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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

The versatility of cauliflower

Three slices of cauliflower on a cutting board.

Cauliflower is no longer just a side dish; it’s often the star of the meal. This cruciferous vegetable is like the underdog that has recently been discovered for it’s enormous talent. What’s it’s talent? Versatility.

Chefs and foodie entrepreneurs have given this bland veggie new life. Use cauliflower to make mock mashed potatoes. Simply simmer cauliflower in broth, and then transfer to a food processor to puree with garlic and parmesan cheese. Purchase frozen or fresh cauliflower rice or make your own by pulsing cauliflower in the food processor. It’s a great way to add more veggies to your stir-fry. Cauliflower pizza crust takes a few more steps, including the important one of wringing cooked cauliflower rice until dry, then mixing with egg and seasoning before rolling it flat on a pizza stone and baking it. Roast or air-fry cauliflower with a little olive oil and garlic for an easy side dish, or roast cauliflower with buffalo hot sauce and serve as tacos or buffalo pizza. Substitute General Tso’s sauce serve over a bed of rice.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and is a good source of folate. For those wishing to cut their carbohydrates, cauliflower is a non-starchy carb. Look for cauliflower without browning florets and store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. Explore the many ways to use cauliflower, including using cauliflower to make Alfredo sauce. Try the recipe below!


Cauliflower Alfredo Bagel Bites (Printable PDF)

6 whole-wheat mini bagels

2 Tablespoons water

3 cups fresh cauliflower florets

¼ cup fat-free Greek plain yogurt

¼ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 ¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash hands with soap and water. Halve each bagel and arrange cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add water and cauliflower florets; cover with a plate or microwave cover. Heat for 3 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Add yogurt, salt, garlic and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Puree until smooth. Spread cauliflower sauce evenly on each bagel half. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are golden. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings (2 bagel halves each)


Nutrition Facts (per serving): 220 calories, 7 grams fat, 520 milligrams sodium, 23 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 14 grams protein 


Source: “Alfredo Bagel Bites Recipe”- Kids Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


This blog post originally appeared in the Pantagraph on September 23, 2020.