September Seasonal Recipes: Cauliflower


September Seasonal Recipes:  Cauliflower

Written by Cheyenne Watts | Reviewed by Alyssa Tucci MS, RDN, CDN

The days of avoiding the funky-looking white broccoli on the veggie trays at your office parties are over.  We are here to make you love cauliflower!  "Why should I love cauliflower?” you might ask.  Well, it's pretty simple.  First of all, cauliflower is in its prime growing season right now, so you can buy fresh-picked heads at your local farmer's market (though cauliflower is just as good frozen when cooking with it).  Secondly, cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables you can prepare for yourself and your family.  Cauliflower boasts an incredible 12 grams of dietary fiber per head, as well as 11 grams of protein, while remaining very low fat.  Containing a whopping four times your daily dose of Vitamin C in one head, and being very rich in B Vitamins, iron, manganese, magnesium and potassium, cauliflower proves to be a tasty and nutrient-dense vegetable.  Finally- and most importantly- cauliflower can be prepared in a variety of ways.  The following three healthy recipes we have prepared for you are so delicious that you just might forget you're even eating cauliflower all together, and will leave you craving more!

  1. HEALTHY CAULIFLOWER RICE

(**Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian)

YIELD: 4 servings

An amazingly healthy twist on takeout fried rice but you can’t even tell the difference.

INGREDIENTS:

24 ounces cauliflower florets

**2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (use liquid aminos or GF soy sauce to make it gluten-free)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 large eggs, beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

6 ounces broccoli florets, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

To make the cauliflower rice, pulse cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor until it resembles rice, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and white pepper; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add eggs and cook until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side, flipping only once. Let cool before dicing into small pieces; set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in broccoli, carrots, corn and peas, and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower, eggs, green onions and soy sauce mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through and the cauliflower is tender, about 3-4 minutes.

(Recipe by: DamnDelicious.net)

2) VEGAN CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST

(Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Grain-free)

YIELD:  2 servings

A guilt-free pizza crust- all the crunch and none of the white flour!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)

3 tablespoons ground chia or flax seeds, divided

6 tablespoons water

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, and pulse until a rice-like texture is created. Pour the cauliflower “rice” into a large sauce pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Drain the liquid, then transfer the cooked cauliflower rice in a freezer-safe bowl. Place in the freezer to cool for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, mix together 2 tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water, to create a vegan “egg.” Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken.

Remove the cooled cauliflower rice from the freezer and transfer it to the center of a thin dish towel. Use your hands to squeeze the rice in the dish towel, removing all of the excess moisture from the cauliflower.

Place the drained cauliflower in a large bowl, then add in the vegan egg mixture, the almond meal, the additional tablespoon a ground flax or chia seeds, salt, garlic and dried oregano. Stir well to mix, then press the mixture into the parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping the crust about 1/4-inch thick.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and dry to the touch.

For best texture, I recommend using an additional piece of parchment paper to flip the entire pizza crust, then returning it to the pan to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Once the crust is firm and dry, add your favorite pizza toppings and return to the oven briefly to let everything heat up, about 5-10 additional minutes.

(Recipe by: Detoxinista.com)

3) CAULIFLOWER HOT WINGS

(Vegetarian, Egg-Free)

Our new favorite “I-can’t-believe-these-are-veggies” snack!

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium heads cauliflower (~2 lbs)

½ cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, or brown rice flour all okay)

½ cup water

For the hot sauce:

2 teaspoons oil (olive, coconut, or grapeseed)

½ to ⅔ cup sriracha or similar hot sauce (depending on desired spice)

¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons fresh ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari

1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup

1 cucumber, cut into finger-long sticks

DIRECTIONS:

Set oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.  Chop cauliflower into little trees no bigger than your thumb.

Whisk together the flour and water in a big bowl until a smooth batter forms.  Toss the cauliflower in the batter until it is thinly coated.  Spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring after about 8 minutes to ensure even cooking.  

Make the hot sauce:  In a small saucepan, mix the oil, sriracha, vinegar, and soy sauce.  Heat over low heat until the sauce is warm but not bubbling, then turn off the heat.  

Make the peanut dipping sauce:  In a medium glass, whisk together water and peanut butter until it looks creamy.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

After cauliflower has roasted, return it to the big bowl and toss it with the hot sauce mixture from the stove top until well coated.  Once again, spread the cauliflower on the baking sheet, leaving extra sauce in the bowl, and roast it for another 3 minutes.  

Serve hot or at room temperature with the cucumber sticks and chilled peanut dipping sauce on the side.  

(Recipe by: Thug Kitchen cookbook)

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