cauliflower

I think 2014 is going to be the year for cauliflower — from cauliflower pizza crust to cauliflower fried rice and mashed cauliflower, it seems like this cruciferous vegetable is becoming a go-to for making healthy versions of comfort foods. Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of the cauliflower pizza crust. I’ve actually been working on a vegan version, which I hope to post soon. But in the meantime, I have another cauliflower delight to share. Thanks to Real Simple I recently found out that cauliflower popcorn is a thing. Yes, popcorn!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

Regular popcorn is actually pretty healthy on it’s own, especially if you air pop it and eat it plain. It’s a whole grain and low in calories, which is nice for volume eaters that like to snack (a.k.a. me). I actually keep kernels on hand and use the brown paper lunch bag trick to pop mine when I’m craving popcorn. Works like charm!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

Once I found out that cauliflower popcorn was a thing, I knew I needed to try it! I quickly decided I should probably make a kettle corn version since it’s my favorite type of regular popcorn. Sweet and salty combos are the simply the best!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

The trick to making cauliflower popcorn is roasting! Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables. And if you cook the veggies long enough, they also get a crispy texture. That’s exactly what happens with the cauliflower.

Yes, I could have simply called this recipe maple roasted cauliflower but kettle corn is infinitely more fun. Plus, you could totally whip up a batch of this cauliflower to snack on during a movie. It’s a great way to sneak in a serving (or two) of veggies and I’m sure kids would love it!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

Plus it’s healthy, absolutely delicious and as it would turn out, just as addictive as regular kettle corn. :)

If you’re not into kettle corn — we can’t be friends — just kidding, simply omit the maple syrup and just use the coconut oil and salt.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn
 
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One warning — the cauliflower pieces shrink down quite a bit. If you’re serving more than one or two people, you’ll want to make a double batch and use two baking sheets.
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 small/medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cauliflower, oil, maple syrup and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Make sure the cauliflower pieces aren’t too crowded on the baking sheet or they will steam instead of roasting.
  4. Roast, stirring twice, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Plus it’s healthy, absolutely delicious and as it would turn out, just as addictive as regular kettle corn. :)

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I was planning to share a quinoa, kale and tofu skillet recipe this morning, however plans changed after I had one bite of the pizza I made last night for dinner.

Healthy Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust

Don’t get me wrong, the kale and tofu dish is great (I’ll still post the recipe sometime this week). However, this pizza isn’t your average pie and judging from the response I got when I posted an Instragram photo on Facebook last night, the recipe needed to be shared right away. The thing that makes this pizza so unique is that the crust is made out of cauliflower – yes, the vegetable!

Healthy Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust

I honestly can’t remember when or where I first saw the idea for pizza made with a cauliflower crust (probably Pinterest), but I know that it has been done many times before. I used this blog post from DAMY Health as a guide and came up with a variation of the recipe. I was a little skeptical about using cauliflower to make a pizza crust, but trust me when I say that it’s pretty amazing. You can taste the cauliflower flavor (which I like) but it still tastes just like pizza – cheesy and delicious. The edges of the crust even get a little crunchy like regular pizza does.

So yes, pizza CAN BE healthy! If you cut this crust into 8 slices, each piece of crust (without toppings) has only 50 calories, 2 carbs and 5 grams of protein! There’s no need to feel guilty about eating a few slices, several times a week. :)

Healthy Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust

5.0 from 30 reviews

Healthy Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust
 
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Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • ½ head cauliflower (about 2 cups riced)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Prep a cookie sheet or pizza stone by grease it with oil. You can grease the cookie sheet or use greased aluminum foil. It will stick if you don’t grease it properly!! (I used a Pampered Chef baking stone, and made sure to spray it before putting on the crust.
  3. Remove the stems and leaves from your cauliflower and chop the florets into chunks. Add to a food processor (I used my Vitamix) and pulse just until the texture is similar to rice. If you don’t have a food processor or Vitamix, you can grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or chop it.
  4. Sauté cauliflower “rice” in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook until translucent, approximately 6-8 minutes. (You can use the microwave for this as well. Just place cauliflower in an uncovered microwave-safe bowl and cook for 8 minutes.)
  5. In a bowl combine the cooked cauliflower with all remaining ingredients.
  6. Spread dough out evenly over foil (or stone) – about ¼ to ⅓ of an inch thick. The pizza should be about 9-10 inches in diameter.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden, crispy on the edges and cooked through the middle.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven.
  9. Top with pizza sauce and toppings. Be careful not to add too many heavy toppings as you don’t want to weigh down the crust.
  10. Broil the pizza for 5 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted. Allow the pizza to cool for 2-3 minutes then cut and serve immediately.

You can top the pizza with whatever you like, just make sure the toppings are already cooked since you’ll only be broiling the pizza for a few minutes. I spread on a layer of my basil lima bean hummus, my favorite homemade pizza sauce (recipe from Ashley of the Edible Perspective), roasted squash and zucchini, roasted eggplant and a sprinkle of the shredded mozzarella, about 2 Tablespoons. The crust already has cheese so you don’t need much on top. Also keep in mind that the cauliflower crust is less firm than most regular dough-based crusts so you don’t want to weigh it down with a ton of ingredients. Keep is simple.

Healthy Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust

I found that it’s easier to eat this pizza with a fork/knife. Once you get to only a few bites left, it’s fine to pick up with your hands, but it tends to collapse if you try to pick up the whole slice early on.

Overall I LOVED this pizza and will definitely be making it again sometime soon – perhaps I’ll even try a vegan version next time. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

I hope you have a wonderful start to your week! I’m pumped because we’re headed to Boston this weekend for a wedding and have all day Friday to hang out in the city. If you have any recommendations of things we should do and see while there – restaurants, breweries, history stuff, etc. I’d love for you to leave them in the comment section.

Last but not least, the office arm challenge exercises for week 6 are up so if you’re following along, definitely check those out.

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