You know that mushy white vegetable you turned your nose up to as a kid? It’s about to become your summer staple. Yes, really. Packed with vitamins, folate and fiber and rounding out at just 29 calories a cup, cauliflower is a tasty substitute to carb-heavy, starch-filled and nutritionally empty foods like white potatoes, bread and rice. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will grab for seconds when you bring one of these flavor-filled dishes to your outdoor get-togethers this season:
Cauliflower lettuce wraps
If you’re looking for a light summer dinner, say these two words: Lettuce. Wraps. Trading in the traditional flour tortilla for a large romaine lettuce to wrap up the goods will save 450 calories and 95 grams of carbs.
Adding the cooked cauliflower, diced avocado, and a tablespoon of sesame seeds provides over 13 grams of dietary fiber. That’s almost half of the recommended daily value for the average adult. Mixing the cauliflower with hot sauce means this recipe will be on fire. (In a good way.)
What you need: 1 head cauliflower, 1 Tbsp olive oil, pinch of garlic salt, olive oil spray, ¼ cup hot sauce, romaine lettuce leaves, tahini, sliced grape tomatoes, diced avocado, sesame seeds (optional)
Recipe: One Green Planet
After helping themselves to seconds, your vegetarian and vegan friends will ask for the deets on this steak recipe. Yes, you read that right. Roasted cauliflower steak cut into 1-inch thick pieces and brushed with an olive oil, lemon, garlic and thyme mixture is high in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. Plus, it’s low in calories and carbs and gluten-free.
Serve it over a bed of kale, lentils, roasted tomatoes and onions to up the fiber and protein content. You’ll please everyone at your dinner party—gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and meat eaters alike.
What you need: 3 thick slices cauliflower, ½ cup kale, ½ red onion, cherry tomatoes, 1 cup cooked puy lentils, 3 tbsp olive oil, juice from ½ a lemon, 1 clove of minced garlic, 3-4 sprigs of thyme, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Recipe: The Last Food Blog
Trying to lower your carb and gluten intake but craving pizza? Give in to the temptation by modifying your pie’s crust. A cauliflower pizza crust requires grating and mixing together just four ingredients: cauliflower, cheese, egg and herbs.
Then top it with your same favorite ingredients. In terms of calories, half of a regular pepperoni pizza chalks up to over 1,100 calories but a cauliflower-based pie is just 600 calories. So, go ahead and have a guilt-free slice (or two or three).
What you need: 1 small to medium head cauliflower, ¼ tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, 1 Tbsp almond meal (optional), pizza sauce, your choice of pizza toppings
Recipe: The Lucky Penny
If you’re obsessed with falafel, these fritters will fit right into your menu. The cakes pack in 6 grams of fiber and almost 10 grams of protein. Enjoy them alone as a tasty treat or add to a salad or pita for a nutritious, well-rounded meal. For an extra punch of flavor, top it off with a Greek yoghurt dressing.
What you need: 1 head cauliflower, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, ½ cup dry bread crumbs, 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp flour, 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt, 1 grated garlic clove, 1½ tsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp tumeric, ¼ tsp cinnamon, handful of chopped cilantro, vegetable oil for frying
Recipe: Clara Persis
Cauliflower fried rice
Ever asked yourself why you just can’t eat Chinese food every night? Well, ask no more, because when you replace the white rice that makes up the base of most dishes with cauliflower, you’ve made it healthy enough to really eat it everyday.
White rice contains “empty calories,” meaning the food contains little to no nutritional value. One cup of cauliflower rice contains 85 percent of your daily value of Vitamin C. But white rice? It hits the zero mark for every single vitamin. Fair warning: You’ll need a food processor to whip up this dish—or a cheese grater and really strong arm.
What you need: 1 head cauliflower, ½ pound bacon (optional), 2 eggs, 1Tbsp minced ginger, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 cup diced carrots, 1 cup corn, ½ cup peas, 4 thinly sliced green onions, ¼ cup cashews, almonds or other nut, 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
Recipe: The Kitchn
Roasted cauliflower bites
Baked veggies making you flashback to winter meals? Not so when you top it with zesty lime and fresh cilantro. Loaded with fiber and protein, these cauliflower bites pair well with chicken or steak or stand out on their own as an appetizer.
What you need: 6 cups cauliflower, 3 garlic cloves, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, kosher salt to taste, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp lime zest, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
If you had to name the ultimate comfort food, mashed potatoes might just top the chart. But their carb overload? Well, that unfortunate feature probably makes you think twice about digging in. Instead, turn to mashed cauliflower.
With one-quarter of the calories as regular tators, it still boasts delightful flavor by adding garlic, buttermilk and a bit of butter. Top it off with shredded low-fat cheese and chopped fresh chives to tantalize your tastebuds even further.
What you need: 1 head cauliflower, 4 cloves garlic,⅓ cup nonfat buttermilk, 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp butter, ½ tsp salt, ground pepper to taste, fresh chives for garnish
Recipe: Eating Well