Cauliflower, 2 ways

Much like the world of fashion, the culinary world has its trends. Colored jeans, skinny ties and peplum in fashion are to cupcakes, food trucks and gluten-free in food.

The latest thing? Cauliflower. What was once a bland, boring cousin of the ever-popular broccoli, cauliflower has made its big break 🙂 Cauliflower is a nutrient-dense food, providing lots of vitamins & minerals (such as vitamin C and folate) with little calories. It’s also a low-carb, high-fiber vegetable with properties that may slow the growth of some cancers (source).

Widely used among the gluten-free, grain-free and Paleo diets, cauliflower can be prepared in so many different ways, which makes it even more appealing. A popular recipe found all over the interwebs is cauliflower rice, but let me introduce you to 2 of my favorites – Cauliflower Pancakes and Cauliflower Mash.  What’s great about these is you can cook both at the same time and have enough for 2 side dishes: A concept called Cook Once, Eat Twice. Brilliant and economical.

Cauliflower Pancakes

Inspired by my mother-in-law!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (only 1/2 will be used for this recipe)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup of whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of cayenne*
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (olive, grapeseed or coconut)

Method:

Bring a pot of water to boil. Remove green stem and leaves from the cauliflower and rinse lightly, removing any loose dirt. Cut into medium-sized florets. Add 1 Tbsp. of salt to the boiling water and add the cauliflower. Boil for 5-7 minutes, depending on how large the florets are. Once the cauliflower is soft enough to mash, drain and divide the cauliflower in 2 separate bowls (you’ll only need 1 bowl of the cauliflower for this recipe).

Lightly mash the cauliflower until you have small pieces. Add the egg, flour, cayenne and the rest of salt. Mix until you have a thick batter. Heat a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan and add oil when pan is hot. Ladle about 2 Tbsp. of the cauliflower mixture into the pan and flatten into a pancake. Cook on each side for about 3-5 min or until golden brown, being careful not to break them apart. You may need to add oil to the pan and lower the heat as needed.

Makes roughly 10-12 pancakes depending on how large you make them.  They refrigerate and/or freeze well. Careful, these are addicting.

*Feel free to add other spices or herbs to taste such as pepper, paprika, garlic powder or parsley, just to name a few. I haven’t tried any of these but I imagine they’d be delicious.

On to recipe #2…

Doesn’t that look like a big, heavy bowl of mashed potatoes? It’s pretty darn close in flavor and texture, but much lighter, healthier and just as comforting.
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Cauliflower Mash
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Ingredients:
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  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, boiled from previous recipe
  • 3 small potatoes*, boiled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of milk, dairy or non-dairy
  • 1 Tbsp. of butter  or olive oil (optional)
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Method:
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Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. (This recipe is easiest to make when cauliflower is still warm.) Slowly process/blend until cauliflower/potatoes comes together to the consistency you like – process less for a chunkier mash, more for a creamier, puree-like texture. Add a small pat of butter and a sprinkle of paprika on top.
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*I added the potatoes to the boiling water and processed them with the cauliflower to make it thicker like mashed potatoes.
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Two side-dishes, one main ingredient. Pretty good deal if you ask me.  And because it’s a low-carb vegetable, maybe now you can fit into those colored, skinny, peplum jeans** you’ve been eyeing. 😛
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**kidding. Totally made that up.
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