter in good weather and often have more stock.
Get your gift lists written and start visiting your local charity shops regularly. Goods are continually being sorted and displayed - as shelves empty, the shop staff have to fill them, so keep visiting and make sure you go before Friday or Saturday as I've often spotted something on a Thursday - thought I'd come back for it on Friday afternoon or Saturday, only to discover it's gone!
Look for new, packed gifts, good glass or pottery, unusual (but perfect) mugs to pack with mini gifts or sweets, new knitting yarn to knit gifts with, or, if you are a jewellery maker - loose beads or findings to create that individual piece that no-one else will ever have.
Remember, if you spot a bargain, buy it at the time - as the odds are on, someone else will spot it too!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

LOADS OF VOUCHERS FOR BURGER KING!

Burger King is offering BOGOFS and loads of other freebies with vouchers to use instore. As well as the 2 for 1 offers you can get free drinks, fries, kid's meals, ice cream and pancakes!
Get your Burger King vouchers HERE.