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Trying to find creative ways to expand your veggie rotation? Cauliflower is on your side! It is absolutely one of my favorite vegetables because of its versatility — and who wants to eat the same, boring steamed vegetables day in and day out? Healthy doesn’t have to mean plain and repetitive.
I had 3 heads in my fridge this week and while that may seem like some serious excess, the fact that there are so many interesting and fun ways to eat this cruciferous crop made me excited to share my favorite inspiration.
Here are 5 ideas with recipes that highlight cauliflower’s chameleon nature:
1. Roast It
Roasted Cauliflower with Red Chile, Cilantro and Lime (from Rem Cooks)
This is always my advice to EVERYONE who thinks they don’t like a vegetable. If you have had a bad experience in the past or think you don’t like the way a vegetable tastes, definitely try it roasted. High heat and a little fat brings out the caramely best of any vegetable and cauliflower is no different. Add in some creative flavors and some heat you’ve got yourself a singing side dish!
2. Make A Creative Soup
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens (from Martha Stewart)
Can I make a weird confession? I LOVE soup for breakfast. I love it even more when it helps me squeeze in major amounts of veg. During the winter a hot breakfast can super comforting and one can’t live on eggs alone! So sometimes it’s nice to heat up a warm mug of soup, eat a little crispy bacon on the side and call it a meal! And it doesn’t have to be the same old soup blended up with a metric ton of cheese. While that is delicious, try mixing it up with some greens or some broccoli to shake things up AND get an extra layer of nutritioun!
3. Saute It and Add Fun Toppings
Padma Lakshmi’s Sauteed Cauliflower with Anise and Cashews (from Yum Sugar)
It’s easy to forget with a big, nubby veg like cauliflower that it can easily be thrown into a pan and sauteed with some savoriness for a quick weeknight side. No complicated cooking necessary, just chop, drop and add some delicious garnish! Simple and Savory in minutes.
4. Make A Fancy Rice
Cauliflower Fried Rice (from Doughing Rogue)
Cauliflower Rice is a recipe in every most every Paleo cook’s repertoire. But it’s fun to take that technique to the next level and enhance it with flavor profiles that compliment your main dish. I love a good fried rice like this one full of water chestnuts and cashews but you can also just as easily add herbs or make a spanish rice to go along with your weeknight mexican food.
5. Grill It
Grilled Cauliflower Skewers from Chatelaine
Grill Cauliflower? Yes and YES. While this dish lends itself to warmer weather, you can always bust out your grill pan in the winter and indulge in a stick of toasted treats! It’s creative, and most importantly delicious, and it is cute enough to serve to company while still being uncomplicated.
For extra credit you could also make sushi, pizza crust (this recipe has dairy) or breadsticks! (Scroll down the page for that last recipe. Looks pretty fun!) Or if you are feeling cheeky, how about some Cauliflower Brains? 🙂
Do you love cauliflower as much as I do? What is your favorite dish to make with it?
I love love love cauliflower. I’ve been making lots of recipes w/ it lately, many of which have a spicy (delicious} Indian twist – Tandoori & seasoned w/ ginger, cumin, curry & garlic. Yum!’
Can’t wait to give some of your suggestions a try, I’m always looking for new recipes to add to my piles.
Cauliflower lends itself SO WELL to those kinds of spices. I just pinned a Curried Cauliflower Soup from Shutterbean that looked pretty awesome too. I might make it this weekend while Garrett is out of town since he is only lukewarm on soups that don’t have much texture. I think it looks delicious! http://www.shutterbean.com/2013/curried-cauliflower-soup/
thank you! we have fallen into the steam it and eat it – well my hubs has, and i’ve been meaning to find some other interesting ways to prepare it.
so helpful, holly!
No prob! I do the same thing, so sometimes posts like these help *me* snap out of my rut!
I’m also a believer that roasting anything will guarantee you’ll love it. Great roundup of ideas!
Thanks Michelle. I was going to add a secondary qualification of “roast in bacon fat” but roasting alone can usually do the trick. 🙂
I’ve made cauliflower pizza crust and it’s pretty good! Darcy doesn’t like cauliflower so I don’t buy it very often unfortunately but these recipes look good.
How do you make those fun blog post headers? What program do you use?
I use Photoshop Elements to edit all of my photos as well as add text or graphics and stuff. I bought it at Costco last year when it was on sale for like $50 and it was such a great investment! I use it for blog stuff, work stuff, fun documentation stuff, invitations — it’s been really useful. And I have yet to need it for something that I could only do in “regular” photoshop which is SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE. I highly recommend it, but you can also get similar functionality for free at sites like pixlr.com and picmonkey.com. You just have less control over editing/no filters available and have to use the fonts they have. But it’s a good free place to start to see if making the investment would be worth it.
Fun- thanks! We have photoshop (this is what happens when you’re married to a concept artist) but I know very little about how to navigate it. I’ll check it out. 🙂
Steam it, and then throw it in a blender or food processor with some garlic and a couple tablespoons of butter and you have garlic mashed “potatoes” – total win.
Good call. Definitely a fave!
I just recently got my boyfriend to not hate cauliflower by roasting it. I have yet to make some cauliflower rice, but this may be the ticket! We love Thai and everything is served over rice, so here comes the cauliflower. Boom!
Yes! Cauliflower rice is a particularly awesome staple for just that reason. I serve tons of Thai, or stew-y dishes over it. It’s the bomb!
YUM. Love me some cauliflower! I usually just roast it with olive oil and salt and pepper so I need to try all of these!
Us too! I actually looked for all of these recipes to snap me out of my roasting rut. So so good, but every once in a while it’s nice to spice things up!
These are great ideas! Going to try roasting cauli tonight.
My absolute cauli FAVE right now? Girl Meet’s Paleo’s Green Goddess Cauli Rice. It’s warm and comforting and just to die for. You must try it if you haven’t already!
That looks AMAZING! And I’ve never tried anything like it. Can’t wait to make it! Thanks.
YUM! I need to get on the soup-for-breakfast train.
Try this recipie, it’s TO DIE!
Everything looks yummy!! Christian loves the stuff.. Me, not so much. Theses recipes should remedy that!
This is a great post and fantastic comments!
I love Cali rice! It fills in as my go to vegg for breakfast! Add a meat and I have a-eat in the car-super healthy breakfast.
This is a great idea: Girl Meet’s Paleo’s Green Goddess Cauli Rice, will try it asap!
I love to make mashed cauliflower and I add a special twist which makes it taste so like mashed potatoes! I steam (or boil) the cauliflower and also a peeled parsnip (the long things that look like a white carrot). The parsnip gives it an added flavor and slight change of texture that makes it especially delicious! Then mash them together when they are soft. Then if I am eating dairy I might add some sour cream and butter, but if not, like for Whole 30, just mashed with seasonings and ghee it is still yummy!
Cut into bite sized stalks, steamed with water and a little white wine (or chicken stock), then saute in clarified butter with lots of garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
I also do cauliflower leek soup this way, and love it: http://awkwardgirlgetsfit.com/2012/10/16/cauliflower-leek-soup/
And all of this reminds me that I need to add a few heads to my shopping list!
Oh that soup looks amazing! Thank you!
Thank you for additional cauliflower recipes. I love the vegetable to death, but steaming it gets tiring after all. I found a recipe that we tried yesterday:
Hope you like.
Fun! I’m so excited about her Paleo cookbook coming out. I love her almond flour one and so many of her web recipes. I’ll definitely check this out. Thanks!
Hey, I’m roasting cauliflower RIGHT THIS SECOND! And it’s purple! I also make a lot of cauliflower soup, although that Martha Stewart one was too bland for me. My favorite version is, uh, not very Paleo. http://themoveablefeasts.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/cauliflower-soup-with-aged-white-cheddar-and-dijon-croutons/.
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