I hate cauliflower. When I got last month’s Food Network Magazine, they had a great photo on the cover of a spicy vegetarian chili (here’s the recipe). I love chili. You can make one pot of chili and have food for a week. There’s chili “burritos” with veggies and a low carb tortilla. There’s chili mac (totally unhealthy, but yum). I sometimes make a chili and cornbread dish. You can make frito pies (also unhealthy, but yum). Top some veggie dogs or make a dipping sauce for pigs in a blanket. There’s no end to what you can do with chili.
I know cauliflower are good for me. It’s in the species Brassica oleracea which cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and collard greens are also cultivers of. How many times do we hear we need to eat more of those? Kale and broccoli are practically superstars. It’s high in fiber and it has Sulforaphane and Indole-3-carbinol which may protect against cancer. So, I decided that covered in tons of spices, cauliflower was worth a try. It’s probably important to note that cooking, especially boiling like one would do in chili, may destroy many of the phytochemicals.
I admit, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I used a food processor to “shred” my cauliflower. It wasn’t as delicious as the food network photo looks. Here’s my Frito chili pie. Yuck.
I tried to eat it plain, but the texture was a little gritty and weird. Maybe it would work better if you grated the cauliflower. The chunks would likely be bigger. My family and I ate the whole batch, but it’s not something I’m in a hurry to make again.
One cup of your average chili has 287 calories, 14.1 g of fat, 30.5 grams of total carbs (11.3g of fiber and 3.0 grams of sugar) and 14.6 grams of protein. Amy’s makes a decent canned vegetarian chili with 190 calories, 6 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs (7.9 fiber and 6.0 sugar) and 7.1 grams of protein per cup. This chili has 182 calories, 5.7 grams of fat, 26.3 grams of carbs (9.1 grams of fiber and 5.3 grams of sugar) and 7.5 grams of protein.
So, the chili is slightly better for you than your average chili. It gets good reviews on the Food Network site and to be fair, it tasted fine. It just had a weird texture. I normally make my vegetarian chili with Morningstar farms “meat” or rice. I think I’ll take the extra calories and stick with that. Morningstar Farms “meat” doesn’t add much. It’s pretty healthy number wise, but I use it sparingly because I don’t like to use Frankenfoods much, and I consider fake meat to be a kind of Frankenfood. On the other hand, there are clearly Fritos on my plate, and there’s no excuse for that. Nobody’s perfect.