Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this nutritious spin on a classic Mexican side dish! Cauliflower…
4 Creative Cauliflower Recipes to Try This Week
When it comes to cruciferous veggies (think cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage), Brussels sprouts tend to get all the glory. But its oft-ignored cousin cauliflower is just as delicious — and even more versatile. In fact, when pulsed in a food processor, cauliflower makes a tasty, low-cal substitute for carbohydrates like rice and potatoes.
As the following recipes show, the veggie can be transformed into anything from a calzone crust to an “everything bagel.” Plus, just one cup of cauliflower contains only 27 calories and provides more than half the daily recommended dose of vitamin C. It also offers a solid dose of protein, fiber, zinc, potassium, iron, and magnesium. What’s not to love? Try these five recipes that take cauliflower from boring to brilliant!
Cauliflower Crust Calzone
Pulsing cauliflower in a food processor until it reaches a rice-like consistency and then carefully squeezing out the excess moisture is the key to creating a dough-like mixture for these Cauliflower Crust Calzones. Feel free to play around with the filling: The recipe calls for mozzarella and tomato, but sneaking in more veggies like spinach or peppers would be a tasty way to up the nutrient factor.
Makes three medium size calzones (feeds 3)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield about 3 cups once processed)
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons thick tomato sauce
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr mozzarella cheese
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease liberally with olive oil.
2. In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets in batches (process until evenly chopped but not pulverized). Transfer cauliflower rice to a microwave dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
3. Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out more than 1 cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy dough, not a crusty one.
4. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl and add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
5. Using your hands, press the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into three discs (diameter should be about 5 inches).
6. Place in the oven and bake for 10 (no more no less, 10 minutes).
7. Remove from the oven and, working quickly, top the half of each disc with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Using a large spatula carefully lift the half of the disc without filling and fold it over the other part (that’s ok if the disc brakes a bit).
8. Use your fingers to push the edges of each calzone together and seal in the filling.
9. Bake in the oven for an additional 12 minutes. Serve hot!
The next time you’re hosting a brunch, surprise your guests with this Cauliflower Hash that replaces potatoes with cauliflower. All you have to do is chop the cauliflower into small pieces and sauté it with onion, smoked paprika, garlic, and a touch of lemon juice. Top it off with a fried egg for a warm, savory dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ lb (350 g) cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ? teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves (for garnish)
- Fried eggs, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the cauliflower and onion in an even layer and let it cook without stirring until it takes on a little color on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Give it a stir, then add the smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and water. Cover the skillet and cook until the cauliflower is fork-tender but not mushy, and has taken on a golden color, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the lemon juice and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.
- Serve with the parsley sprinkled on top, and add a fried egg if you like.
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Surprise! Cauliflower can also be transformed into a creamy sauce for mac ‘n’ cheese. In this Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe from Love & Lemons, cooked cauliflower is mixed in a blender with Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, and cheddar cheese (or cashew cream if you’re vegan) to form a gooey sauce. Mix it with brown rice or (whole wheat) elbow pasta and bake in the oven until crispy on top for a healthy take on comfort food you’ll want to make again and again.
- 1 big head of cauliflower, chopped (4 cups for the sauce, save the rest to add before baking)
- 12 oz brown rice elbow pasta
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ – 1 cup cashew cream (see recipe below) or sharp cheddar
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- salt & pepper
- pasta water, as needed to thin
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs (or gf panko)
- non-vegan option: sprinkle ¼ – ½ cup parmesan cheese
- super cheesy option: add an extra handful of cheddar under the panko
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- a few pinches of red pepper flakes
Cashew cream (this makes extra & can be made ahead):
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours (strain soaking water before using)
- ¼ – ½ cup water
- 1 small garlic clove
- ¼ cup minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- If you’re making the vegan option, start by making your cashew cream. (Strain the soaking water from the cashews). Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Scoop the cream out of the blender and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the 4 cups of cauliflower florets and cook until tender but not mushy, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to drain and scoop the cauliflower into a blender. When the cauliflower is out, bring your water back up to a boil and add the pasta.
- Back to your blender – add the dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, to the cauliflower, and puree well. Add about ¾ cups of cashew cream (or cheddar cheese), sherry vinegar, and blend again. Add starchy pasta water, as needed, to thin the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Add more cashew cream if you want).
- When your pasta is al dente, set aside a cup or so of pasta water, then fully drain your pasta and the water out of the large pot. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and stir in the sauce. Add more reserved pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce.
- Pour your pasta into a large baking dish (or a few individual sized dishes). Place the remainder of the cauliflower floretes on top. Top with a sprinkling of panko, parmesan cheese (if using) and a drizzle of olive oil. (optional: make it extra cheesy by adding a layer of sharp cheddar underneath the panko and parmesan)
- Bake until the top is golden and crispy – about 12-20 minutes depending on the size of your dish.
- Remove from oven and top with chives and red pepper flakes.
“Everything Bagel” Cauliflower Rolls
Craving a bagel? Look no further than these “Everything Bagel” Cauliflower Rolls. After pulsing the cauliflower into rice, simply mix it with almond flour, coconut flour, cornmeal, eggs, and garlic powder and form it into balls. Dip it in the “everything bagel” seasonings (think poppy and sesame seeds) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, and you’ve got a delicious roll that tastes like it came straight from the bakery!
- 1 head cauliflower, riced (about 3 cups)
- 2 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp organic corn meal (not paleo- you can sub almond flour)
- 2 organic eggs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp dried minced garlic
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400
- In a food processor, or using a hand grater, pulse/grate cauliflower until rice consistency
- In a bowl combine eggs, cauliflower rice, almond flour, coconut flour, corn meal, garlic powder, and salt
- In a separate bowl combine “everything” topping ingredients
- Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet
- Make 4 even sized balls and lay onto parchment paper
- Sprinkle “everything” topping and slightly press them into the top
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bread-like consistency (it might be longer depending on the size you make)
- Optional: Broil on high for 3-5 minutes after baking
- Optional: For extra crisp, remove from baking sheet and do the broiling step with the buns directly on the oven rack
- Remove from baking sheet and let cool directly on a cooling rack
- Serve with your favorite sandwich ingredients