Cauliflower rice, rice baby—plus more hidden-veggie meals, appetizers, and healthy desserts that'll calm your cravings (even if you're gluten-free)
Mini Cauliflower Pizzas
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Clocking in at under 100 calories per piece, these mini cauliflower pizzas from Damn Delicious are an adorable substitute for those microwavable mini pizza bagels you loved so much—until you learned how to read a nutrition label.
Photo: Damn Delicious
Cauliflower Fried Rice
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A cleaner and greener take on the fried Chinese food favorite, a bowl of The Recipe Critic's cauliflower fried rice is perfect for the next time you're craving takeout. By the time you've prepped and cooked it (30 minutes total), the delivery guy may not have even gotten there! (Complete your meal with more deliciousLow-Calorie Chinese Food Recipes
Photo: The Recipe Critic
Breaded Vegan Cauliflower Nuggets
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Using almond milk, vegan mozzarella cheese, and every type of spice and seed imaginable (think sesame, chia, oregano, garlic, etc.), this breaded cauliflower creation from the vegan blog Divine Healthy Food is the perfect meatless substitute for chicken nuggets.
Photo: Divine Healthy Food
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Finally, a low-carb, gluten-free brownie that even grain eaters can enjoy! Unexpected but surprisingly sensible ingredients like cream cheese, almond milk, and, of course, raw cauliflower make an appearance to give I Breathe I'm Hungry's healthy brownies an intense chocolate flavor and fudgy texture. Each batch makes approximately 36 brownies, each with only 69 calories, so be prepared to hand them out like hot cakes!
Photo: Melissa Sevigny
Cauliflower Rice Sushi
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Skip the starches found in regular white rice in favor of grated cauliflower that sticks just as well. With her grain-free take on the beloved California roll, food blogger Bethany Jane aces the low-carb version. (Get schooled in the art of roll-making with an instructional video teaching you How to Make Homemade Sushi Maki Rolls).
Photo: Being Bethany Jane
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
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There are tons of cauliflower pizza crust recipes floating around the internet (we have a great gluten-free one from PureWow), but we dare you to find one that lets you eat the entire pie—yes, you read that right! Live your dream of devouring the whole thing with this personal-sized BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust from My Engineered Nutrition. Topped with sweet barbecue chicken and onions, it’s a guilt-free lunch or dinner you won’t want (or have) to share.
Photo: My Engineered Nutrition
Chocolate Cauliflower Cake with Salted Cinnamon Caramel Icing
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True to its name, the award-winning Veggie Desserts blog is deft in disguising healthy vegetables as decadent desserts, and this rich chocolate cauliflower cake is no exception. Topped with a salted cinnamon caramel frosting, you’d never know there was pureed cauliflower moistening the inside.
Photo: Kate Hackworthy
Hot and Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Dip
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Get your dip fix with The Cozy Apron's Hot and Cheesy Cauliflower Spinach Dip, which combines different cheeses with roasted garlic and subtle spices for a gooey appetizer you’ll want to slather over every tortilla, chip, and vegetable you can find.
Photo: The Cozy Apron
Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks
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Want to keep your man healthy while winning the approval of his friends on game night? Whip up Jo Cooks’ cheesy bread. It’s so good that the guys will never know it’s made with cauliflower—not to mention it's also gluten-free and low-carb.
Photo: Jo Cooks
Crispy Cauliflower Burger with Spicy Hummus-Mayo, Roasted Red Peppers and Melted Provolone Cheese
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Summer cookouts are not just about meat, and vegetarian or not, this crispy cauliflower “burger” creation from The Cozy Apron is enough to make even carnivores think twice about what they’re putting on their plate. Don’t miss out on the DIY spicy hummus-mayo topper—it’s surprisingly easy to make and gives the veggie burger an extra kick of deliciousness. (Can’t get enough veggie burgers? Try one of these Crazy-Good Vegetarian Burger Recipes to prevent FOMO during barbecue season.)
Photo: The Cozy Apron
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
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You won't want to wait til the next Super Bowl to serve Baked In's cauliflower buffalo wings—this easy, adaptable for vegans recipe is a satisfying appetizer no matter the occassion. Think people will notice it's not actually chicken? Julie, Baked In's blogger, put the "perfect, almost biscuit-like tender crisp-coated" wings to the test with her friends and their reactions proved otherwise. #Winning.
Photo: Baked In
Healthy "Rice" Pudding
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Paleo and gluten-free dieters often use cauliflower in place of rice in dishes like pilaf, stir-fry, and sushi, so why not do the same with coconut pudding? Even with rich ingredients, this sweet and creamy cauliflower dessert from Maria Emmerich of Maria Mind Body Health is only 245 calories per serving and will easily fool your guests into thinking it’s the real thing! (P.S.: We loved it so much that we also included the recipe in 11 Crazy Delicious Desserts with Hidden Healthy Foods.)
Photo: Maria Mind Body Health LLC
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Finely chopped cauliflower florets take on a crispy potato-like texture in SkinnyTaste's kid-friendly veggie version of traditional tater tots. It's a perfect strategy for moms of picky-eaters to get their child to eat more vegetables without complaint.
Photo: ©2008-2013 Skinnytaste, Inc.
Baked Cauliflower Mac N' Cheese
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If Kraft is your go-to comfort food, consider this Baked Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese a dieter’s blessing. Using gluten-free quinoa shells in place of pasta and dairy-free cheese, The Colorful Kitchen has granted vegans a chance to get their cravings on.
Photo: The Colorful Kitchen
Cauliflower Pizza with Greek Yogurt Pesto and Grilled Veggies
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Low in carbs, high in protein, this extra-crunchy cauliflower pizza from Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness is topped with nutrient-rich grilled veggies, eggs, Greek yogurt, and savory herbs and spices. It's enough flavor to make your Italian guests cry out, "Mamma mia!"
Photo: Taylor Kiser
Shrimp and Cauliflower "Grits"
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Coconut Cauliflower Rice
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Taking a break from the blog's modernized Scandanavian dishes, Sweet Sour Savory delivers a taste of Thai in the form of a crisp cauliflower rice dish that’s seasoned with zesty lemon and coconut flavors.
Photo: Sweet Sour Savory
Crispy Orange Cauliflower
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Order a plate of crispy orange beef or chicken at a Chinese restaurant and you’re looking at upwards of 600 calories. But sub in cauliflower for meat, fruit for sugar, and a couple of gluten-free ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a Crispy Orange Cauliflower bowl you won’t feel bad about eating. Thanks, Fork and Beans, for helping us realize not all Chinese food is off-limits. (Put a healthy spin on more order-in favorites with 10 Easy Recipes Tastier Than Takeout Food.)
Photo: Fork and Beans
Paleo Chocolate Pizza with Cocoa Cauliflower Crust
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If you thought pizza just wasn’t pizza without cheese, then you haven’t tried dessert pizza, and you definitely haven’t tried this paleo chocolate version from Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind. Here's how it works: sub gluten-filed cheese for sweetened cauliflower, cheese for chocolate, marinara for maple-almond nut butter, pepperoni for bananas, then sprinkle some chocolate chips and coconut flakes on top and you’ve got a pie that’s changed the pizza game entirely.
Photo: clean eating with a dirty mind
Parmesan Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes
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They may look like latkes but these crispy cakes from the Power Hungry food blog call for beans, onions, and cauliflower in lieu of starchy potatoes. Camilla, a food writer slash long-distance runner, even shares her simple tweaks to turn this gluten-free and/or vegan so anyone can enjoy her quinoa-cauli combo. (Can't get enough of the ancient grain? Check out these 10 New Ways to Eat Quinoa.)
Photo: power hungry
Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Hummus
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We’ve seen so many hummus-without-chickpeas recipes but none look so much like the real thing more than The Simple Kitchen’s roasted cauliflower and garlic version. Free of dairy, nuts, soy, and gluten, this simple dip is genuinely guilt-free and one that every eater can (and should!) enjoy. (When you feel like going back to chickpeas, check out these 13 Different Ways to Make Hummus.)
Photo: Chelsea Dinsmore
Fluffy Cauliflower Pancakes
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Nix the pre-made mix in favor of better-than-ever ingredients, including high-fiber cauliflower, for a guilt-free pancake breakfast that helps you get your five servings of vegetables in early! Amy Roskell of the Super Healthy Kids blog even discovered another cauliflower superpower: the ability to make your pancakes even fluffier.
Rethink your 'cakes (even if you've gone Paleo) with more Phenomenal Pancake Recipes worth getting out of bed for.
Photo: Amy Roskelley
Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets
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Cauliflower Rice Cake and Poor Man's X.O. Sauce
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Adapted from the traditional Cantonese luóbo gāo, Lady and Pups' chef calls her cauliflower-subbed version “a dish that will dim (touch) your sum (heart).” Taking advantage of the vegetable’s sweet flavors and soft-but-sturdy texture, this an incredibly unique and tasty main course that is well worth the time and ingredients it takes to make it.
Photo: Lady and Pups
Chocolate-Cauliflower Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
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When modifying an old recipe for chocolate banana cupcakes, Cindy Jamison of Hun…What’s For Dinner discovered that the cruciferous vegetable made a great substitute for the fruit—her taste-tasting children couldn’t even discern the cauliflower taste. The decadent white chocolate cream cheese frosting probably played a role too, but either way these Chocolate-Cauliflower Cupcakes are a surefire strategy for sneaking more veggies into your sweets without forsaking flavor.
Photo: Hun... What's for Dinner?