3 Inventive Ways to Prepare Cauliflower

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Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable to incorporate in your weekly meals. It’s classified as one of the cruciferous vegetables and packed with essential nutrients. The compact flower heads have many vitamins and health benefits including:

Cauliflower is incredibly nutritious & easy to incorporate into fun recipes.

  • A good source of Vitamin C & Manganese
  • An excellent source of Vitamin K
  • Antioxidant properties that lower our risk of cancer
  • Aids in the detoxification process
  • The fiber content helps with digestion
  • Anti-inflamatory support that can help prevent & repair blood vessel damage

Adding cauliflower to your diet can help fight weight problems and diabetes as well as protect you from prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers.

But boiled or steamed cauliflower is Oh-So-Boring! Here are some creative ways of consuming and preparing a cauliflower-infused meal or snack.

Enjoy these 3 great cauliflower recipes: Mexican Cauliflower, Cauliflower Popcorn & Mashed potatoes

Mexican Cauliflower Casserole

If you’re on a low-carb diet and looking a Mexican side dish, look no further than good ol’ Mexican Cauliflower Casserole! Cauliflower is used in many low carb dishes as a substitute for rice or potatoes. The trick is making sure to drain as much moisture out of the cauliflower and to add the right seasonings.

Mexican Cauliflower Casserole
 
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For a fulfilling guilt-free meal, you can try this low-carb casserole alternative.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 each Red & Green Bell Peppers
  • 1 jalapeno
  • ½ onion
  • 8 grape tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in halves and set aside.
  3. Dice the onion and peppers.
  4. Heat 1T olive in over medium heat.
  5. Add peppers, onions, chili powder and cumin. Stir frequently until the vegetables are softened, then remove from heat.
  6. Quarter the cauliflower, then core and remove the leaves. Chop in smaller pieces, then add to the blender/food processor. Add water & blend to a fine consistency. Strain the cauliflower in a sieve, removing as much of the water as possible.
  7. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, reserving about ½ cup of the cheese for the top of the casserole.
  8. Spread the casserole into a baking dish and top with the remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake until the cheese fully melts and is slightly browned.
  9. Top with chopped tomatoes or a dollop of sour cream and salsa.
Notes
There are many ways to Rice the cauliflower in step 6, it’s all a matter of personal preference. The goal is the shred it so it resembles a rice like consistency with minimal mess.

Cauliflower Popcorn

Nothing beats the easy snacking of popcorn, but for a healthier alternative, try this recipe instead. The olive oil is a much healthier fat than butter and combines with the natural sugar of the cauliflower to brown the outside giving it a crisp outer shell.

Cauliflower Popcorn
 
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For light snacking, you can eat cauliflower popcorns instead of regular popcorn while you watch your favorite movie or TV show.
Author:
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 t garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Trim the head of the cauliflower and cut the florets into bit sized pieces
  3. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil and salt in a large bowl then add the cut cauliflower pieces. Toss to fully coat the cauliflower.
  4. Roast the cauliflower pieces in the over for 1 hour, turning them over at least 4 times until each piece has turned golden brown.
Notes
The browner the cauliflower popcorn becomes, the sweeter the taste as the oil caramelizes on the cauliflower.

 Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes is a popular side dish for many meals, but loaded with butter and cream, the calories can easily add up. Try this substitution & enjoy the creaminess of potatoes without any of the guilt. We still add a dash of butter, but just enough to cook the garlic and flavor the dish.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
 
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For a creative side dish that will go well with poultry, fish or meat, you can try this mashed alternative: Ingredients:
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Head cauliflower
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T Sour Cream
  • ¼ t crushed garlic
  • 2 T chopped chives
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop the cauliflower in quarters. Remove the leaves and core, then chop into one inch pieces.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to boil, add cauliflower, then lower the heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender.
  3. Drain the water completely. This step is very important to the consistency of the dish!!!
  4. Heat the butter in a saucepan and cook the garlic about 2 minutes. Pour over the cauliflower.
  5. Add sour cream to the cauliflower pot.
  6. Add the milk a little bit at a time, mashing the cauliflower with a masher until the consistency resembles a mashed potato.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Garnish with chives

Cauliflower vs Rice & Potatoes

Compare these nutritional stats of rice, potatoes & cauliflower below to see how they stack up.

 CaloriesCarbsSugarDietary Fiber
Cauliflower255.3 g2.4 g2.5 g
Potatoes10423.6 g1.7 g3.6 g
Brown Long-grain rice (cooked)21645 g.7 g3.5 g

In Summary

Since cauliflower is relatively harmless, anyone can go a little overboard and come back for seconds without feeling like they’ve crossed the line.  Prepare these cauliflower recipes for your next family meal. Done the right way, they might not even guess it’s a diet food.

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