Cozy comfort food is pretty much synonymous with carbs. And while we love a big bowlful of Parmesan-topped penne pasta as much as the next person, now that we've officially entered the New Year, we're looking to add healthy, low-carb recipes to our repertoire. Enter cauliflower, the cruciferous vegetable that miraculously doubles as a carb substitute thanks to its high starch content. Ranging from cheesy cauliflower grits to coconut cauliflower rice bowls, these eight cauliflower recipes prove that the starchy seasonal produce can satisfy even the most serious pasta craving.
The Recipe: Cauliflower and Roasted Chickpea Salad
The Standout Ingredient: The roasted chickpeas add crunch to the salad, contrasting with the creamy avocado.
The Pro Tip: "I use herbs in their whole leaf form with a heavy hand for brightness," says Laura of The First Mess. "Thin radishes, apples, and avocado make this a bit sharp, juicy, and rich."
The Recipe: Coq au Vin With Cheesy Cauliflower Grits
The Standout Ingredient: The chicken stock, which lends an additional depth of flavor to the cheesy cauliflower grits.
The Pro Tip: "Pulse the cauliflower very briefly," advises Sarah of Broma Bakery. "You still want it to have some texture, just like grits. If the mixture is too thick, add in the reserved chicken stock, two tablespoons at a time."
The Recipe: "Creamy" Roasted Cauliflower Soup
The Standout Ingredient: The Greek yogurt makes this already "creamy" soup extra decadent. (Note: Creamy is in quotation marks because the soup gets its smooth texture from the cauliflower's natural starches, not cream.)
The Pro Tip: "I absolutely adore healthy soups," confesses Sarah of Broma Bakery. "Especially when their bulk comes from vegetables. And double especially when they are creamy."
The Recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower Salad With Tahini Ranch
The Standout Ingredient: The buffalo hot sauce. It gives the roasted cauliflower florets a spicy kick that pairs well with the creamy tahini ranch dressing.
The Pro Tip: "It's definitely crucial to get a Buffalo-style hot sauce here," says Laura of The First Mess. "I can't totally explain the flavour nuances of sauces in the Buffalo-style, but there's a heavy emphasis on salt and tanginess at work."
The Standout Ingredient: The roasted cashews add a crunch that contrasts nicely with the light, fluffy cauliflower rice.
The Pro Tip: When shopping for apricot preserves for the three-ingredient sauce, "try really hard to find a high-quality brand without any corn syrup or other weird ingredients," advises Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
The Recipe: Cauliflower Rice Carne Asana Bowls
The Standout Ingredient: The fresh lime juice and cilantro. As soon as you pull the cauliflower rice out of the oven, stir in a generous amount of each of these ingredients.
The Pro Tip: "You want to start this recipe off by marinating the meat," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "You can marinate it anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. If I can remember, I really like to marinate it overnight for super-tender meat and great flavor."
The Recipe: Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Brussels Sprout Soup
The Standout Ingredient: The cauliflower and broccoli stems. Instead of tossing these bits, throw them into your stock pot for an extra-thick soup.
The Pro Tip: "The smaller the pieces, the faster they cook, and it's good if they're all cut equally, but no one is grading you on this, and the soup will cook anyway," says Alice of Sugar Salted.
The Standout Ingredient: You can't go wrong adding a poached egg over pasta. In this dish, the yolk coats the spaghetti squash and the roast cauliflower with golden goodness.
The Pro Tip: "The creamy sauce is a base of coconut milk and cashews," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "This combo together is beyond awesome, and the flavors are not overpowering. Even if you’re not a fan of coconut, I would still highly recommend giving the recipe a try."