Your mom may have told you that you could grow up to be anything you wanted to be, but cauliflower truly can be everything it wants to be: pizza, pasta, rice, you name it. Dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, host of Well+Good’s You Versus Food, deems the cruciferous vegetable the “chameleon” of the superfood world—and that seems about right. In the last few years, cauli-mania has ensued over the virtuoso of a vegetable, and new creative cauliflower recipes crop up every single day.
“I can’t think of many reasons not to add cauliflower to your next online or in-person grocery order,” says Beckerman. “Cauliflower has flexed its nutritional status while staying at home thanks to its brag-worthy immune-protecting vitamin C properties. Plus, it also contains excellent levels of magnesium and potassium [16 milligrams and 320 milligrams per cup, respectively], both of which can help reduce stress and relax tight muscles.” Cauliflower is also fairly high in fiber, containing about two grams of the nutrient per cup, offering your digestive system an extra boost in a time when many of us find ourselves a bit more stagnant than usual.
Of course, cauliflower isn’t exactly the new kid on the block anymore, and many of its recipes are feeling a bit, well, stale. Scroll down to find seven healthy, creative cauliflower recipes to make you fall in love with the veggie all over again.
7 healthy cauliflower recipes that are as brilliant as gnocchi
Orange chicken is, objectively speaking, the best thing you can order for Chinese takeout. If you want to make it at home with your own ingredients, though, this Live Eat Learn recipe yields crispy, flavorful cauliflower nuggets that you can pair with Asian-style veggies and your grain of choice. Orange zest brings this meal a fresh twist you just wouldn’t get from ordering takeout.
2. Cauliflower fried rice
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wound up crying on the floor after another failed attempt of at-home fried rice—but it looks like that’s a melodrama of the past. Celebrity chef Dale Talde recently showed us how to boil down the often-long stir-fry ingredient list down to a handful of ingredients. And, fam, it is good.
I’m not really sure why I would need to convince you to eat cauliflower tater tots, but I’ll try my best. This recipe also contains chickpea flour, a highly-underrated (IMO) ingredient that packs all the benefits of garbanzos (protein, fiber, etcetera) in a nice, thick flour. Put the two together and you’ve got delightful, bite-sized morsels.
Nothing quite replicates ordering sizzling-hot fajitas at a restaurant, but you can enjoy all the flavors you love right at home with this hearty, hot dinner.
Bet you’ve never seen green shakshuka before, but it’s about to become one of your staples. Its verdant hue comes from a combination of spinach, parsley, and green hot sauce, and it all sits on a bed of cauli-rice.
Talk about sneaking veggies into dessert seamlessly. This recipe is basically a four-layer chocolate cake, but with all the benefits of cauliflower you know and love. Ground flaxseeds also star in this recipe, so you can thank them for an extra protein and fiber bump, too.
7. Veggie-packed cauliflower bolognese
Get the crusty bread! Pour the wine! Shred the parmesan! Pluck the fresh basil! We’re eating Italian tonight. This completely vegetarian, cauliflower-based bolognese sauce is a pretty-darn-convincing dupe for the real deal, and it comes together in 30 minutes or less.