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10 Surprising Ways to Savor Cauliflower

Cauliflower is having a major moment all over restaurant menus and cookbooks, and it’s no surprise why. First, cauliflower is a health powerhouse, rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients such as protective carotenoids, vitamin C and vitamin K. A member of the cruciferous family, low-carb cauliflower is also a source of glucosinolates, sulfur-based chemicals studied for their potential anticancer effects. In addition to its nutritional benefits, cauliflower is widely available, affordable and super versatile. Put away the steamer for a minute, and get inspired with these ten out-of-the-box cauliflower recipes that will totally change your perspective on one of our favorite veggies (maybe it’ll become your new fave too!)

1. Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Yes, you can roast an entire cauliflower, and it will be one of the most delicious things you’ve ever eaten! A few simple ingredients are all it takes to create this visual and culinary masterpiece. Chili powder and cumin spices help give the roasted cauliflower a ruddy appearance and an exciting flavor. You can serve it as a centerpiece at your next dinner party and even carve it like a roasted chicken to wow your guests!

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Photo Credit: 12Tomatoes via Yummly

2. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is all the rage, yet it isn’t “rice” at all! Cauliflower makes a great lower-carb grain alternative for your next stir-fry or side dish. All you need is a blender or food processor, garlic oil, and salt and pepper to taste. The key to cauliflower rice is to not overcook: limit cooking time to 3–5 minutes and serve immediately so it doesn’t soak up too many juices and become a mushy mess. You can treat your cauliflower rice as a standalone or mix in with real rice to reduce the calories and increase fiber, vitamins and minerals.

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Cauliflower Rice

Photo Credit: Our Best Bites via Yummly

3. Mediterranean Cauliflower Pizza

 

Did you know that your head of cauliflower can transform into a pizza? This pizza swaps out wheat dough for cauliflower, making for a hearty, gluten-free base that you can dress however you choose! This particular option tops the crunchy cauliflower “dough” with a simple combination of basil, olives and tomatoes.

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Mediterranean Cauliflower Pizza

Photo Credit: EatingWell

4. Paleo Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Cauliflower can make a yummy lower-carb alternative to mashed potatoes. If you’re watching your carbohydrate or calorie intake, or simply want to add more vegetables into your diet, this is a sneaky and easy way to do it — and it only takes 15 minutes! This recipe uses coconut milk instead of cream, so it is also appropriate for vegans or folks with dairy allergies.

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Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

5. Cauliflower Bread Sticks

We can’t get over this appetizer hack for cheesy, delicious breadsticks… without any bread! Cauliflower’s mild flavor profile and sturdy texture makes it ideal for substituting into comfort food recipes like this one.  This recipe in particular is excellent for accommodating friends with a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. Try it at your next gathering and see if your guests even notice that they’re actually eating veggies!

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cauliflower bread sticks

Photo Credit: ifoodreal via Yummly

6. Buffalo Cauliflower

Love buffalo chicken but don’t eat meat? Or perhaps you want to add more veggies into your life but want to have a little fun in the process? These buffalo cauliflower bites look just like buffalo chicken… and taste like it too! In addition to providing a heaping serving of veggies, these bites will soothe your craving for junk food with a lower-calorie, lower fat, fiber-rich alternative!

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Buffalo Cauliflower

Photo Credit: Spend with Pennies via Yummly

7. Cauliflower Pilaf

This grain-free pilaf uses cauliflower instead of rice or couscous for an easy lunch or side dish option.  This sweet and crunchy dish comes in at only 70 calories per serving with 3 grams each of protein and fiber, a balanced combination of nutrients that makes it as satisfying as it is beautiful.   

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Cauliflower Pilaf

Photo Credit: Midwest Living via Yummly

8. Cauliflower Steaks

A steak isn’t just made of meat anymore — this cauliflower “steak” recipe is a creative way to showcase cauliflower as the main course instead of a side dish. This recipe is perfect for a Meatless Monday or any evening that you want to enjoy a satisfying plant-forward meal.  

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Cauliflower Steaks

9. Cauliflower Tortillas

Just when you thought cauliflower couldn’t get any better, it does! Try this brilliant recipe for cauliflower tortillas and prepare to be blown away. This recipe in particular is an excellent alternative for corn or wheat tortillas if you have intolerances or are watching your carbohydrate intake (one serving only provides 2% of your recommended daily carbohydrate intake). With 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and under 50 calories per serving, you can’t lose!

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Cauliflower Tortillas

Photo Credit: Recipe Girl via Yummly

10. Cauliflower Tots

Tater tots aren’t just for the kids, but this comfort food swap is definitely a fun way to feel like a kid again! Shredded cauliflower replaces potatoes in this easy and relatively quick recipe, which is baked, not fried. The texture is nearly identical to traditional tater tots, but with more fiber and a lot fewer calories.  

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