With B-vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, cauliflower is the new (way tastier) kale.
Toby Amidor 1 / 11
Looking to cut back on your meat intake and load up on more veggies? (Eating Less Red Meat Can Save Your LifeAnd the Planet.) You don't have to sacrifice the flavor and texture of the good stuff. Cauliflower, a member of the cabbage family, is sturdy enough to replace meat, yet tender enough to make rice and use in salads.
What's more, the cruciferous vegetable also contains hefty doses of vitamins C, K, and B6, folate, and fiber. It also provides a healthy dose of cancer-protecting antioxidants. In fact, people are so head over heels over cauliflower that an absolute frenzy has emerged over a recent shortage due to cold weather in California and Arizona, the Wall Street Journal reports. Low supply and booming demand are jacking prices upwards of $8 a head—that's up 30 percent from last year, according to the USDA. Stock up while you can.
Here are 10 healthy recipes to cook up with the new “it” vegetable.
General Tso's Cauliflower
This lightened up version is made without loads of oil and sugar and is a delicious, vegan alternative to take out.
Skill level: Beginner Serves: 4 Start to Finish: Less than 1 hour Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 37 minutes
Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, stem removed 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or almond milk 1 cup panko bread crumbs (use homemade gluten-free or store bought gluten-free crumbs for GF version) ½ cup whole-wheat or regular flour- use gluten-free flour for GF version 1⅔ cup water ⅓ cup soy sauce or Tamari ¼ cup apricot jam 3 tbsp hoisin sauce 2 tbsp corn starch 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 1¼ tbsp fresh grated ginger
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 2. Place the milk, breadcrumbs, and flour in separate shallow bowls. 3. One at a time, dip the cauliflower floret into the flour, then milk, and then the panko breadcrumbs. 4. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes until golden brown. While the cauliflower is cooking, whisk together the water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin, cornstarch, and vinegar. 5. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add in the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant. 6. Whisk in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. 7. Remove cauliflower from oven and coat with sauce. 8. Serve with brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds and/or scallions.
Per serving with ¼ cup dressing: Calories: 357; Total Fat: 6.8 grams; Protein: 10.6 grams; Carbohydrates: 65 grams; Fiber: 4.5 grams
2 bags (16 oz) frozen cauliflower ¼ cup fresh parsley ½ to 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon light butter
Instructions: 1. Place steamer inside a large pot with water filled only to the bottom of the steamer. 2. Add frozen cauliflower in steamer and boil water until cauliflower is tender (about 10 minutes). 3. Turn off heat. Discard water and return cauliflower to pot. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower, spices and butter until texture is smooth and creamy. 4. Add gravy if desired.
These crispy fritters are pan-fried in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, which contributes minimal calories and fat considering it serves 12 to 14. These babies make perfectly portioned game time snacks or serve as a side for dinner.
Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets. 1 egg 3 scallions, chopped ½ cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour 1½ teaspoons spice mix of choice 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions: 1. Steam the cauliflower until fork tender, about 8 minutes. Place in a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the egg, scallions, flour, spice mix and salt/pepper to taste. Mash into pea-sized pieces with a potato masher. 2. Heat an oven to 200 degrees and place a baking sheet inside. 3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Scoop up the cauliflower mixture using a ¼ cup measure. Form into a ball with your hands and drop into the skillet. Add another few fritters, making sure to leave about two inches between each fritter. Flatten each fritter slightly using the back of your spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip, press down slightly again then cook another 4 minutes until golden brown on each side. Transfer the fritters onto the baking sheet to keep warm and repeat with remaining cauliflower mixture. 4. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar, Pesto, and Tomatoes
This simple recipe has you brushing the entire cauliflower head with pesto and drowning it in diced tomatoes. After some oven time, it’s sprinkled with cheddar cheese. What could be easier?
Skill level: Beginner Serves: 6 as an appetizer or side Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ingredients: 1 medium head cauliflower, cleaned with stem and bottom leaves sliced off 2.5 oz prepared pesto paste (like Amore) 5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (like Hunt's) 3 oz Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, shredded
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 425. 2. Place cauliflower in a medium-sized baking dish. Spread pesto paste on cauliflower with a basting brush. Pour can of tomatoes overtop the cauliflower. 3. Roast for 55-65 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower (a large cauliflower may take even longer), until fork tender. 4. Remove from oven carefully and top with shredded cheddar. Bake 3 more minutes until cheese is melted then broil 1-2 more minutes to begin browning the cheese. Remove from oven and top with freshly ground black pepper, if desired. 5. Slice into steaks. Serve with a spoon of tomatoes (from the sides of the baking dish) on top.
Shred cauliflower on the holes of a box grater, and then sauté and it will resemble rice. Then use in dishes like mac and cheese, rice, or tabbouleh. This lightened version of mac and cheese uses a combo of whole wheat pasta and cauliflower, but you’d never know the difference.
Ingredients: 6 ounces dried whole wheat elbow pasta (or whole wheat blend), (about 1½ cups) 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Half of a small head of cauliflower (about 12 ounces untrimmed and 7 ounces trimmed), shredded on the large holes of a box grater, (about 2 cups) 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour 1½ cups 1% milk 5 tablespoons low-fat buttery garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese (like Boursin cheese) ½ cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese ¼ packed cup chopped fresh basil Kosher salt Black pepper
Instructions: 1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until combined, 1 minute. 2. Whisk the milk slowly into the cauliflower mixture. Raise the heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. 3. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic-and-herb cheese and the Cheddar cheese until combined. Stir in the cooked pasta until combined. Stir in the basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Serve in individual bowls and top with additional basil as desired.
Nutrition Information (per serving- about 1 cup) Calories: 330; Total Fat: 12 grams; Saturated Fat: 5 grams; Protein: 16 grams: Carbohydrates: 43 grams; Fiber: 5 grams; Sodium: 260 milligrams
With white rice weighing in at around 200 calories per cooked cup, cauliflower is a very low calorie alternative. In this recipe, low calorie flavors including garlic, coriander, cilantro, and lime juice help balance the slightly bitter taste of the cauliflower.Skill level: BeginnerServes: 12Start to Finish: Less than 40 minutesPrep: 8 minutes Cook: 30 minutesIngredients:2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets1 tablespoon canola oil2 large onions, sliced into half moons2 tablespoons minced garlic1 teaspoon coriander1 cup chopped cilantro2 tablespoons lime juice½ teaspoon Kosher saltFreshly ground pepperInstructions:1. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower florets until finely grated and rice-like granules.2. Heat canola oil in a straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 8 minutes, then lower heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often, for another 3-5 minutes until onions are nicely browned. Add garlic, coriander, and cilantro and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and cilantro is wilted.3. Add riced cauliflower to pan and carefully toss with onions. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and serve hot.Nutrition Information (per serving- about 5 ounces)Calories: 48; Total Fat: 1.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Protein: 2 grams: Carbohydrates: 8 grams; Sugars: 3 grams; Fiber: 2.5 grams; Sodium: 111 milligramsRecipe and photo provided by Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN of Nutritioulicious.The Greatest Muscle-Building Tuna Burger >>>
Cauliflower Steak with Chipotle Mayo
Cauliflower can hold up nicely on the grill, so you can make killer steaks with it. The trick to make steaks with cauliflower is to leave the florets on the core, and then slice into 1-inch thick pieces. Serve as the main attraction or alongside chicken, beef, or fish.
Ingredients: 1 jumbo head of cauliflower 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper
½ cup full fat mayonnaise ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 large clove garlic, crushed
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F or the BBQ to medium heat, 400F (that’s medium heat on my BBQ) 2. Cut the cauliflower into 1-inch thick slices. Arrange on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3. Put the baking sheet with the cauliflower into the oven or lay the sheet directly onto the BBQ grates and roast for 15 minutes on each side. After the first 15 minutes, carefully turn the cauliflower pieces by using a spatula. 4. While the cauliflower is roasting, combine the mayonnaise, chipotle powder, lemon juice, and garlic, and mix well. 5. Serve the cauliflower with the sauce.
Nutrition Information (per ½ head cauliflower and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise dressing) Calories: 258; Total Fat: 20 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 6 grams: Carbohydrates: 90 grams; Sugars: 6 grams; Fiber: 6 grams; Sodium: 340 milligrams
Ingredients: 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced 1 quart chicken stock Kosher salt and black pepper 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. 2. Place cauliflower on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. 3. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and gently browned. 4. In a large soup pot, heat butter and an additional tablespoon of oil. Add chopped leeks, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add roasted cauliflower and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in cream, if using. 5. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. 6. Taste for seasoning and serve. Makes 2 quarts.
Nutrition Information (per 1 cup serving, including the heavy cream) Calories: 90; Total Fat: 6 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 3 grams: Carbohydrates: 6 grams; Sugars: 2 grams; Fiber: 2 grams; Cholesterol: 9 milligrams; Sodium: 250 milligrams
Cauliflower is used in combination with spinach and bell pepper to add depth to this lasagna. With only 15 minutes of prep, the oven does most of the work so you can sit back and relax after a long day.
Skill level: Beginner Serves: 8 Start to Finish: Less than 1 hour, 30 minutes Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 1 hour, 8 minutes
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons oregano ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 1 25-oz jar marinara sauce 6 sheets (about 8 ounces) whole grain lasagna 6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves ½ cup regular or plant-based sour cream 2/3 cup shredded regular or soy cheese
Instructions: 1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet. Add onion, pepper, cauliflower and garlic and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in oregano, smoked paprika and marinara sauce and heat until bubbly. 2. Preheat oven to 350 F. 3. In a large 9 x 13 inch baking dish, arrange 3 sheets of lasagna noodles, 3 ounces of spinach, ½ of the vegetable-marinara mixture, ¼ cup sour cream (dollops), and 1/3 cup plant-based cheese. Repeat layers. 4. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until browned and cooked through. 5. Slice into squares and serve immediately.
These alternatives to frozen pizza bites use cauliflower to create a delicious dough, which is then filled with delicious cheese. As opposed to most packaged pizza bites, at least you can pronounce all the ingredients in this homemade version.
Ingredients: 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower (should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed), washed and chopped (remove stems) 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/8 - 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese 1/8 - 1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 egg, beaten 2 tablespoons pizza sauce 2 low fat string cheese sticks, cut into 6-8 smaller pieces each
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pizza pan (or baking sheet) with non-stick cooking spray. 2. Wash and dry a small head of cauliflower. Cut off the florets (you don't need much stem). Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get rice shaped pieces. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean dish towel and allow to cool. 3. Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and ring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible to ensure it will stick together. 4. Add ringed out cauliflower into a large mixing bowl. Add egg, shredded cheese, seasonings, and pizza sauce (may even need to mix with hands). 5. Form "dough" into a ball. Break away portions of the dough (about 2-3 teaspoons) and form bottom portion of a ball, stuff with string cheese piece, and add another 2 teaspoons of dough to complete other side of ball. Roll in hands to form nice ball shape and place on pizza or baking sheet. Repeat with remainder of dough. 6. Once all pizza balls are ready, place baking sheet in oven. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. If balls do not starting browning or get crusty outer shells increase oven temp to 450 degrees and cook another 3-5 minutes (you just want to make sure you get the inside cooked). 7. Optional: can serve with additional pizza sauce