Cooking 101: Cauliflower!
Filling, versatile and low in calories, there are so many ways to make cauliflower the star of any meal! Pairing especially well with your favorite combination of spices, herbs, sauces or cheese, you can add cauliflower to pasta, salads, casseroles, and even use it to make low carb tots, sauces, mashed “no-tatoes”, rice and more. Extremely popular as a replacement for meat, cauliflower wings, cauliflower steaks and cauliflower burgers are also hearty and delicious must-tries!
In this Cooking 101, we’re diving into the best ways to enjoy cauliflower, with some nutritional facts to sweeten the deal!
Ways To Cook
One of the simplest ways to enjoy cauliflower is to roast it in your favorite spices! The steps are simple: coat in oil and spices, bake at 400º F for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway (until tender) and serve. Popular roasted cauliflower combos include garlic parmesan, honey garlic, spicy turmeric, sriracha maple, Cajun and Taco Seasoned.
Try This: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
Where one cup of plain, boiled white potatoes has around 67 calories in a half cup, cauliflower has just 14! This makes it a heart (and waist) healthy choice, and the perfect alternative to conventional mashed potatoes! The process is easy too – simply cook your cauliflower until tender in boiling water, then, very much like you would with potatoes, mash or blend them with garlic, butter, milk/cream and spices and herbs until smooth.
Try This: Garlic Butter Mashed Cauliflower
Made by putting a head of cauliflower through a grater or lightly processing to tiny pieces, using cauliflower rice instead of conventional is another way to cut calories and carbohydrates and still enjoy a delicious meal or side dish! Just like regular rice, you can enjoy cauliflower rice in a variety of cuisines, from Mexican and Italian to Asian and Cajun! Not only that, cauliflower rice can also be used to make cauliflower tots, fritters, and pizza crust – just be sure to squeeze out excess moisture in a cloth beforehand!
Try This: 15 Minute Cauliflower Rice
Because cooked cauliflower can become quite creamy when cooked and blended, it makes a great base for an unlimited number of sauces, especially for anyone avoiding or limiting dairy! Due to cauliflowers amazing ability to take on the flavors it is combined with, cauliflower sauce can be used as a base for any cuisine, it all comes down to how you season it!
Try This: Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
No-Mac & Cheese
Instead of reaching for macaroni or pasta to satisfy your mac and cheese craving, try cooked cauliflower! First, cut your head of cauliflower to small florets before boiling until tender. Drain it in a colander as you would pasta, and in the same pot you boiled it in, make a cheese sauce with your favorite cheese/s, cream and spices. When the cheese sauce is done, mix in your cauliflower. For a gourmet touch, transfer to an oven-safe dish, top with extra cheese and seasoned bread crumbs before broiling until melted. You can even add in cooked bacon bits or crumbled beef, jalapeño, chorizo or chicken!
Try This: Roasted Cauli N’ Cheese
If you enjoy salty and briny foods, pickled cauliflower is a no-cook recipe that makes an excellent side dish to any lunch. Once added to the vinegar, cauliflower tenderizes in 2-4 weeks while taking on the flavor of whatever ingredients or spices you add to the jar with it. Our favorite combination is cauliflower with jalapeño, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns!
Try This: Spicy Pickled Cauliflower
“No-Tato” Cauliflower Salad
A barbecue favorite that is excellent for meal prep or a lunchtime side dish, cauliflower takes the place of potatoes once again for a low carb, diet-friendly “notato” salad. Made with small-cut steamed cauliflower florets, combine your cooked and cooled cauliflower with hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard with some vinegar, salt, pepper and any other seasonings you enjoy (we like a light dusting of smoked paprika). You can also add red onion, peppers, cheddar chunks and other ingredients to add some variety!
Try This: Cauliflower “No-Tato” Salad
It’s amazing what some batter and sauce can do to cauliflower! Very much like you would a chicken or eggplant cutlet, this cooking method involves dredging cauliflower florets in milk, flour and seasoned breadcrumbs before baking or deep frying until cooked. From their, you can season your cauliflower nuggets as you wish! Popular cauliflower bite flavors include Asian-style kung pao, buffalo, sriracha, korean bbq sauce, curry sauce or garlic butter!
Try This: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Combine riced cauliflower with quinoa or rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg and seasonings, form into patties, cook on the stovetop and boom, you have crispy, delicious patties to enjoy just as you would a burger! There are many variations you can make with cauliflower burgers too – do a chickpea or sweet potato combo, or give it a tex-mex flair by adding with corn, black beans and taco seasoning! Delish!
Try This: Spicy Cauliflower Burgers
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Rather than taking apart your cauliflower into florets, this method has you coat your whole head of cauliflower (leaves removed) in oil, seasonings or sauce before baking until tender. It takes a while to bake, about 40 minutes to an hour, but the result is a meal hearty and delicious enough to be the centerpiece of any meal. Great for dinner parties, holidays and special occasions!
Try This: Whole Roasted Cauliflower
With fall in full swing, soup is certainly on the menu, and don’t leave cauliflower out of that party! You can use cooked and blended cauliflower as a base or florets as an excellent addition to stews or your favorite lighter soups like chicken noodle or minestrone! When blended, cauliflower makes for a luxuriously creamy – but dairy-free – base, you just have to mix it with stock and your choice of seasonings.
Try This: Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Made by slicing vertically into 1 inch thick chunks along the stem, cauliflower steaks can be a tricky cut to get right, but when you do, those slices can be covered in any variation of oil and spices to make a main entree or side dish for a number of meals. Once seasoned, cauliflower steaks do best when roasted until tender, carefully flipping once halfway through. After the flip when they are close to being done, we love to pile on and melt cheese, parmesan style!
Try This: Blackened Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Our Favorite Cauliflower Products
Do you have a favorite cauliflower recipe we should know about? Tag us with #BestMarket, we would love to see!
October 6, 2020