Cauliflower is one of my favorite foods to cook with. I love to experiment with the texture of the cauliflower to create all sorts of interesting cauliflower recipes. ItÂ is often considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and there are definitely good reasons why.
What makes cauliflower so healthy? Well, it contains a unique combination of phytochemicals called tocopherols, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid, which all help fight various diseases. This vegetableÂ is also loaded with key nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, fiber, and a variety of B vitamins. Research even shows that Brassica crops like cauliflower help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and various cancers.
I have assembled five delicious recipes that are impossible not to enjoy. As a result, you will likely purchase this cruciferous vegetable every week in order to discover the seemingly endless possibilities.
5 Healthy Cauliflower Recipes
1. âCheesyâ Cauliflower Casserole Recipe
It is one of my favorite cauliflower recipes. It tastes cheesy, and yet doesnât contain dairy. The sauce will probably lead you to make this recipe over and over. I always stock up on cashews to make it at least once during the week. You can use the casserole as a side dish for four to six servings, and divide it for two people for a larger meal.
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- Â½ cup of grated carrots
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Â¹â3 cup of nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoonsÂ of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- Â½ teaspoonÂ of cayenne pepper
- Course sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Soak cashews in enough water to cover for four hours, and then drain.
Preheat oven to 350Â°F.
For the cheese sauce, combine carrot, cashews, and boiling water in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, then add garlic, onions, mustard, nutritional yeast, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, pepper, and salt, and puree until it is creamy. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and steam the cauliflower for seven or eight minutes, or until it is tender.
In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower and cheese sauce, and spoon it into a 10-inch square baking dish. Bake the mixture for 15 minutes, and serve hot.
2. Cauliflower Hash Browns Recipe
The texture of cauliflower is great for almost anything, including hash browns. Cauliflower hash browns can be eaten for meals, besides breakfast. I like to make them as the bottom of an open-faced sandwich and also include sautÃ©ed spinach and garlic, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a soft-boiled egg. But, thatâs me. You can really do anything you want with it, including just dipping it in homemade ketchup. (Thereâs less sugar in homemade ketchup.)
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 organic eggs
- Â½ cup of vegan parmesan cheese* or regular parmesan cheese if desired
- Â¹â3 cup of thinly sliced chives
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of course sea salt, divided
- Â½ teaspoonÂ of black pepper
*For the vegan parmesan cheese:
- Â½ cup of raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- Â½ teaspoonÂ of course sea salt
- Â¼ teaspoonÂ of garlic powder, or to taste
For the parmesan cheese, combine cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and garlic powder in a food processor, and process until a course meal forms. It will make about three-quarters of a cup, and only a half-cup is needed for the recipe. The rest can be kept in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Preheat the oven to 400Â°F.
Using a course grater, grate the cauliflower until the entire head has crumbled down into small bits. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl, and sprinkle in a half teaspoon of salt, and let the cauliflower sit for 20 minutes to draw out moisture.
PlaceÂ the soaking cauliflower inÂ another bowl lined with a large towel, and wrap the towel closed, and squeeze out all the excess liquid. Transfer the cauliflower back to the first bowl, and mix in the chives, vegan parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, basil, pepper, and rest of the salt.
Turnover a large roasting tray, and line with parchment paper to prevent burning on the bottom of the hash browns. Divide the mixture into six even portions, and place it on the tray, and then shape into rectangular hash browns.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the oven, or until golden brown. Let the hash brown cool for about 15 minutes, or until they have set. Enjoy with desired dipping sauce.
3. Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe
The cauliflower crust is a very trendy gluten-free pizza crust these days. Many holistically-minded blogs feature pizza recipes with a cauliflower crust, and for good reason. The following cauliflower pizza crust recipe will make two servings. If there are more people for dinner you will want to make at least two batches of this recipe.
- 3 cups of cauliflower florets, or about a half head
- 1 cloves of chopped garlic
- Â¼ cup of filtered water
- 2 organic eggs
- 4 tablespoons of almond flour
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- Â½ teaspoonÂ of dried thyme
- Â½ teaspoonÂ of dried oregano
- Â¼ teaspoonÂ of course sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of basil pesto
- Â½ cup of spinach
- Â½ cup of sunflower sprouts
- 2 artichoke hearts from a jar, quartered
- 8 olives, sliced
For the pesto:
- Â¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Â½ cup of hemp hearts
- Â¹â3 cup of dried parsley or cilantro, or 1 cup fresh
- Â¼ cup of dried basil, or 1 cup fresh
- 3-4 tablespoons of organic lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic, or Â¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- Â½ teaspoon of course sea salt
For the pesto, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. It will make one and a quarter cups. It will keep for two to three weeks in the fridge. You will only need a small amount of the pesto for the pizza.
For the cauliflower crust, in a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it becomes crumble-like in texture. Place the cauliflower crumbs, garlic and water in a saucepan, and cover and cook on medium heat for six minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Avoid stirring, because this will make it mushy.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375Â°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drain the cauliflower in a sieve, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel, and firmly squeeze out as much water as possible. Transfer to a bowl, and add the almond flour, eggs, herbs, and salt.
Form two circles of dough on the baking sheets. Using a spatula, press down the dough, so it forms a layer about a half-inch thick. Keep the crusts compact, and there should be no parchment paper showing through the dough.
Bake for about 17 minutes, or until it dry and pliable. Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool, and remove the parchment paper so the bottom does not become soggy.
Top the pizza with pesto, artichokes, spinach, olives, and sprouts, and put back in the oven for five more minutes to heat up the ingredients.
4. Cauliflower Stuffing Recipe
I made cauliflower stuffing for Christmas dinner and it was an absolute hit! The combination of herbs, vegetables, and broth make for a delicious side. Before guests tried it, they wanted a more traditional stuffing. However, after they tried it they wanted seconds.
You donât need to make it for the holidays. It goes with pretty much any meal, or a big bowl of it with some salad. Its many flavors remind me of a traditional stuffing, except it is loaded with vegetables that will stabilize your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is likely a problem when people enjoy bread-heavy stuffing.
- 4 tablespoons of ghee
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- Course sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Â¼ cup of freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon of ground sage
- Â½ cup of vegetable stock
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Add the carrot, onion, and celery, and sautÃ© until the mixture softens. It should take seven to eight minutes.
Add the cauliflower and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender for about five to 10 minutes.
Add parsley, sage, and rosemary, and stir until combined, and then pour over vegetable broth. Cover with a lid until it is totally tender and the liquid is absorbed, for about 15 minutes. Serve as a side.
5. The Ultimate Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Cauliflower rice is another popular recipe among the healthy blogs out there. Type âcauliflower riceâ into Google, and several options come up. When I took a stab at my own cauliflower rice, I decided to add another cruciferous vegetableâsome finely chopped broccoli for some added flavor, color, and nutritional benefits. The other herbs, garlic, and onion also add to the flavor as well. The following recipe makes about four servings as a side.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into large chunks
- 2 cups of broccoli, steamed, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Â¼ cup of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- Course sea salt and grounded black pepper
- Â½ cup of vegetable stock
- Nutritional yeast (optional)
- Chopped fresh dill, to taste
Using the grating disc of a food processor, or a box grater, grate the cauliflower into fine bits. It should look similar to white rice. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add garlic and onions. Cook and stir frequently for four to six minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for another six minutes.
Add the stock and cook until the cauliflower is tender, for about 15 minutes. Season with sea salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and nutritional yeast, if desired. Finely chop broccoli, and mix it into the cauliflower rice as well.
As you can see, there is plenty you can do with cauliflower, and it should be a regular part of your diet. Some people will steam it and use it as a side dish, and that is okay; however, itÂ can be transformed into many delicious meals. I also like to make cauliflower mash in place of mashed potatoes, or nuggets with an egg and almond flour batter.
Roasting this vegetableÂ is another great way to use it. Simply, mix the chopped cauliflower with a variety of ingredients. I like to use some salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil. Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 325Â°F, and you have a delicious side.
Whatever the cauliflower recipe you try, you will thoroughly enjoy Iâm sure!
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âThese Healthy Hash Browns Want to Be In Your Belly,â BuzzFeed, October 16, 2016; https://www.buzzfeed.com/joeyfiroben/make-these-cauliflower-hashbrowns-for-the-most-delicious-bre, last accessed March 1, 2017.
Liddon, A., Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes (Toronto: Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2016), 267.
Daniluk, J., âHot Detox: A 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Program to Heal Your Gut and Cleanse Your Body (Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2016), 211, 257.
Funston, L., âCauliflower Stuffing,â Delish, November 16, 2016; http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50127/cauliflower-stuffing-recipe/.