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2021…Let’s start it off on the right foot!

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January 01, 2021 | NATIONAL AJ Fusco, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

There is absolutely no reason to go into what 2020 was like, we were all there. Instead, let’s look into 2021 with some optimism, hope and culinary adventure. January usually brings on plenty of resolutions and self promises, most often revolving around health and wellness. This is absolutely a good thing, and something I myself tend to partake in. But where I think we fall flat on those commitments is our diet. This is by no means a reference to “diets” like South Beach, Paleo, Keto or any of the other numerous ones out there. I am referring simply to what we are eating and how it will affect the resolutions and promises we made to ourselves. Healthy food is connected to all sorts of negative connotations, whether it be “expensive” or “lacking in flavor”. Many of these are not true, and sometimes quite the opposite. Fresh produce for instance is almost always cheaper than the canned variety. And while flavor is highly subjective, many healthy recipes contain tons of flavor, usually in the form of good fats, fresh herbs and spices.

It would be easy to say just throw some chicken on the grill or toss up a kale salad. These are obviously healthy for you and by all means if that’s what you enjoy, go for it. But sometimes I think the key to sustaining healthier eating habits lie in the more adventurous recipes. The ones that take what we would normally consider unhealthy, but delicious all the same, and flip it upside down using more nutritious ingredients and different techniques. When we make these recipes, it breaks up the monotony of the “grilled chicken, sweet potato and broccoli” meals. These new and unexpected recipes keep us and our palates excited for more, hence the sustainable aspect of it all.

I challenge you in 2021 to try and think outside of the box when it comes to your cooking. Think of foods that you may not make as often as you would like or should. Think…cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower gets a bad rap sometimes. But it is the perfect blank canvas for flavors and textures. And it just so happens to make a great alternative to mashed potatoes. When combined with sweet roasted garlic and some plain Greek yogurt, the cauliflower turns into a creamy dish that will make you forget about potatoes. This recipe has tons of flavor, nutrients and will certainly turn you into a believer that healthy food can be delicious.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash
Serves 4

1 Medium Head Cauliflower
1 Head Garlic
1 Sprig Rosemary
½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
½ Cup EVOO
Salt, to taste


-Preheat oven to 375° F

-Cut the top off the whole head of garlic, place in foil. Drizzle with EVOO and wrap tight. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until soft and brown.

-While the garlic roasts, cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in a pot with a steamer basket. Pick and finely chop the rosemary, add to the cauliflower. Steam cauliflower for 20 minutes or until tender.

-Put the cauliflower in a food processor with yogurt. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into the cauliflower. Add a pinch of salt and buzz until combined. With motor running add EVOO until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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AJ FuscoCorrespondent

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