Make Cauliflower the Star!

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Cauliflower is known as the culinary chameleon, making its way into your menu as cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and even pizza crust. Cauliflower picks ups flavors from savory to sweet, and is super versatile for main dish, side or dessert. Here are some basic ways to use cauliflower in your recipes. You can vary any of these recipes in several ways.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water, cover, and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
  2. Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt, and pepper, pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

Cauliflower Chicken Fried “Rice”

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

  1. For the cauliflower rice, Cut the cauliflower into chunks, including the cores. Place in a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice. If you do not have a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower with a hand grater.
  2. For the chicken fried rice sauce; Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large flat-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add eggs and cook, without stirring, until fully cooked on one side, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook until just cooked through, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into ½ inch pieces.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the green onion whites, ginger and garlic, cook, stirring, until the onions have softened, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add bell pepper and snow peas, cook, stirring, until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer everything to a large plate.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, add cauliflower rice and stir until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken mixture and eggs to the pan, add soy sauce and sesame oil and stir until well combined. Garnish with the green onion, green parts.

Serves 4.

 Cauliflower “Rice” Stuffed Pepper

  • 4 large bell peppers, green or red
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Pinch of salt, plus ½ teaspoon, divided
  • Pinch of black pepper, plus ¼ teaspoon, divided
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1-pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 8-ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice off stem ends of bell peppers. Cut the flesh from the stem and chop, it will yield about 1 cup. Scoop seeds from the pepper. Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Steam the peppers until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove the peppers from the pot and set aside.
  3. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until broken down into rice-size pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
  4. Wipe out the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the chopped bell pepper, and onion. Cook stirring, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add beef, garlic, oregano and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ pepper. Cook stirring and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon just until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and the cauliflower rice, stir to coat.
  5. Place the peppers upright in an 8-inch square baking dish. Fill each pepper with a generous 1 cup of the cauliflower rice mixture. Top each pepper with 2 tablespoons cheese.
  6. Bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 4.

Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients

For the Tacos

  • 1 batch Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
  • 1 batch Black Beans
  • 1 batch Cumin Lime Crema
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Toppings, diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, fresh lime wedges, thinly sliced radishes

For the Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large head caulioflower4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each, ground cumin, salt, paprika
  • ½ teaspoon each, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh ground black pepper and turmeric 

For the Refried Beans

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon each, chili powder, salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Cumin Lime Crema

  • 1 small garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice, about 2 limes
  • 3 teaspoons tahini (may substitute peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican flavored hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. To make the tacos; Prepare the cauliflower, refried beans and crema following directions. To serve, place a layer of refried beans in the tortilla, top with roasted cauliflower, a drizzle of crema, and your desired toppings.
  2. To make the turmeric roasted cauliflower; Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower, garlic, olive oil, cumin, salt, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and ground turmeric, until evenly combined.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place cauliflower in a single layer on the sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and brown stirring once halfway through. Serve immediately.
  5. To make the refried black beans; Peel and halve the onion, then slice into half-moon shapes. Drain the beans, reserve ½ cup of the can liquid.
  6. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beans, reserved can liquid, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often and smashing the beans toward the end of the cook time, until most of the liquid has cooked out and the texture is mashed and thick. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pan as necessary. Taste and season with additional salt as desired.
  7. To make the cumin lime crema; In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, lime juice, tahini, olive oil, hot sauce, cumin, and salt until evenly combined. Add 1-2 tablespoons water if needed to achieve a creamy consistency.

Supreme Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Pizza

(this portion can be made according to your taste)

  • 1 ½ cups pizza sauce
  • 1 cup fresh grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated fontina cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup pepperoni
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup sliced banana peppers

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and place a pizza stone inside. For reference, a large cauliflower will make a large crust, go smaller if you want a smaller one, and reduce to one egg.
  2. Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor until crumbs remain, it will resemble snow. Place all of the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a paper towel. Microwave for 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and spread it onto a towel to cool.
  3. Once cool, wrap the cauliflower in a towel and squeeze all of water and liquid out of it over your sink, make every effort to remove all of the moisture. Place the cauliflower in a large dry bowl. Stir in the cheeses, seasonings and spices, and eggs, mixing until combined. It will be a big pile of dough.
  4. Place the dough ball on a piece of parchment paper and press the dough into a circle, making sure the crust is thin, about a ¼ inch in thickness. Gently pick up the parchment paper and place the entire crust, paper and all, on your pizza stone. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Make the crust crisp enough so that it doesn’t not break apart.
  5. Once the crust is golden, cover in your desired toppings. Sauce first, then cheese and everything else listed in the ingredients, then additional cheese. Bake the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Cover with extra Parmesan. Serve immediately.