Here’s something we never thought we’d say: “We’re excited about cauliflower!” But excited we are. That’s because recently we’ve tried two new recipes that took it from a bland side dish to a delicious stand-in for mashed potatoes and a perfect vehicle for loads of spice.
But before we get to that, here’s why you should eat more cauliflower:
Cauliflower is filled with nutrients including vitamin C, manganese, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine, vitamin K and potassium. Thanks to its antioxidants, cauliflower will reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that will help out your digestive system and reduce your risks of ulcers. Not bad for a beige veggie.
Cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (serves 4)
Because it’s classified as a non-starchy vegetable, cauliflower is a great low-carb sub-in for potatoes.
1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons light sour cream
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Snipped chives for garnish
1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and chop the core finely.
2. Bring about 1 cup of water to a simmer in a pot, then add the cauliflower. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook the cauliflower for 12 to 15 minutes or until very tender.
3. Drain and discard all of the water (the drier the cauliflower is, the better) and add the milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash until creamy and top with chives.
Spicy whole-roasted cauliflower (serves 6)
Prefer your cauliflower whole? While it’s delicious to roast the florets with olive oil, salt and pepper, this updated version is packed with flavor.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and woody stem removed
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon marjoram
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lemon zest and juice, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, marjoram, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
3. Dunk the cauliflower upside down into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface.
4. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
5. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.
Photo credit: Theresa Carle-Sanders