Cruciferous vegetables are very nutritious and provide many benefits. They all have a unique flavor and unique crunch. They are also easy to grow. Why eat cruciferous vegetables? Here are few reasons:
- anti-cancer benefits
- pain relief
- heart healthy
- toxin elimination
There are quite a few varieties in the cruciferous family. Here is a short list of cruciferous vegetables and over the next few weeks we’ll look recipes for many of these vegetables.
Today we are going to look at cauliflower. I’ve written about cauliflower in the past, but I’ve found even more recipes to show its versatility. Let’s look at today’s recipes.
CAULIFLOWER ALFREDO SAUCE
Who doesn’t love alfredo? Try this creamy sauce and get more vegetables on your plate.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3-5 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter (or coconut oil for vegan/dairy free)
- ¾ cup (dairy-free) milk of choice
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Cut the onion and garlic into thin slices. Melt the butter/coconut oil in a skillet on low heat, add onion slices and garlic and sauté covered on low until the onions are golden and caramelized (minimum 20 minutes).
- Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets and cook until tender (7-10 minutes).
- Place the tender cauliflower florets into a blender or food processor together with the caramelized onions, garlic, ½ cup of broth, milk and salt. Puree until smooth.
- Store the sauce in a container with a lid (like a mason jar) and place in the fridge, if not using right away.
- Depending on the size of your blender, you can also double the recipe.
PORK SCRATCHING (RINDS) CAULIFLOWER NUGGETS
Tots! These healthy tots are great alone or as a side with a grass-fed burger.
- 1 med-large cauliflower (or 3 cups of prepared cauliflower “rice”)
- 3/4-1 cup gluten free pork scratching (pork rinds)
- 1 organic egg
- 1 onion
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Prepare an oven tray with either a silicon mat or use a nonstick baking tray or parchment paper (they are sticky buggers, so you will need ensure that precaution is taken)
- Either chop or using a blender, crumb the pork scratching (pork rinds)
- Chunky chop the cauliflower then blitz in a food processor to make “rice”
- Measure 3 cups of cauliflower into a glass bowl, cover and microwave on high for 3-4min – leave to cool (best to turn it regularly to allow the steam to escape). You could also cook this in a medium skillet on the stove.
- Roughly chop up the onion, then using the food processor, pulse it until well chopped, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the cooled cauliflower, egg, cheese, pork crumbs and salt and pepper.
- Pulse in 2 second intervals – ensuring not to over process it – once or twice is all that is needed.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, scoop out and roll into oval shaped balls and line them up on the baking tray.
- With the back of a fork add a few ridges for texture.
- Bake for 30 minutes
- If they are not a deep golden color, then turn on the grill (low broil) and give them an extra few minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool – very important otherwise they will break
- Once they have cooled slightly, use a dinner knife or palette knife (nothing sharp), gently lift them off the mat.
MASHED CAULIFLOWER BREAKFAST BOWL
Change up your breakfast routine and get this flavorful bowl on the regular rotation.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 1/2 cups whole baby Portobello mushrooms (or one 6 oz package)
- 4 cups fresh arugula
- 6-8 slices of bacon (Applegate)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (you’ll add this 1 Tbsp at a time, and may not use it all)
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
- 1 Tbsp grass fed gelatin
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil (I suggest reserving some grease from the bacon, but you can also use ghee, coconut oil, or avocado oil)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- coarse sea salt (for finishing)
For the Mashed Cauliflower
- Start by removing the leafy part of the stem, and roughly chop the head of cauliflower. It’s okay to include the rest of the stem since the cauliflower will be steamed and blended.
- Steam chopped cauliflower using your method of choice. I recommend a stovetop method.
- Add steamed cauliflower to a blender or food processor. You can also do this with an immersion blender or by hand, but I find the blender and food processor to be the simplest and tends to yield the best consistency.
- Add nutritional yeast (optional to provide a cheesy flavor), gelatin (to provide a thicker texture), about 1-2 tsp sea salt, and 1 Tbsp coconut milk. You’ll want to start with just 1 Tbsp coconut milk, but you’ll likely need more depending on how much moisture is retained in your cauliflower.
- Blend until smooth. Increase coconut milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. Be sure to test cauliflower to make sure it’s salted to your liking.
For the Mushrooms
- Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium low heat.
- Slice mushrooms in half and add to sauté pan. Cook slowly over low heat for the flavors to fully develop.
- When the mushrooms are well cooked, pour in the Coconut Aminos to deglaze the pan and develop a caramelization on the outside of the mushrooms.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt while the glaze is still wet.
For the Bacon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lay bacon on a rimmed, parchment lined baking sheet. Cook until crisp, about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove bacon from cooking sheet and set aside to cool on a paper towel. This will absorb extra grease. Reserve the grease left on the baking sheet and store in an airtight jar in the fridge to use for cooking.
- Once bacon has cooled, rough chop and store until use.
- Divide ingredients among 2 bowls, and drizzle with olive or avocado oil. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
These ingredients can be prepped the day before and reheated for a quick breakfast bowl, or eaten straight from the fridge.
NACHO POT PIE
This can be made in a large baking dish or ramekins. Mexican sheperds’ pie!
- 1¼ lb grass fed ground beef browned and slightly drained of some, but not all grease (adds flavor to keep some in).
- or ground turkey
Beef Seasoning Mix:
- Can use 2 tbsp organic taco seasoning mix or homemade taco mix below:
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1¼ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp coriander powder
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ⅛ tsp Mexican oregano * optional
- ½ cup water
Not” Corn” Bread Pie crust:
- 1 head of raw cauliflower (2 cups), riced, grated or ground in food processor
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- ⅓ cup grated cheese of choice (cheddar, jack, pepper jack etc.) * optional, omit if paleo
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp optional jalapeno peppers, chopped and seeds removed or from a can
Toppings – optional
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- ½ an avocado, sliced
- ⅓ cup grated cheese of choice or use Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp. hot sauce or salsa
- Preheat oven to 400 F, and grease 5 ramekins or an 8 inch casserole dish.
- Brown ground beef in large fry pan, and slightly drain off some grease, not all (this keeps the meat moist and flavorful).
- In separate mixing bowl combine all the dry, beef seasoning mix ingredients except for the water. Once dry seasonings are combined add water and stir.
- Pour seasoning mix with water over ground beef in pan and stir. Heat pan to medium high and bring meat mixture to a boil. Turn heat immediately to low and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Grind up raw cauliflower in processor until it looks like rice, or could use ricer or grater.
- In a separate, large mixing bowl combine: cauliflower, and all the not” corn bread pie crust ingredients. Mix together thoroughly. Set aside.
- Divide the ground beef mixture into five servings, and place a portion of ground beef at the bottom of each ramekin. Or, could spread all meat mixture at bottom of a casserole dish
- Divide pie crust mixture in 5 servings and place a portion on top of beef mixture in ramekin. Or, place all crust mixture on beef mixture in casserole dish. Spread crust mixture, with the back of a spoon, around until beef is evenly covered with pie crust. * Shown in photo above.
- Bake in oven for 23 to 25 minutes, or until pie crust edges are slightly browning, and center is slightly firm.
- Remove from oven and cool a little. Add desired toppings and serve. Careful, as ramekin may still be hot.
PURPLE CAULIFLOWER MUSHROOM QUICHE
OK, I know this looks a little weird, but the more color the more nutrition. This is a different play on cauliflower and mushrooms and you’re going to love it.
For the crust:
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- 6 tbsp avocado oil
- 4 tbsp water
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp fresh thyme
- 1 medium purple cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
For the crust:
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease a 10 inch quiche pan with cooking oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, and garlic powder.
- Add an egg, avocado oil, and water, and mix together until a dough forms.
- Press the dough into the pan until evenly flattened out on all sides.
- Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
For the filling:
- Heat avocado oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Add onion, and cook stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and garlic, and sauté for 7-8 minutes until the mushrooms have sweat out and softened.
- Take off heat and stir in thyme.
- Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to boil over medium high heat.
- Add cauliflower, close the lid and let steam for 7 minutes.
- Drain the cauliflower and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a blender with coconut milk, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs and pulse a few times until they are well mixed in.
For the quiche:
- Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the baked quiche crust and spread it out evenly.
- Pour the blended cauliflower over the mushrooms.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the quiche is set.
This basic soup will warm you through and through. That melted butter will add to the flavor.
- 4-6 cups bone broth
- 6-8 cups cauliflower florets (leave out the fibrous stalks)
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- Real Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 diced onion
- 2 T fresh parsley
- 4 pastured egg yolks (separated from white)
- Ghee for topping
- Put everything except the eggs in a soup pan and boil, covered on medium for 30 minutes.
- Pull the pot off the heat and throw in the egg yolks. Quickly beat with the immersion blender (my favorite from Cuisinart) until blended.
- Serve adding salt and pepper to your taste.
The egg yolks which are very nutritious and easy to digest will cook enough while blending. Top with Grass fed Organic Ghee
There are many veggie tortilla recipes out there. Cauliflower really does make a great tasting version. Stuff these tortillas with your favorites or use them as pizza crusts.
- ¾ a head of cauliflower riced or 2 cups riced and packed
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- For these I rice my cauliflower finer than cauliflower rice. Toss ¾ a head of cauliflower cut up and most of the stem removed and pulse until you get a texture slightly finer than rice. (Once it’s riced measure it to make sure you have 2 cups packed.)
- Place riced cauliflower in bowl and microwave for 2 minutes and stir, then another two minutes and stir again then place in a dish towel and squeeze excess water out as hard as you can. (You’re going to want to get out as much water as you can and be careful not to burn yourself because it’s going to be very hot.)
- Place drained cauliflower back in bowl and add two eggs, salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
- As a note, it will be a little bit runny but shouldn’t be pure liquid either. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet into 6 small flat circles.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes then pull out of the oven and carefully peel them off the parchment and flip them and place back in the oven for 5-7 more minutes.
- Once they’re done place them on a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Heat a medium sized pan over medium heat and place the tortillas into the pan pressing down slightly and brown them to your liking. Don’t skip this step because it gives them slightly crispy on the edges and gives them a wonderfully nutty taste).
CAULIFLOWER PIZZA BITES
There are a lot of egg muffin recipes out there. I really like the addition of cauliflower along with your favorite pizza toppings in this version.
- 4 cups grated cauliflower
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Meat (about 4 oz): pepperoni, beef, sausage, bacon, ham, etc…
- Veggies: bell peppers, onion, olives, artichokes, spinach, etc…
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Combine grated cauliflower, eggs, oil, and seasonings in a large bowl.
- Add in your desired fillings. Be sure to not use too many or they won’t hold together. I use 4 ounces of meat, and about a cup of veggies.
- Fill the muffin tin by packing the filling into them. Be sure to press down to help them form.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.
CAULIFLOWER DIRTY RICE WITH ANDOUILLE
Anything with andouille is OK by me. What healthy version of dirty rice!
- 1 head cauliflower, thick core removed and chopped into florets
- 1/2 Spanish onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 pound smoked andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika (sweet)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Place 1/3 of the cauliflower florets in food processor with blade attached, and pulse until florets are finely ground about the size of couscous. Pour ground cauliflower into large bowl, and repeat with rest of cauliflower, in batches. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Sauté until translucent, then add the garlic, celery, and peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the sausage, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is browned.
- Stir in the spices, seasoning, and broth, and add the bay leaf. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduce by 3/4.
LEMONY CAULIFLOWER CAKE
I hope this recipe surprises you. Cauliflower in a cake? No way! Way!
- 1½ cups pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds, or any nut of your choice if not nut-free)
- 8 soft Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups steamed cauliflower florets
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and de-seeded
- 1 cup chopped pineapple (fresh or thawed out)
- 8 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon extract (or zest of 1 lemon or more to taste)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- optional: a pinch of turmeric for a yellower color (I didn’t use)
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- a few handfuls of pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, and fresh flowers
- Process all crust ingredients into a sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer the mixture into a 6″ springform pan with tall walls. Press down to compact into an even crust along the base. Freeze while working on the next step.
- Blend all filling ingredients, except poppy seeds, into a smooth mixture in a power blender. Add in the poppy seeds and pulse briefly to blend them in without crushing them (or can stir them into the mixture by hand if you prefer). Transfer this mixture over the prepared crust and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with any desired toppings (except fresh flowers) and freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Decorate with fresh flowers prior to serving if using. Thaw the cake out on the counter a few minutes and enjoy!
As you can see there are many ways to prepare cauliflower. It’s not just for steaming and stir fry. Try these recipes and fight off disease, preserve your heart functions, keep inflammation down, and feed your brain. Food is fuel. Why not use the best tasting fuel?