This combination of Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Hummus is ghoulishly delicious, and a great way to enjoy fall vegetables in season.
Today, I’m having a little fun with my vegetables. It’s Halloween and there have been lots of fun Halloween sweet treats floating around on Pinterest. So, I challenged myself to come up with something savory that was ghoulishly delicious and a little spooky. How about some “Bloody Brains” for dinner?
I’ve been reading about the importance of eating a diverse diet of whole foods that is fresh, seasonal, plant-based and chemical free, as a way to improve one’s overall health status. Although I’ve seen this information before, I found it to be a great reminder to be more deliberate about my food choices. It’s easy to get into a rut and eat the same old vegetables every week, and I don’t always buy organic due to the expense that sometimes seems hard to justify. However, as I’m learning about the number and amount of pesticides used on crops, and the importance of a diverse diet, I’m trying to be more mindful of my purchases, whether at the farmer’s market or the supermarket.
So, this past weekend, I stopped by the local farmer’s market and picked up a beautiful head of orange cauliflower. Have you ever tried purple or orange cauliflower? The different colors mean there are different phytonutrients in each variety, so by just changing up the variety of cauliflower, I am getting the benefit of each varieties’ unique nutritional value.
The fun part about cauliflower is that the florets are naturally “brain-shaped”.
What could be more gory than brains and blood, right? So, I set out to make some “blood” using the roasted beets that I made from fresh beets in my CSA Box. I added some toasted pine nuts for nuttiness, heart healthy olive oil and tangy pomegranate balsamic vinegar.
In case you’re interested in learning which fruits and vegetables have been tested and found to have the most pesticides, here are the top 20. You can get the full list on the EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Interestingly, the level of pesticides can vary widely between domestic and imported items. I was surprised to find kale and collard greens on this list.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Nectarines – imported
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Blueberries – domestic
- Snap peas – imported
- Kale/Collard Greens
- Nectarines – domestic
Certain pesticides can damage the nervous system, so repeated exposure to pesticides over a period of time can have long-term effects that we may not quite understand. In addition, infants and young children are more at risk because their bodies are less able to detoxify these chemicals than older children and adults.
Don’t go crazy over this list, but keep it in your back pocket when you shop. I know I’ll be referring to it.
Today, I’m participating in Food Network’s Fall Fest where Halloween-themed recipes using produce is being featured. Please be sure to stop by my fellow foodie friend’s blogs and see what they made:
Feed Me Phoebe: Leftover Jack-o-Lantern Salad i.e. Pumpkin & Arugula Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing
The Heritage Cook: Jack-o’-Lantern Black & Orange Soups
The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Virtually Homemade: Apple Caramel Cake Pops
Weelicious: Roasted Pumpkin and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Ghoulish “Bloody Brains” Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Hummus
Devour: Caramel Apples for Halloween
Taste With The Eyes: Braised Oxtail for Halloween?
Made By Michelle: Clementine Pumpkins
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Silky Pumpkin Hummus
Red or Green: Spooky Black Bean Dip & Chile Roasted Sweet Potato Appetizers
Dishing: Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
Domesticate Me: Spiced Pumpkin Punch
Cooking With Elise: Wicked Good Halloween Recipes
The Sensitive Epicure: Trick or Treat, Spaghetti or Squash? Both
FN Dish: Have a Homemade Halloween
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- a few glugs extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 Roasted Beets
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fig balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, 20-30 minutes depending on how big your florets are.
- Place roasted beets and pine nuts in food processor. Process until finely ground. Add olive oil and vinegar through feed tube. Continue to process until smooth.
- Use a spoon to smear Roasted Beet Hummus on plate. Top with Roasted Cauliflower.