3 Cauliflower Recipes for a Healthy Swap

By Sher Warkentin in Healthy Feeling

Cauliflower doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s an extremely versatile vegetable, and deserves recognition for being more than just broccoli’s forgotten counterpart.

Bypass the steamer and put this nutrient-rich ingredient to work as a low-calorie, healthy swap for everything from rice to meat. Here are a few easy cauliflower recipes to get you started:

Pizza crust made with cauliflower.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

It’s practically impossible to not love pizza, but depending on your preferred toppings and ingredients, it isn’t exactly the healthiest food choice. Swapping out a regular dough crust with a cauliflower crust not only cuts carbs and calories, but it also adds more nutrition. It’s definitely one of the best cauliflower recipes for tempting kids and selective eaters into trying a new vegetable.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 to 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Olive oil spray

To begin, chop the cauliflower in a food processor until you’re left with fine crumbles, and then heat the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl for four minutes. Pour the processed mixture out onto a clean kitchen towel to cool. You should then wring the cauliflower inside the towel to squeeze all the moisture out.

Afterward, add all the ingredients—including the cauliflower—to a bowl and mix. Pour the concoction into a rectangular baking pan lined with parchment paper, and spread it out evenly. Spray the top lightly with an oil sprayer.

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once it’s out of the oven, add sauce and your favorite pizza toppings. Finally, bake again for five to six minutes or until the cheese is melted and toppings are done.

Pizza made with a cauliflower crust.

Cauliflower Rice

I’ll just say it—I love rice. It’s a great comfort food and it pairs with so many of my favorite slow cooker recipes, like curries and teriyaki chicken. If you’re trying to cut down on calories and carbs, however, rice is always one of the first foods to go.

Instead of giving up on those tasty dishes that just wouldn’t be the same without rice, why not swap it out for a nutrient-packed vegetable? Cauliflower rice gives you the same texture, with fewer calories and the addition of nutrients and fiber.

Your ingredients are:

  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This one is pretty simple. Process the florets in a food processor until they are a fine crumble. Add olive oil to a pan and season with salt and pepper (or your preferred seasoning), then sauté for five to six minutes.

Serve cauliflower rice as a healthier side dish.

Cauliflower Cakes

This is one of my favorite cauliflower recipes because it’s so versatile and easy to make. Whether you want a replacement for a meat-based patty or you’re looking for a different way to prepare cauliflower as a side dish to entice reluctant eaters, cauliflower cakes are definitely worth trying.

To begin, gather:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup panko
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Steam your cauliflower florets until they are soft and tender. Chop them into small (but not fine) pieces in a food processor. Next, you should combine the cauliflower, eggs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix. Afterward, you want to form the mixture into 1-inch thick patties. Combine panko and cheese in a dish, so you can then dredge the patties in this mixture. Heat the olive oil in a pan, and cook the patties until golden brown—about three minutes on each side—flipping halfway through.

Many stores sell prechopped cauliflower so you can cut down on preparation time, making this healthy swap even easier to use in your cooking.

What are some of your favorite recipes using cauliflower as a substitute? Share pics of your dishes by tweeting @TomsofMaine.

Image source: Sher Warkentin

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Why It’s Good

Adding more vegetables to your diet doesn't have to equate with tacking them on as basic side dishes. Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be incorporated into recipes in a variety of ways. These cauliflower recipes will show you how easy it is to swap out ingredients—like rice and protein—for the low calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable.