Cauliflower entered the healthy food scene a few years ago as a clever solution to our low-carb-seeking-starch-loving woes. And with good reason: Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be used to replace simple carbs in endless recipes.
While health-conscious folks will likely continue to debate the benefits and shortfalls of low-carb-high-fat diets, we can all agree that adding more cruciferous vegetables into our diet is a good thing.
Cauliflower is very low in calories — about 25 calories per cup — and is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, B-6, folate and some minerals. Because of the fiber and protein, it's also filling.
Its mild flavor means it's an easy substitute for bland starches like rice or pasta, so parents can usually swap out some or all in recipes without kids turning up their nose.
Blending or mashing cauliflower is another excellent strategy. Add blended cooked cauliflower to sauces or soups for creamless creaminess and extra nutrition.
Mashed or pureed cauliflower may be the most celebrated swap of all, giving low-carb eaters an alternative to mashed potatoes. The drawback to many cauliflower puree recipes is two-fold: Often they rely on high quantities of butter or cream for flavor and texture. The second problem is that a cauliflower puree is looser than true mashed potatoes, which means it's nearly impossible to make a dent with a gravy ladle that will actually hold up.
My trick is simple: silken tofu. Just a little bit, along with chicken or vegetable stock, adds just enough thickening.