Bet you never thought cauliflower would be find its way at the top of the trendy food list. But it has—and for good reason. These little white tree-like veggies boast an impressive nutrient profile. Just one cup contains 2.6 grams of fiber and 2.6 grams of protein. Cauliflower also supplies 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and it’s rich in potassium, too. All vegetables come with pretty great nutrition stats, though. So, why cauliflower? Well, you can turn it into just about anything.
There are so many creative ways to prepare this must-have vegetable. You can shred it and swap it in for rice, you can mash it and eat it like mashed potatoes, and you can even cut it thick and grill it like a steak. It’s an ideal substitute to reduce carbohydrates in your diet, which makes it perfect for paleo and gluten-free diets.
Some additional benefits of cauliflower include:
- Aids in weight loss
- Offers a good source of antioxidants and phytochemicals
- High in fiber
- Rich in sulforaphane nutrient properties, which is an anticancer and antimicrobial phytochemical
Though there are several ways to weave cauliflower into a healthy diet, the easiest ways are to mash it or turn it into cauliflower rice. While traditional brown rice can set you back 210 calories per serving, cauliflower rice has only 25 calories. “Cauliflower rice is simple to prepare and takes less time than traditional rice. Its blank slate can be combined with a variety of protein, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to please most palates,” says Suzanne Fisher, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
To get you started incorporating more cauliflower into your diet, we asked Suzanne Fisher and Nikki Ostrower of NAO Wellness to share two simple cauliflower recipes. Keep reading and let the cauliflower frenzy commence!
Cauliflower Mock-Mashed Potatoes by Nikki Ostrower
1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 cups BrothMasters bone broth
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut up cauliflower into quarters, and place in a pot.
- Steam in BrothMasters bone broth until soft. This adds a great flavor and infuses the dish with many more nutrients.
- Place the cauliflower in the blender with only 1/4 cup of the remaining broth or no broth at all. Ideally you don’t want the dish to be too soupy.
- Add salt, pepper, and butter or olive oil.
- Pulse the blender until desired consistency, and enjoy.
Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice With Tofu by Suzanne Fisher of Fisher Nutrient Systems
16 ounces baby bella mushrooms
1 large red pepper
1 small leek
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
16 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon coconut oil
24 ounces cauliflower rice
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 small limes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- Thinly slice mushrooms, red pepper, and leek.
- Place leeks in colander and rinse well.
- Mince garlic and ginger. Cut tofu into ½-inch cubes.
- Heat coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Saute leeks in skillet for 1-2 minutes.
- Add ginger and garlic, then cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to brown slightly. Stir tofu into skillet and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add cauliflower rice and red pepper. Stir to combine with vegetables in skillet.
- Continue to cook while preparing sauce, stirring occasionally.
- Zest and juice limes.
- Place coconut milk in medium saucepan with lime juice, zest, and remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and adjust seasoning as needed to taste. Wait to add any additional salt or coconut aminos until after sauce has reduced.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced.
- Pour sauce into skillet with cauliflower rice, and stir to combine. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes.