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Get Creative with Cauliflower

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

One of the most versatile vegetables available seasonally right now! Because of it’s mild flavour (when cooked) and ability to take on flavour, it can be incorporated well into a wide range of dishes and is an easy substitute for starchy foods. The possibilities are endless, from eating it raw, boiling/steaming, roasting, baking, making it into a pizza crust, mashed and using it as a potato, or preparing it to resemble rice.

Although pale in colour (it can also be found in a few different colours — purple, green and orange), it’s mighty in its nutritional value. A high source of vitamin C, good source of folate and fibre. As well, cauliflower contains only 25 calories in 1/6 of a medium head and 5 grams of carbohydrate. As a vegetable that is part of the cruciferous family, research shows that it also offers health benefits that may reduce the risk of various types of cancer.

You can buy it by the head or for convenience - florets already cut, frozen or riced (chopped into small rice-size pieces) - available in the frozen section of the store.

Are you up to the Challenge? Why not try using cauliflower in a new way.

12 Great Ways to Use … Cauliflower

Ideas adapted from Oldways collection of one-page resources designed to help cooks of all abilities discover new and easy ways to use popular Mediterranean Diet ingredients.

  • Make cauliflower “rice” using your food processor (see recipe) or purchase frozen pre-cut cauliflower rice (the dietitians easiest choice)

  • Make a cauliflower pizza crust as a base for simple pizza toppings (see recipe here)

  • Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 F for 25 - 30 minutes in a single layer on a baking sheet until tender and golden brown

  • Add roasted cauliflower to your taco, wrap, salad, burrito or buddha bowl, quinoa, pasta, fried rice or any other rice dish

  • Serve mashed cauliflower. Steam florets until tender, then puree them with milk, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste

  • Add lightly steamed florets to a favourite macaroni and cheese recipe to add fibre and nutrients

  • Cook florets in chicken or vegetable stock with herbs, onion, celery, garlic, and carrots, then puree for a thick, satisfying soup

  • Toss roasted florets in your favourite vinaigrette, add grape tomatoes and sprinkle of feta cheese

  • Make the classic Indian dish aloo gobi by cooking florets and cubes of potato with turmeric, garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin

  • Substitute pureed cooked cauliflower for some or all of the cream in your favourite creamy soups to lighten them up

  • Dip slices of cauliflower in a beaten egg and coat in seasoned whole-grain panko breadcrumbs. Bake at 400F for 25 - 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked through and the coating is crisp

  • Blend roasted cauliflower with Greek yogurt and season to taste with smoked paprika and garlic powder to make a healthy dip. Chill for an hour and serve with fresh veggies

How to Make Cauliflower Rice Love and Lemons

1 medium head of cauliflower

For seasoned cauliflower rice:

1 teaspoon olive oil, grape seed oil or avocado oil

1/2 cup chopped scallions, onions or green onions

juice of 1/2 lime

salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Make sure your cauliflower is fully dry. Remove the core and chop into large pieces. Place the pieces in a food processor and pulse until it has the texture of rice. Work in batches if necessary and don’t over process or it will get mushy.

  2. Then use it in any recipe that calls for riced cauliflower following that recipe’s instructions.

  3. OR if you plan to serve your cauliflower as a side dish or use it in place of regular rice, cook lightly and season. In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and cauliflower and sauté until heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice.

  4. OR Spread the cauliflower out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake at 425 F for 7 minutes, toss and bake for another 7 minutes Season to taste.

Easy Cauliflower Pizza Crust Food Network

1 head cauliflower, stalk removed

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ to ½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. Put it on a towel and squeeze to get all the moisture out. Let cool.

  3. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the centre of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

  4. Add desired toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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