Healthy, Easy Cauliflower Recipes
Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
Roasting is one of the easiest ways to cook vegetables. I prefer the texture and flavor of roasted cauliflower to steamed, and often my oven is already on for other parts of the meal. Note: Some people call this "baked cauliflower," but I think "roasted" sounds more appealing.
How To Roast Cauliflower
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (about 220 Celsius). Cut up one head of cauliflower (including stems, if you like them) into roughly 2-inch pieces. Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, then pull out and shake the sheet to turn the pieces. Bake another 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender and caramelized on the outside.
Because this cooking method is so versatile, you can easily change up the flavors to suit the rest of your meal, or your tastes for the day. A few of my favorites:
- Cauliflower and Cheese: 5 minutes before they're done, sprinkle your cauliflower pieces with some grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese.
- Curried Cauliflower: Instead of tossing with only salt and pepper, sprinkle with curry powder, paprika, and cumin and coriander seeds.
- Lemon-Peppered Cauliflower: Use lemon pepper instead of regular black pepper during seasoning.
Cauliflower Puree Recipe
Puréed cauliflower has recently gained popularity as a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes. "Mashed cauliflower" is also a great way to serve this veggie to kids who are squeamish about it, as I mentioned to Judi Bee on her cauliflower recipe. But never mind that... it's just plain delicious!
- 1 head cauliflower
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup nonfat or lowfat buttermilk
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (or more, to taste)
First, cut your cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel the garlic and give each clove a good crush by placing the side of a large knife over each one and pounding gently on it with your fist. Then place the florets and garlic cloves in a steamer basket over hot water and steam for 10-15 minutes, until tender all the way through. (You can also microwave them in a covered bowl with 1/4 cup water for 3-5 minutes, but be careful they don't turn into mush!)
Put the cauliflower and garlic into a food processor, along with all of the other ingredients, and pulse several times, then blend until smooth. (If you don't have any handy, you can make nonfat buttermilk with skim milk.) You can also use a hand blender for this step, if that's what you've got.
Garnish with minced chives or low-fat cheese, and serve nice and hot!
Healthy Cauliflower Soup
Soup is a great way to use up leftovers. If you've got leftover roasted, steamed, or stir-fried cauliflower and want to get a little creative, this is definitely the way to go. Nonfat broth and low-fat milk still give you the smooth, creamy texture you want, without the heaviness of full cream.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot (or half an onion)
- 2 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- salt and pepper to taste
If you are working with raw cauliflower, you can choose to chop it up, along with the garlic and shallot, and roast them all together (according to the instructions at the top of this page). You can also steam them together, as you would for the puree, or simply sauté them in a little olive oil. If you've got leftovers, you're all set!
Add cooked cauliflower, shallot/onion, and garlic to a pot, along with the broth and up to 1 teaspoon of your herb of choice (thyme, rosemary, oregano, or some combination). Simmer uncovered for a half-hour, then puree or hand-blend until smooth. Stir in milk, along with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with fresh herb garnish.
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