4 Amazingly Tasty, super easy, kid friendly (and vegan!) Cauliflower Recipes

I am not sure why, but I love cooking with cauliflower! Not plain jane, nothing but salt and pepper cauliflower, but all the delicious recipes that can be created with it. I’m mostly vegan and sugar free (I still have my vices…. hello coffee!) but these recipes are vegan. Even if you DON’T like cauliflower, I dare you to try these recipes and not change your mind…

P.S. Cauliflower is anti-inflamitory , cancer fighting, detoxing (unless you dump a bunch of cheese on it), and has tons of healthy vitamins and minerals! Plus it has basically no calories (if you’re worried about that) 🙂

Buddha Bowl with Cauliflower and Chick Peas

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THIS receipe… if you try just one, try this one. Even must husband, the ultimate no-veggie-eating carnivore who once told me when I said I was making cauliflower…again… said that “cauliflower just pisses me off.” I mean, he hates it. But, he LOVES this recipe! Not only that, but my 19 month old little girl LOVES it as well! WIN!

You’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 can of cooked chick peas or 1.5 cups, drained and rinse
  • 1 batch of quinoa (cooked)
  • salt n’ pepa
  • olive oil

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I use the pre-squeezed because who has the time!)
  • 1 tbsp of tahini (it’s ground up sesame seeds…most stores have this)
  • 1 large garlic clove (or, like me, buy the already cushed garlic in olive oil)
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 6 tbsp water or more to thin out as much as you want
  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours. I put them in water in the morning and when I get home to cook them they are perfect. In a pinch, you can also boil them for 10 minutes and they should be good to go.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  3. Put the chickpeas in a pan and sprinkle some olive oil on them and stir.
  4. Put the cauliflower and broccoli in another dish and sprinkle with olive oil.
  5. Put both of these dishes in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes stir the chickpeas and cook both dishes another 10-15 minutes until they are done. (aside: when I just don’t have the time for this, I steam the broccoli and cauliflower for 7 minutes and then roast for about 10 and back the chickpeas the same time (about 17 minutes).
  6. Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients in a blender (I use my nutribullet)  and blend on high speed until smooth. Sometimes I’ll make this early and store in the fridge to save me time when my toddler is desperately wanting my attention.
  7. After the veggies are done, mix them all together. You can either mix all the dressing with it,  or let each person spoon out however much you want.
  8. Put the veggie mix over your grains (the quinoa), mix with the dressing, and enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Mustard and Parsley

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This one is from Gweneth Paltrow’s recipe book, It’s All Good. I’m sure there are several other recipes in there that are great (I think I remember a sweet potato one being pretty tasty….) but this is the one that stuck with me. I was cooking it twice a week sometimes! My husband and child aren’t super crazy about this one, but I LOVE it! But I also love mustard and that bitter taste. My friends who I have shared this with also love it!

Ingredients:

  • a 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained and dried in a kitchen towel
  • 1 head of cauliflower,  cut into bite-sized florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon seeded mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes. Again, if I don’t have the time to sit around and wait 45 minutes for this to cook, I steam it for a few minutes, roast for about, oh, whatever I have time for, and it’s good to go!
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper.
  4. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature. It’s so freaking good!!!

 

Creamy Vegan Lemon-Pepper Pasta

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This is another dish my child LOVES! Little does she know she’s eating a whole bunch of cauliflower and healthy nuts. I make this at the beginning of the week and give it to her for lunch for the next few days.

This is another recipe which you’ll need to soak your cashews for a few hours (again, just put them in water in the morning and by cooking time they are soft and ready to go!)

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 12 ounces gluten-free linguine or rigatoni* 

Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Sauce

  • 2 1/2 cups small (1-inch) cauliflower florets (fresh, not frozen) (I just get a big head of cauliflower and call it a day)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk (I use coconut milk), plus more if needed to thin
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours or in a pinch, boil for 10 minutes.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste if desired
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (more or less, to taste) 

For the Pasta

  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. I like to salt my water and put a little coconut oil in it which I feel like helps the pasta not to be so sticky.

    For the Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Sauce

    1. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and boil for 7 minutes or until very fork-tender. Strain off the water.
    2. Add the boiled cauliflower florets, almond milk, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and black pepper to a high-speed blender (do not use a food processor. I use my nutribullet.)

    3. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until completely smooth and creamy. Set within reach of the stove.
    4. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large sauté pan over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.
    5. Stir in the cauliflower sauce, increase heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
    6. Turn off the heat, add the pasta to the pan, and toss to coat. If a slightly thinner sauce is desired, add more plant-based milk, one small splash at a time, to thin. (Note: If you add more milk, you’ll need to increase the seasoning to accommodate.)

    7. Taste and generously season with more sea salt and black pepper to taste.

    8. Serve immediately.

    Recipe Notes

    *For a rich and super creamy pasta use 12 ounces of pasta. For a slightly less saucy pasta, use up to 16 ounces (1 pound).

     

    Roasted Panko-Parmesean Cauliflower

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If you like things on the spicy side, this is for you. I can’t do spicy so I tone this recipe down a bunch and it is delicious! The first time I made it, it was VERY spicy and my husband was all about it. Sometimes my child likes this recipe, sometimes she doesn’t. The other 3 are way more kid friendly.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lb cauliflower florets [around 6-8 cups] Again, I just use a head of cauliflower.
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes – for less spicy, do 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika –
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper – for less spicy, do 1/4 tsp
  • ½ tsp oregano or dry Italian seasoning [optional]
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spritz a large baking sheet liberally with cooking spray then set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until coated. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss until evenly distributed.
  3. Arrange on the baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once midway through cooking.
  5. After 30 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 500°F and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until golden.
  6. Serve with thinly sliced green onions, if desired. If you’re not going vegan, try sprinkling some parmesean.