I always sort of wrote off cauliflower. Thought it was boring, especially when you could have bright green broccoli instead. With the exception of Indian Cuisine, which to be fair takes cauliflower to a whole new level, I've never really been that pumped on it.
That was until I unleashed cauliflower's potential, when I realised I wasn't helping it to fulfill it's true purpose on this planet. That's the thing humans and cauliflowers have in common. Stick an artist in an office cubicle or a computer programmer out on the rugby field, you might write them off as being pretty useless, but but them in their element and magic happens.
So back to cauliflower, I've got four words for you: Rice, Puree, Pizza Base. Why eat rice when you can eat cauliflower rice! Why have mashed potato when you can have cauliflower puree! And why eat a wheat pizza base when you can have a gluten free cauliflower pizza base!
Whether it's a weight loss thing, a low carb thing, or if you suffer from diabetes type 1 or 2, or a gluten intolerance: replacing wheat, white rice or potatoes with cauliflower creations will Change.Your.Life.
Purely on flavour alone cauliflower wins. It's light and fluffy, absorbs saucy goodness, and leaves you feeling light and fresh, never bloated. Health wise it contains several anti-cancer phyto-chemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such asindole-3-carbinol. Together these compounds have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition. That, and many minerals and vitamins to boot. You could entice your kids into eating their veggies even more by using the purple, green or yellow varieties for these recipes!
Here are three awesome things you can do with cauliflower:
You can use cauliflower rice for pretty much any recipe that calls for rice. It has an amazing ability to absorb flavour and so it tastes divine under curries, stir fries and even in sushi.
Blend it: Rinse cauliflower, remove the leaves and cut into florets. Remove the core and any stalky bits. In batches, pulse florets in your food processor* until the cauliflower is finely and evenly chopped, resembling rice.
*A hand grater also works! But it takes a bit of patience :)
Cook it: You can eat cauliflower rice raw or cooked. I prefer it cooked as it has a milder taste and is easier to digest. To cook it, pan fry on medium high heat with a glug or two of oil (I use coconut oil). Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic salt - any complementary flavour! Use Cauliflower rice as you would rice or any other grain.
Freeze it! Hey busy people! Cauliflower rice can be made ahead of time and frozen. Simply place in air tight snap lock/zip lock bags and place in the freezer. When you want to use it, let it thaw on the bench for about 10 minutes before using.
Pureed cauliflower is the height of luxury. It's the kind of visually impressive food that chefs use in their eye fillet stacks (in my case a roasted eggplant fillet! Oh that would be good.. ). It's naturally so creamy so you don't need to add any cream, and it perfectly rounds off a warm dish. Cauliflower is the perfect canvas to add fresh herbs, spices, garlic and extras like roast pumpkin.
Optional extras: turmeric, roasted garlic, herbs, spinach
Steam it: Rinse cauliflower, remove the leaves and cut into small florets. Remove the core and any stalky bits. Using a stove top steamer, steam florets for about 15 minutes with the lid on.
Puree it: Save 1 cup of your steaming water. Remove florets from steamer and place in a food processor with salt, pepper, oil and any other desired extras. Process, adding little bits of the the cooking water only if necessary.
Season to taste and serve hot.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust (vegan or vegetarian)
Top with pizza toppings and cook as you would a normal pizza (about 10 minutes back in the oven).
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