Beyond Roasted Cauliflower (…Pizza and Other New Ways to Use the Crucifer)

cauliflower recipesAre you tired of roasted cauliflower?  How about cauliflower pizza or steaks? If you’re curious, read on:

It’s time for kale to move on, as cauliflower is considered the new “Queen of  Cruciferous Veggies.”

Kale is so last year! We dined on “massaged” kale salads, crunched on kale chips and sipped kale smoothies. Not anymore….

The veggie all the foodies are raving about now is cauliflower. The pungent veggies with fluffy white heads are making a statement and in a big way. In the past, most of us ate cauliflower one way: as roasted cauliflower.  Now, you can order cauliflower “steak” at some restaurants and you can get sides of cauliflower “rice” or  mashed “potatoes.” Some creative chefs are even making cauliflower-based pizza crusts.

While dietitians know that all veggies should be the “it” veggie as all are nutritional all-stars, anything that makes fruits and veggies more popular we like.  Here are some fast facts about cauliflower and why it’s considered a nutritional all-star.

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a cup of raw cauliflower is just 27 calories and a cup cooked has just 14 calories. A serving also has 2 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Cauliflower also has calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and more. Cauliflower is part of the Brassica or cruciferous family, which also includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and kale. Numerous studies show that cruciferous vegetables have antioxidants and other health-promoting bioactive compounds, like glucosinolates and flavonols, that may help fend off chronic diseases and inflammation.

If you don’t know how to use cauliflower in the kitchen, here are some great ideas. They’re one of the most versatile veggies you can buy. They can be used as an ingredient in soups, salads and sauces. You can make a lot of healthier “mock” dishes with them too like mashed potatoes, rice and even pizza crust! To get on this tasty trend give a few of these preparations and recipes a try:

  • Cauliflower “Rice”: All you have to do is trim off the stems of the cauliflower so all that is left are the florets. Pulse in a food processor until it is the consistency of rice, and cook in your skillet with desired seasonings until soft. Viola! Low carb, nutrient rich “rice”. For more detailed instructions check out this recipe.
  • Cauliflower Steaks: This is a great way to spice up cauliflower and still keep it in its natural form. Follow this recipe by Chef David Burke for Curried Cauliflower Steaks for a delicious side to any meal.
  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Yes! It is possible to have a delicious, low calorie, low carb substitute to one of our favorite past times, pizza! This recipe is also gluten free and great substitute for those with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
  • Creamy Cauliflower Sauce: This is hands down the most versatile recipe I have yet to see for cauliflower! This Creamy Cauliflower Sauce can be used in pastas, soups, risotto, casseroles, skillets, and even as a dip! Check it out and see how you can add nutrients and flavor to your favorite dishes.
  • Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes: Do you love potatoes but hate the way the simple starch leaves you tired and wanting more? Not to mention the damage it can do on your slim summer waist line. These Cauliflower Mashed potatoes are not only absolutely delicious, but can make any vegetable skeptic a believer.
  • Best Roasted Cauliflower: The best way to roast cauliflower is to simply drizzle cauliflower florets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until they are tender and golden brown. Stir and turn at least once while cooking.

Istefanimyerst’s easy to see why cauliflower is taking over… even so, don’t completely forget about our nutrient-packed kale, they still need some love too, even if they have become passé in 2014.

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. –Mark Twain

This guest post is by Stefani Myers, DTR is a San Francisco-based Dietetic Technician and the Patient Services Manager at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. She is currently pursuing her R.D. And has a passion for all things health related.


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