Cauliflower is having a serious “moment in the sun.” Like its cruciferous cousins (broccoli, cabbage, and kale), cauliflower is a nutritious vegetable that adds a tremendous amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet. Cauliflower stands alone, however, in its ability to mimic and replace other “unhealthy” carbohydrate-packed foods. Move over bacon, cauliflower is the newest darling of the paleo and low-carb diet world.
A single cup serving of cauliflower delivers 73% RDV of vitamin C. This essential nutrient does so much more than just support your immune system; vitamin C is needed for healthy skin and joints, collagen production, and to help protect cells from free radical damage. In addition to vitamin C, cauliflower offers excellent levels of nutrients like vitamin K, folate, and vitamin B6, plus very good amounts of choline, fiber, and Omega-3 essential fatty acids, to name just a few.
Cauliflower has a mild flavor and a firm texture that allows it to be cooked in numerous ways and various forms. Roasted cauliflower has a delicious nutty flavor, mashed cauliflower is a perfect stand-in for creamy mashed potatoes, and sauteed cauliflower is a delicious side dish when paired with sweet currants and crunchy pine nuts.
It’s time to really think outside of the (bread)box, and discover the many ways that cauliflower can be a great substitute for traditionally high-carb dishes like pizza or rice, or be a convincing stand-in for meats in an entree.
Here are ten surprising, paleo-friendly, cauliflower recipes to try at home.
1. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
Eating a plant-based diet is an effective way to lose weight and improve your health. Old cravings can step in, though, and sidetrack anyone’s best efforts to replace animal products with fruits and vegetables. Cauliflower is a great substitute for meat, and Cauliflower Buffalo Wings will give you all of the spicy, finger-licking flavor of the original.
2. Cauliflower Tater Tots
Trying to convince your kids to eat healthier foods? Start swapping out their favorite not-so healthy foods with more nutritious versions. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years, most likely due to the prevalence of manufactured, processed, added sugars, and fast foods that kids eat today. Parents have a big responsibility to instill healthy eating habits in their kids, and the easiest way to do that is to show them how tasty eating good can be! Cauliflower Tater Tots can be a fun way to incorporate more healthy vegetables into their diet, and you won’t feel guilty for swiping a few tots for yourself.
3. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Going Paleo doesn’t mean you have to give up favorite foods like pizza; it just means reimagining them into a healthier version. A Cauliflower Pizza Crust is the perfect base for a marinara sauce, but you can also try pesto sauce or even hummus! Top with roasted vegetables, caramelized onions, peppery arugula, and you won’t even miss the cheese.
4. Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap
Wrap up your favorite fixings in a Cauliflower Tortilla. Try meatballs and marinara sauce, chicken with spinach, oregano, and diced tomatoes, hummus and sliced bell peppers, cooked fajita-style peppers, onions, cilantro and greek yogurt flavored with lime zest. Whatever flavor combination you are craving, you’ve got it all wrapped up.
5. Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
Creamy chicken alfredo can get a Paleo-friendly makeover when you use cauliflower as the base of a Paleo-friendly Chicken Alfredo sauce. Zucchini noodles replace traditional pasta, and you can use coconut milk if you want to turn this into a vegan-friendly dish.
6. Cauliflower Fried Rice
Fried rice is a comfort food that can easily be lightened up and turned Paleo-friendly when you replace the rice with cauliflower. This recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice is bursting with veggies, and the bacon can be omitted for a vegetarian-friendly version.
7. Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Lime zest and cilantro add a delicious flavor and aroma to cauliflower rice, and makes the perfect base for a vegetarian burrito bowl. Cilantro Lime Rice can also be a delicious side dish for grilled or baked chicken.
8. Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
Another kid-friendly comfort food, mac n cheese gets revamped paleo-style with cauliflower as the star. Cauliflower Mac n Cheese uses veggies, coconut oil and egg yolks to get a creamy, velvety “cheese” sauce that the whole family will love.
9. Paleo Pizza Cups
Cauliflower pizza crust can moonlight as a single-serve portion bowl that you can fill up with oodles of delicious, and personal, ingredients. Paleo Pizza Cups would be a great family dinner night that makes everyone happy as they create their own custom creations, or the perfect appetizer for a paleo-friendly party.
10. Kung Pao Cauliflower
Let cauliflower be the star of this entree, and serve Kung Pao Cauliflower with a side of Cauliflower Fried Rice for an Asian-inspired evening that is far healthier than anything you could order from your local Chinese take-out menu. Crispy, spicy, and oil-free, this recipe is creative cauliflower use at its finest.
With these ten creative cauliflower recipes, you can stick to your paleo, low-carb, or even vegan diet without feeling like you are missing out on any of your favorite foods.