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Creative Cauliflower Recipes

Cauliflower sometimes gets a bad rap. Despite its odd shape and color, cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables in existence. I’m here to shed some light on this maligned vegetable and to provide multiple ways of enjoying your greasy childhood favorites without the excess fat, guilt, or animal products.

Pineapple Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

(Serves 4)

Start by preparing all your ingredients so that they are ready to go. Once you begin stir-frying, the process is very quick. Any kind or color of cauliflower will work.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon coconut or canola oil
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen peas and carrots
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen diced pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice

Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor canister and process until it forms tiny grains that resemble rice. Empty the cauliflower into a bowl and set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and stir constantly until the onion softens. Then, working quickly, add the peas and carrots, broccoli florets, pineapple, and shelled edamame, and constantly stir for 4 minutes. Next, add the cauliflower “rice” and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Finally, add soy sauce and pineapple juice, and sauté for 2 minutes, or until all the “rice” is coated with the sauce.

Total calories per serving: 98Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 15 gramsProtein: 6 grams
Sodium: 583 milligramsFiber: 5 grams

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

(Serves 2)

  • 1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 Tablespoons ground chia or flax seeds, divided
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 Tablespoons reduced sodium tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a round baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets in a large food processor canister and pulse until they resemble rice. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 8 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft to touch. Drain the excess liquid and transfer the cooked cauliflower “rice” into a freezer-safe bowl. Place in the freezer to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together 2 Tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds with 6 Tablespoons of water to create a vegan “egg.” Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken.

Remove the cooled cauliflower rice from the freezer and transfer it to the center of double layered cheesecloth or a thin dish towel. Use your hands to squeeze the “rice” in the dish towel, removing all of the excess moisture from the cauliflower. Place the drained cauliflower in a large bowl, then add in the vegan egg mixture, the additional Tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds, salt, garlic powder, and dried oregano. Stir until all the ingredients are evenly combined, and then press the mixture into the parchment-lined round baking sheet. Firmly press the crust together to ensure that there are no thin spots.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and dry to the touch. Use another piece of parchment paper to flip the whole pizza crust, and then return back into the pan to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Once the crust is finished, top with the tomato sauce, shredded vegan cheese, and any additional toppings you’d like. Bake pizza for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted completely. Enjoy with a salad.

Total calories per serving: 254Fat: 12 grams
Carbohydrates: 30 gramsProtein: 9 grams
Sodium: 936 milligramsFiber: 14 grams

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

(Serves 4)

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup water or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cups water (or vegetable stock for more flavor)

Place the whole head of cauliflower in a deep baking dish, and rub with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Add ½ cup of water or broth to the dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, or until a knife easily slides through a piece of cauliflower. Remove the cauliflower and allow it to cool.

Cut the cauliflower into 4 equal parts, and set aside. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the cauliflower and the remaining broth or water to the sauce pan. Simmer until the cauliflower falls apart (about 10 minutes). When done, allow the contents of the saucepan to cool.

Once cooled, in small portions add the contents of the saucepan to a food processor. Process until a creamy soup appears. Transfer back to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Serve with a side of bread and salad.

Total calories per serving: 171Fat: 14 grams
Carbohydrates: 11 gramsProtein: 3 grams
Sodium: 45 milligramsFiber: 4 grams

Dina Gharib wrote this article while interning with The Vegetarian Resource Group. She is a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Thank you to The Vegetarian Resource group for this article

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