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Natural Awakenings Chicago

A Meaty Vegetable Alternative

Feb 25, 2019 08:48PM

Cauliflower is a late winter to early spring vegetable that should be easy to find at the local market. For a vegetable with very little color, it holds many nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, choline and fiber, just to name a few. “Over the past few years, this versatile vegetable has become a great alternative for high-carbohydrate or gluten-rich products like pizza crust, taco shells and mashed potatoes,” says Lauren Woodbridge, a member of the Illinois Farmers Market Association’s Board of Directors and co-owner of The Kitchen Sink (, a bagel company specializing in organic, local bagels sold at Chicago farmers’ markets.


Charred Cauliflower Steaks

Yields: 2-4 servings

1 med-to-large-sized head of cauliflower

Grapeseed or olive oil


½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 sprig rosemary

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

2 tsp real maple syrup

3 cloves garlic, chopped or roasted


First, in a separate bowl, mix together all 9 paste ingredients until loosely combined.

For the cauliflower, cut slices from side to side about 1-inch thick. You should be able to get about 3 good slices and the rest will fall to pieces. Those can be charred, too!

Heat a pan with about 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or olive oil to medium high heat.

Brush cauliflower slices with paste while pan is heating up.

Sear cauliflower about 4 minutes on each side or until nicely browned and cooked to your preference. I like it with a little bite. You may have to do a few rounds, depending on the size of your pan.

Cook Time: About 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


The Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) supports local food and food systems by giving Illinois farmers’ markets and producers access to resources, education and connections in order to grow healthier and economically vibrant communities. For more information, visit