Blog Image

Crazy for Cauliflower

By Holly Kalyn, Editorial Intern for Compassionate Cuisine

As you probably noticed from the many renditions of kale salad across the web or maybe from a certain sweatshirt wearing diva, 2014 was kale’s year. After kale blew up bigger than anyone could have imagined, it’s clear how fashionable food can actually become. I’m sure we never would have predicted 10 years ago that a leafy green would become this trendy, yet here we are in a world of green smoothies, kale chips, and salads. Well, if you want to be on this year’s food bandwagon and do what all the cool kids are doing, you’ll want to get smart about one particular cruciferous vegetable—2015 has been predicted as year of the cauliflower. Like kale, there’s a reason cauliflower has such a standout reputation. For one, this round vegetable contains a slew of vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, quercetin, and others. But as it also boasts disease-fighting antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and vast cooking versatility, it hardly seems arbitrary that cauliflower is a hit in the health food arena.

Many of us probably remember pushing limp, overcooked cauliflower to the side of our plates growing up. Well, I can assure you, today’s innovative constructions of cauliflower are drastically different from that dull, lifeless mush you recall.  In fact, cauliflower is so adaptable, its managed to gain the attention of even meat-purveying chefs who view the vegetable as a perfect culinary canvas. This means greater likelihood that carnivores will stumble upon and try a vegan dish with cauliflower as the star! A chance to show non-vegans how delicious plant-based food can be? No complaints here!

So, what can you make with cauliflower? I think the appropriate question is what can’t you make with cauliflower? Among the many incarnations of cauliflower are steaks, whole roasted cauliflower, and fried cauliflower. It’s also been mashed like potatoes, pureed into cream sauce, grated into rice, and even transformed into pizza crust. Unlike kale, cauliflower has both a meaty texture and a simultaneous lightness that allows for it to become anything from a fluffy puree to a robust steak. The sky’s the limit with this one!

In honor of the glorious cauliflower, we’ve rounded up some cauliflower recipes for you to have fun with:

Macaroni and Cauliflower “Cheese”

Chef Linda’s Macaroni and Cheeze from our very own Compassionate Cuisine is a perfect example of how cauliflower can be transformed into something so unrecognizable and so delicious. After boiling the cauliflower with fragrant aromatics and flavorings, it is then blended with miso and lemon to create an unforgettable sauce.

Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato Sauce

To get you eating like an epicurean here is your token cauliflower steak. This recipe involves slicing cauliflower into thick slabs, which are then browned in an oven-proof skillet and finished off with tangy tomatoes and briny olives.

Cauliflower Rice Lettuce Cups with Sriracha Peanut Sauce

Though popular in the grain-free paleo-diet, cauliflower rice is also great for anyone just wanting to include more healthful cauliflower in place of higher carb foods. This simple recipe combines most of its flavorful ingredients in one pan before fresh lettuce cups are filled with the mixture.

Crispy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower

As mentioned above, people are frying a lot of cauliflower these days, and one of the most sought-after recipes of this type is cauliflower buffalo “wings”. This recipe involves battering cauliflower before it is fried and tossed in a vegan buffalo sauce. Like these won’t be a hit on game day…

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Capers

This recipe is a showstopper. Dinner guests will be so impressed with your culinary prowess when they see a whole roasted cauliflower sitting on the table, yet this is one of the easiest recipes you’ll come across. Baked for about an hour and drizzled with a tangy lemon caper sauce, this dish is both delicious and beautiful in presentation.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower pizza crust has become a favorite among gluten-free folks. This one is grain-free and of course vegan, and though it involves a series of steps, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the results. Top it with your favorite pizza toppings, bake for 5-10 minutes, and you’re good to go.

Creamy Rosemary Cauliflower and Potato Mash

Can you ever resist mashed potatoes? You won’t be able to deny yourself this recipe. With roasted garlic, rosemary, and both potatoes and cauliflower, this recipe is nutritious, lovely, and irresistible.

Curried Coconut Quinoa and Greens with Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower isn’t such a novel idea, but it is delicious, and there’s a reason people keep preparing it this way. Roasting brings out the sweetness in almost anything, and cauliflower is no exception. Here, cauliflower is roasted in simple coconut oil and cayenne for some heat. It’s then served over a spiced tangy coconut quinoa. When it all comes together on your fork, it’s basically a flavor explosion in your mouth.



Add Love + Stir, Ingredient Spotlight


, ,