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Substituting with Cauliflower

Spend a lot of time trolling for new recipes on the Internet? So do we. In this feature, we find recipes, cook them, eat them, and then give you a quick write-up on what we thought. Yes, we’re doing the dirty work to help you avoid culinary disasters and reach cooking nirvana. Bon appétit! 

It’s funny how cauliflower, with it’s bland color and taste, has become a darling in the vegetable world over the past few years. Turns out this unassuming cruciferous veggie is extremely versatile, and is pretty darn tasty when prepared well! Over the past month cauliflower starred in two recipes I made, so I thought I’d share my opinions and ratings on them.


Golden Cauliflower “Risotto” from Sunset Magazine

Golden Cauliflower Risotto from Sunset Magazine

Description: A creamy, rich risotto that uses cauliflower rather than rice as the starch.

Difficulty: Easy. The only “difficult” part about this recipe is the mess the cauliflower makes. Otherwise, it’s a cinch.

Rating: B

Changes: I changed the fat content, as it seemed a little heavy. I cut all the fat in the recipe down by about a third; cut the butter and cream each down to 1/2 a cup, and the cheese down to 1.5 cups. I also omitted the truffle oil, simply because I didn’t want to purchase it. I also used regular white cauliflower, I didn’t want to drive around town trying to find golden cauliflower.

Notes: This recipe was really well received at the dinner party I served it at. For risotto, it was really light and didn’t sit too heavy. With that being said, the flavor was pretty mild, so I’d recommend pairing it with a very flavorful entree or side dish. We served it on the side of well seasoned beef and pork tenderloin, and butternut squash with caramelized onion.

If you want to try it on it’s own, as weird as this sounds I’d recommend a quick dash of soy sauce on top just to infuse a bit more flavor. It would also be delicious with some sauteed mushrooms thrown in.


“Fettuccinne Alfredo” from Women’s Health Magazine

Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo on

I couldn’t find this recipe ANYWHERE online, but it’s printed in February’s Women’s Health Magazine, out now. Here’s a pic of the recipe page.

Description: A healthy “Fettuccine Alfredo” that utilizes cauliflower and white beans to create a creamy sauce.

Difficulty: Easy

Rating: C+

Changes: I didn’t change anything in this dish (except having to use spaghetti rather than fettuccine noodles), but after tasting the final product, I did find the need for  bit more salt. That’s cracked up to personal preference though.

Notes: I wasn’t in love with this pasta at first bite, but the two men who ate it with me really enjoyed it (they’d probably give it B grade). Very light and healthy, this would be a good dish for someone trying to cut animal products and calories and add more veggies into their diet. Be warned if you have a hard time digesting cruciferous vegetables, this dish might cause some extra “air” in your system, if you know what I mean.

Also, don’t buy nutritional yeast if you’re only going to use it in this one recipe. It’s fine without it, although nutritional yeast is packed with, wait for it… nutrition, and can be used on top of salads, pasta, and soups.

One note about the sauce, it calls for a can of cannellini or white beans, but the recipe doesn’t say whether you should drain the beans, or keep the water in the can. Keep the water, just dump all of the contents of the entire can in the food processor. I didn’t, and had to add quite bit of extra veggie stock to thin the sauce out.

Author: Sarah

A self educated health enthusiast, I love geeking out on the latest information on healthy eating and exercise. Although this may happen while drinking a glass of wine...

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  • Timotao

    Yum. Yum yum yum. That’s all I got.

  • Sarah

    Glad you’re a fan of the cauliflower, Timotao. It is quite good for you!