By Sue Knorr:
Remember a few years back when cauliflower faux mashed potatoes were all the rage? Chopping, mincing, smashing, mashing, ricing, blending, pureeing and straining the liquid off, and the list goes on. These are just some of the many methods used in cauliflower recipes these days.
Recently, I’ve seen photos online of everything from cauliflower fritters to cauliflower “breadsticks” dipped in marinara sauce, faux “potato puffs,” pizza crusts and more. They look downright irresistible. But honestly, who has the time to spend an hour or more making cauliflower delicacies? I don’t. I’m also not a fan of plain steamed cauliflower, but I do like this vegetable when it’s spruced up a bit.
If you’ve been reading these newsletters for a while, you know I have a passion for experimenting in the kitchen. Most of my meal prep and recipe development happens on the fly, since I have little time to spend cooking. The following recipe was inspired by a pan of roasted cauliflower that went forgotten in the oven one night. Deciding to eat what we could salvage of it (aka, the parts that weren’t burned to a crisp), we quickly discovered it was quite tasty, even bordering on addictive. Once the right spices were added, well … try it and see for yourself! For a popcorn-like snack it’s best to eat it right out of the oven while it’s still crispy around the edges. You can also serve it as a veggie side, and it makes a great addition a holiday buffet.
Cauliflower Popcorn Recipe
This recipe contains carbohydrate and fat. Eat some lean protein with it to complete the Zone balance.
- One head of cauliflower, any size
- Light tasting olive oil (do not use extra virgin)
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by generously drizzling olive oil inside. Set aside.
- Using a paring knife, remove all the green parts and leaves from the cauliflower head. With the same knife separate large clumps of florets from the main core of the head.
- Rinse the florets well and pat dry.
- Use a chef’s knife (larger knife with a wide blade for slicing and chopping) to chop the large florets into 1-1/2-inch chunks. They will shrink in size as they cook.
- Spread the chopped florets evenly in the prepared baking dish and drizzle with some more olive oil.
- Sprinkle the cauliflower chunks with the rest of the spices and the salt in the order listed. I like to use a fair amount of spices in general and go more heavy-handed on the onion powder compared to the rest.
- Bake uncovered in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the outside of the florets turn a crispy-looking golden brown.
- Transfer to a cool plate and serve the “popcorn”