Humble vegetable? Not anymore.
Cauliflower settled for being the picked-over pile in the veggie platter for years, but that’s changed recently. (Cauliflower … #sohotrightnow). Home cooks (i.e. kitchen geniuses) have revolutionized how Americans see the white veggie, transforming cauliflower from a raw crudite to creamy and garlicky pasta sauce, spicy taco fillings, and more.
If you’re looking to include a healthy option (or five) at your upcoming get-together—whether it’s for the Super Bowl or the Oscars—these remixes on classic game-day finger foods will do the trick. By swapping out the flour, potatoes, or meat with cauliflower, you cut down on calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.
Let’s zoom in on the fine print. Two chicken wings contain around 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 0 grams of fiber. Compare that to one cup of chopped cauliflower, which has about 25 calories, almost 0 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber. And you sneak in a serving of veggies without even trying.) Translation: You’ll go home a winner, even if your favorite team didn’t even make it past the first round of playoffs.
Here are all the ways you can healthify your favorite game day foods with cauliflower.
Cauliflower wings. You’ll be shocked at how addicting these bites are. After all, the best part of wings is the sauce, right? Check out these baked buffalo cauliflower wings by Gimme Delicious.
Cauliflower breadsticks. Whoever figured out how to turn cauliflower into a bread deserves a federal holiday named after them. Skip the refined flour and dip these veggie-based breadsticks (cheesy or not) in your favorite marinara. (Try this recipe for cheesy cauliflower breadsticks from Jo Cooks.)
Cauliflower twice-baked potatoes. Swap out some of the inside taters with pureed cauliflower for a lighter, low-carb loaded potato skin. Check out these cauliflower twice-baked potatoes courtesy of Minimalist Baker.
Cauliflower tots. Skip the potato altogether and make everyone’s favorite cafeteria side dish. Potatoes have many nutritional benefits, but cauliflower contains a wide variety of micronutrients and is less starchy, which the American Diabetes Association recommends for blood sugar management. (Here are other non-starchy vegetables to include in your diet.)
Cauliflower rice. You can use this faux rice in a variety of dishes, like sushi, burrito bowls, fried rice, paella, and more. (Here are more veggies you can “rice” for your favorite dishes.)
Cauliflower pizza crust. Why stop at breadsticks? No Super Bowl party is complete without pizza, and this low-carb crust will win hearts. (No, really, your hearts will thank you for this.) Learn how to make cauliflower pizza crust here.
Cauliflower-based dips. Many dips, like the classic spinach and artichoke, tend to be loaded with mayo, cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, or cheese. Cut down on some or all of that saturated fat by using pureed cauliflower as a base instead. Try this lightened-up spinach and artichoke dip made with cauliflower by Mariah's Pleasing Plates.
Cauliflower, raw. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2908.)
Chicken wings. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/156638.)
Non-starchy vegetables. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2017. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/non-starchy-vegetables.html.)