The Secret Life of Cauliflower (pizza crust, garlic fingers, fried rice and whipped potatoes)
I am always trying to find new ways to sneak healthy food into people! No really, I do this often. I am on a mission to improve the health of everyone I am in contact with.
A great way to do this is to find “tricks” to bring in healthy veggies in place of foods with empty calories. These recipes will please even the biggest health food critic. They are perfect for your picky eaters, anyone that thinks they don’t enjoy vegetables (especially children), anyone looking to lead a healthier life, diabetics and anyone looking to lose some extra weight.
These recipes are crowd pleasers and no one will know they are healthy! You will be shocked how perfect theses dishes turn out and taste. So here are my favourite cauliflower recipes!
Cauliflower Fried Rice
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Diced
- 1 Head Cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- ¼ Tsp Sea Salt
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a food processor with the “S” blade and process until the texture of rice. (TIP: if you do not have a food processor do not fret, you can simply use a cheese grater to grate the cauliflower into rice. Works awesome!!
- Add cauliflower to skillet, cover and cook 5-10 minutes, until soft, then add salt.
- Enjoy this “rice” in soups, as a side for supper in place of rice, or in a casserole. Serve as your “rice” side dish with chicken, or fish, veggies and a side salad for a complete meal!
To make your “Fried Rice” a complete meal simply add some spices to this dish, red peppers, mushrooms and some ground turkey (see the spicy turkey sausage recipe below) and have a wonderful “Fried Rice” meal!
This pizza is a wonderful alternative to your favorite guilty pleasure. What is very exciting is that it’s loaded with vegetables and is low on the glycemic index scale. This means you prevent unnecessary insulin spikes that lead to mood swings and weight gain.
*If you are on a DAMY Health plan you know that I ask you to avoid certain foods at night that cause us to store fat, well this meal is perfectly fine for your supper meal! Feel like you are having something treat-like and make this pizza this week!
Cauliflower Crust Ingredients:
- 2 Cups Grated Cauliflower (using a hand-held cheese grater or your food processor. Cauliflower should be ‘rice-like’ texture)
- 1/4 Cup Egg Whites
- 1 Cup Low Fat Cheese (Mozzarella, Feta or the best option for a low-fat/higher protein pizza use 1% Cottage Cheese – drain your cottage cheese of any extra water first)
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Tsp Parsley
- 1-2 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (Optional and to taste)
Toppings *see recipe ideas below.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Slightly grease a cookie sheet or even better simply use parchment paper (or use my favorite – the baking stone).
- Place your grated cauliflower in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until translucent (If you are in a hurry you can cook the cauliflower rice in a bowl in the microwave for 8 minutes – do not cover and do not add any water).
- Place all other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- In a bowl combine cooked cauliflower rice and blended ingredients.
- Spread dough out evenly and fairly thinly over parchment paper (or cookie sheet).
- Bake for 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven – *see below).
- Remove the crust from the oven. Add organic, natural pizza or pasta sauce (see Simple Marinara Sauce below) and toppings.
- Feel free to place under a broiler at high heat to heat your ingredients. Remove and Enjoy!
*Tip – Here are my main tips to make your crust crusty:
- Make sure your cauliflower is dry after washing (no water to cook).
- Spread your crust out thin (not too thin – just a thin layer).
- Bake until crust-like. If you peak at your crust at the recommended cooking time and the middle is still not cooked… cook longer.
- Pre-cook your vegetable toppings before adding to your pizza.
- If you want to add a little bit of cheese to the top of your pizza parmesan is your healthiest option.
This recipe is also wonderful as garlic breadsticks. For garlic breaksticks follow the above recipe but add garlic powder (2 tsp). Form the crust “dough” into sticks on a sheet instead of the pizza crust shape. These garlic breadsticks are great for dipping in soups or chili. They are also great to just dip in your all natural pizza sauce or the Simple Marinara Sauce below.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza Topping Ideas and Options
DAMY Veggie Pizza
- Sun-Dried tomatoes (Chopped)
- Low Fat Mozzarella or Feta Chopped
- Chopped Broccoli
- Diced onion
- Black Olives Sliced
- Red Bell Peppers
- Simple Marinara Sauce
Chicken BBQ Pizza
- All natural BBQ sauce in place of the pizza sauce
- Grilled chicken (sliced)
- Red pepper slices
- White onion slices
- Low fat Mozzarella
- Ground turkey
- Pineapple chunks
- Roasted red pepper sauce
- Mushroom slices
- Feta cheese
Spicy Sausage Pizza
- Spicy Sausage (see recipe)
- Red Pepper Slices
- Orange Pepper Slices
- Onion Slices
- Mushroom Slices
- Simple Marinara Sauce
- Hot Sauce
To Make Ground Turkey Sausage:
- 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Fennel Seed
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- ½ tsp Smokey Paprika
- ¼ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
- Add the ground turkey and all seasonings and cook.
- Chop turkey while frying to hamburger consistency.
- Cook until browned completely!
- Add to your pizza.
If you want to get really healthy on me – here is a great, simple pizza sauce recipe!
Simple Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Reduced-Sodium Vegetable Broth
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped White Onion
- 4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1/8 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 2 Tbsp No-Salt-added Tomato Paste
- 2 (15-Ounce) Cans No-Salt-Added Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Thinly Sliced Fresh Basil
- 1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Oregano
- 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring broth to a simmer.
- Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to medium, stir in tomatoes and cook about 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally to make sure mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.
Whipped Cauliflower “Potatoes”
Use these whipped potatoes instead of your regular potatoes tonight for supper. I bet no one in the family notices and if they do it will be because they are so darn yummy. They feel so naughty but they’re not. They are a must try this week!
Even though they are “whipped potatoes” no where in this recipe will you find potatoes! Instead we will be using cauliflower! We choose this due to the many health benefits of cruciferous vegetables (phytonutrients and vitamin C). Aside from all the wonderful health benefits of cauliflower this recipe is delicious! You will be addicted!
- 1 Large Head Cauliflower
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Herbs (chives work particularly well)
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- ½ Cup Onion
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Chop cauliflower into smaller chunks – about bite-size pieces works well.
- Peel garlic cloves and cut in half, lengthwise. Chop onion into slices.
- Steam cauliflower, garlic and onion for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower and garlic are tender enough for a fork to easily pass through.
- Combine steamed cauliflower, garlic, onion, olive oil, fresh herbs, pepper, and sea salt in a food processor and blend until everything comes together into a mashed potato-like consistency. I like mine whipped.
- Top with a little pepper for looks and enjoy your guilt-free whipped potatoes.
TIP: if you love a sour cream and chives on your whipped potatoes top your whipped cauliflower with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt and some fresh chopped chives! So delish!