Barbecue Star: Simple, Savory Cauli-Salad

Cauli-Salad is a satisfying side dish for an Independence Day barbecue. This alternative to potato and macaroni salad dishes up tang and texture without skimping on good-for-you nutrients. Domingo Martinez, a chef at the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation in Valley Stream, created the recipe.

Cauliflower, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, provides the bulk of this recipe. Some research shows that cruciferous vegetables-which includes not only cauliflower, but also Brussels sprouts and broccoli-may help reduce risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics journal, Food & Nutrition.

While all cruciferous vegetables provide a variety of nutrients, cauliflower is best known for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. One serving provides nearly 75% of an adult's recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C works to clear out “free radicals” from the body that would otherwise cause damage. That's something to feel good about during your July 4th barbecue.

Another thing to feel good about at your cookout: keeping food fresh and safe. Don't miss the barbecue safety tips at the end of this post.

Serves 16 (serving size: ½ cup)
Per Serving: 108 Calories, 4.7 grams of fat (2.7 sat. fat), 343mg of sodium.

Cauli-Salad Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 1-lb. bags, frozen cauliflower
1 10 oz. bag, frozen peas and carrots
1 cup, chopped celery
2/3 cup, chopped onion
1¾ cup, “lite” mayonnaise
1 tsp., granulated sugar
1 tsp., salt
¼ tsp., pepper
¼ tsp., paprika
1 Tbs., cider vinegar
1 tsp., yellow mustard

Directions, eggs:
In 2-quart saucepan, place eggs in single layer; add enough cold water to cover eggs by one inch. Cover; heat to boiling. Remove from heat; let the pan stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs, then immediately run cold water over them until they're completely cooled. Peel and chop the eggs.

Directions, frozen vegetables:
Meanwhile, in large (4-quart) microwavable bowl, place frozen cauliflower and frozen peas and carrots; cover with microwavable waxed paper. Microwave on high setting for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once after about 10 minutes. Drain vegetables in a colander; rinse with cold water to cool. Place colander over the bowl the vegetables cooked in; refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until cooled.

Directions, dressing:
In small bowl, mix the “lite” mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper, 1/8 teaspoon of the paprika, the vinegar and mustard; set aside.

Remove vegetables from refrigerator; discard any liquid in bowl.
Pat drained vegetables dry with paper towels; chop large cauliflower pieces into 3/4-inch chunks to resemble chopped potatoes.
Place cauliflower, peas and carrots in the same bowl. Add celery, onion and chopped eggs.
Pour dressing over salad; stir until vegetables and eggs are well-coated.
Sprinkle remaining 1/8 teaspoon paprika over salad. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or until well-chilled before serving.

Barbecue Food-Safety Tips

Keep your barbecue safe by protecting food from getting spoiled and uncontaminated. Don't re-use plates or utensils that touched raw meat or poultry, advises the USDA.

Also, keep cold food cold and hot food hot:

Store cold food on ice in a cooler with a closed lid as much as possible or put it in the refrigerator.
Keep grilled meat and poultry at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Set it to the side of the grill, not directly over the coals where they can overcook.
Refrigerate all leftovers immediately in shallow containers.
Discard any food left out more than two hours (one hour if the temperatures goes over 90 degrees Fahrenheit).

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