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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cauliflower salad

It's July 4th - the US Independence Day. Typically a day of parades and fireworks, but also a day for picnics and barbecues. I was invited to two today. First a picnic lunch at my sister's house, and second a barbecue at a friend's house. For the first I was asked to only bring myself. For the second I was asked to bring a side dish.

Barbecues classically feature grilled meats of some sort, so from that standpoint provide no problems for eating, but the side dishes are often problematical - things like pasta salads and potato chips (likely fried in trans fats and/or high PUFA oils), or baked beans with lots of sugar.

At my sister's it was so easy to eat. She had fresh cold cuts, including my favorite KerryGold cheese, made from the milk of grass-fed Irish cows. There were pasta salad and chips there too, but also plenty of nice fresh veggies and dill pickles. We sat in her backyard in the shade, with a light breeze blowing, and watched birds and chipmunks and a woodchuck playing in the stream and the woods behind her house - very pleasant indeed. And after eating we took a ride through Rifle Camp Park and Garrett Mountain and saw plenty of deer and wild turkeys. The coyotes were all in deep hiding though, despite the "beware of coyotes" signs posted at both parks!

But for this evening's barbecue I figured I had better bring a side dish I knew I could eat, as I couldn't count on any of the others being acceptable to me, so I made my cauliflower salad, which is very tasty indeed.

Cauliflower Salad

1 head cauliflower, steamed, and broken up into bite-sized pieces
6 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped up
3-4 scallions, cut into pieces, including as much of the green part as you can manage
1/2 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup spicy mayo

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Turn into a serving dish and sprinkle paprika or cayenne over the top. Chill until ready to serve, at least a few hours, to give the flavors a chance to meld.

As for spicy mayo? I made my own mayo more-or-less following the spicy mayo recipe in Nourishing Traditions. But you can take a cup of any mayo and add to it:
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne

I made it last night and the flavors have been blending since then. The party is in 30 minutes so we will see how it goes over. But I also made it on Memorial Day, and my friend who is having the party today had it then, and requested it for today. So I know at least one person will like it. :-)

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