Simple parmesan-roasted cauliflower

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So, I guess one of my “unofficial” New Year’s resolutions is to eat more fruits and vegetables. I’m usually OK as far as veggies go, but I have a hard time forcing myself to eat fruit when I buy it. So, I bought myself a brand new blender, and I’ve decided to stop eating toast in the mornings, and start drinking smoothies. So far banana and peanut butter is my favorite, with pear, coconut and cashew coming in a close second. For the vegetables, I always have a fridge full of them, but some nights when I get home from work at 7:30, I just can’t bring myself to actually chop/cook/eat them, and prefer making a quick pasta dish instead. So my new plan is to spend my Sunday afternoon prepping my vegetables so they’re ready to go for the week, no excuses!

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Not only does prepping veggies sometimes cause problems, but I also usually encounter some sort of opposition from Jé as to actually consuming the veggies. It’s not that he doesn’t like vegetables, but he has a slight aversion to actually agreeing that we make them for dinner, opting more often for some combination of a starch, cheese and pork. One of my biggest triumphs is getting him to actually want to eat Brussel’s sprouts. He requests this dish! This alone would be the most amazing news ever, if I didn’t tell you that these sprouts happen to be smothered in a cheesy béchamel sauce and gratinéed with even more cheese on top… So I thought maybe we could find some sort of compromise between eating healthy and a very healthy dose of cheese… And this recipe was my solution!

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It’s the easiest thing ever to make. By slicing the head of cauliflower rather than just breaking of the florets, it cooks super fast. This is one of those veggie dishes that I don’t necessarily need to make in advance, but that I can just pop in the oven while I make the main part of our meal, knowing that it will be perfectly cooked and crispy and deliciously covered in half-burnt cheese 20 minutes later. You could obviously play around with different cheeses, spices and herbs for this dish, but I love the easy feeling of olive oil and parmesan, with a liberal dose of salt and pepper.

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Simple parmesan-roasted cauliflower

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
Olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Hot pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400°. Thoroughly wash your cauliflower as you cut off the leaves around the base, but leave the head intact. Cut the head in half, then place the flat side on your cutting board. Slice the cauliflower into half-inch thick slices.

Place a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on it (the equivalent of 1 or 2 tablespoons) and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the sliced cauliflower on top, crowding it as little as possible (it’s OK if it overlaps slightly, but if you find yourself with a pile of cauliflower, you should probably do two batches!). Top with another tablespoon or so of olive oil, more salt and pepper, and the parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through but not too mushy, and the cheese turns a beautiful golden-brown color. Eat right away as a side, or let cool and add to a salad!

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