Cauliflower has become one of the trendiest vegetables in recent years and rightfully so, as the flexible vegetable has been transformed into everything from pizza to rice. Here are some of our top ways to use it in your kitchen.
Found on almost every vegan restaurant menu as one of the main entrès, cauliflower steak is super easy to make. Better yet, depending on the seasoning and oils used, you can literally make it taste like anything you want. Sprinkle some herbs de Provence for a Mediterranean experience, coat it in Za’atar and get transported to the Middle East, and drench it in Barbeque sauce for a real American chicken-wing comfort food taste.
All you really need to do is take a head of cauliflower, cut the stem, and clean it of all leaves. Chop large slices that stay together about one finger in thickness. Coat them in your favorite spices and oils, and bake on 425ºF for 30-45 minutes or until golden and crispy on the outside. Serve with harissa, yogurt, labneh, hummus, or any other dip you’d like, and garnish with fresh salad, toasted nuts and seeds, and dried cranberries. Enjoy!
Low-carb risotto? You got it! Cauliflower rice, or “riced cauliflower” became extremely popular with the rise of the keto and paleo diets, which basically forbid carbohydrates of almost any kind, and by using cauliflower as a substitute, you don’t have to give up risottos, fried rice, or even sushi.
You can find prepared cauliflower rice in almost every store nowadays, from the fridge to the freezer section, or you can easily make your own by pulsing the florets (just the florets) in a large food processor until you reach rice-like consistency.
Cauliflower rice can easily take on any flavor you mix it with and it can be boiled, fried, baked, or even eaten raw. Even though it makes for a great low-carb, vitamin-rich version of your favorite mushroom risotto, keep in mind that cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, and having too much can cause some unpleasant bloating and digestive issues.
Another big discovery from the low-carb enthusiasts, cauliflower pizza crust swept over the world as the next best thing. Not only can you now enjoy your favorite pizza any day you like, but you can also make it at home, and non’t worry about counting calories or saving up for your “cheat day.”
Easy to make and even easier to digest, cauliflower pizza may soon find its way on your kitchen table. You can buy the crusts from places like Outer Aisle, or make it at home. For the most basic of versions, you’ll need:
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets (or 6 cups of store-bought cauliflower rice)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp oregano
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the cauliflower florets and pulse them in your food processor until they reach a rice-like consistency (or simply use the preprepared cauliflower rice). Transfer to a baking sheet, spreading it nicely, and bake for 15 minutes for the water to evaporate.
Take the cauliflower out, transfer to a bowl lined with a cheesecloth, and let cool for 5 minutes. Squeeze the cauliflower so all the excess water comes out. Be patient, you might have to do this a few times.
Increase the oven temperature to 450°F and place a new parchment paper on the baking sheet. In a bowl, whisk the egg with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the cheese and cauliflower, until mixed well.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and flatten with your hands until the desired shape forms, trying to avoid making it too thin.
Bake for 20 minut4es, then carefully flip and bake for 5 more minutes, so it crisps up on both sides. Top it with your favorite toppings and put back in the oven until the cheese melts and the crust gets golden. Take out and enjoy immediately!
You can make your own version by switching up the cheese, adding different spices, or even using vegan egg and cheese as substitutes for a plant-based pizza.
Cauliflower Bread and Pastry
No-wheat bread? Low-carb bread? Very tasty and delicious bread? Yes, please. Cauliflower is now used for sandwiches, burgers, and toasts, making the perfect low-carb substitute for all of your other ingredients to shine.
The same brand that makes cauliflower pizza crusts, Outer Aisle, also makes the cauliflower sandwich thins that just need to be heated up or toasted and are ready to go. You can also learn to make your own little buns, muffins, scones, or even breadsticks with a very simple recipe that only requires 30-40 minutes in the oven.
For the buns, you’ll need:
- 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut into large florets (or 4 cups of cauliflower rice)
- 4 tbsp almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until you reach rice-like consistency (or use prepared cauliflower rice). Be careful not to overpulse to avoid releasing too much water.
In a bowl, combine with the rest of the ingredients. Make 4-5 evenly sized balls and lay them onto the baking sheet. Press down slightly.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking periodically. Let cool before slicing in half. Optional: Broil on high for 3-5 minutes to ensure they get extra crispy.
Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
Lovers of mashed potatoes will go crazy over this cauliflower version that’s just as creamy and can take on any flavor and spice mix. It’ll go well as a side dish to any meat, fish, or plant-based protein, so everyone can find a way to enjoy it.
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
- 3 tbsp sour cream (or vegan cream)
- 6 cloves garlic divided
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or any other cheese/vegan cheese)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Steam the cauliflower over a large pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until tender. You can also boil the cauliflower in salted water for about 10 minutes. Remove and drain, then cover with a lid and set aside.
In the same pot, heat the butter and sauté the garlic for about a minute. Blend the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor on high setting until smooth (or using a hand blender). You might need to do this in a couple of batches.
Transfer the blended cauliflower into the pot with the garlic. Stir in the cheese and sour cream, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Let your weekly menu reflect these changes, and check out how good cauliflower is as a substitute for some of your favorite meals!