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Cheesy Cauliflower Dippers
I'm going to admit something. I don't like raw cauliflower. Over the years there are a variety of foods that I have convinced myself to like and now I love them! Raw cauliflower is not one of those. But I do LOVE cooked cauliflower. So apparently there is a cauliflower crazy going on. My husband is trying to drop a few pounds and so has been talking to one of his friends who recently has lost a lot of weight. His secret?? Cauliflower! Every night he would steam a head of cauliflower and then blend it with cottage cheese to make a cauliflower mash. That was his dinner. Of course my husband jumped on the bandwagon and our house smelled of cauliflower for a few weeks. Which by the way is one of the stinkiest smells. Those cruciferous veggies just get to you. In fact, when I was making this recipe, I was only on the first few steps - so chopping the cauliflower, and my 4 year old from the other room said 'Mom - what is that stinky smell??'. Ha. The good thing about this recipe is that it may start out with the traditional cauliflower smell, but end ups making your kitchen smell just like an Italian restaurant. My 2 year old woke up from her nap when it was baking in the oven and said 'Mom I want pizza!'.
The great thing about this recipe is you get the flavor of a bread stick, with the added nutrition of cauliflower. Not to mention WAY less calories. In fact, an entire head of cauliflower has about 145 calories. You will probably want to double this recipe because these dippers will be gone in a flash. They really are that good. Now don't get me wrong, you can tell it isn't bread, but the flavor is so good you won't mind that. My kids certainly didn't.
You begin by rinsing a head of cauliflower and roughly chopping.
In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it is chopped into very fine pieces.
Next, heat about 1 inch of water in a pot until it boils. Then place the cauliflower mixture in the water and steam for about 4-5 minutes. Cover with a lid, but watch it close because it can boil over quickly. Don't ask me how I know this........ Once the cauliflower is steamed, place in a fine mesh strainer. If you put in a regular colander it will run through the holes. Squish as much water out of it as you can with a large spoon.
When you have squeezed as much water out of the cauliflower as you can, place in a clean dry towel. Squeeze in extra water out. Be careful because HOT water will come out! This step is important because it helps your 'crust' to get crunchy.
Next combine the cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl (Use only 1/2 the mozzarella and none of the Parmesan - that is to go on top) Mix well.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Then spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper and form a 'loaf' with your hands. This recipe makes enough to form a square about 8 1/2'' x 11''.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until it is golden brown and the crust is set. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Place in the oven for 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remove and slice. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
Perfect for a snack, appetizer, or even for lunch!
Cheesy Cauliflower Dippers
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided in half
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
- Wash and clean the cauliflower and cut it into chunks. Make sure you remove the core.
- Place the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse it until it’s a “rice” consistency
- In a large saucepan, heat one inch of water until it boils. Add in the cauliflower, cover with a lid, and allow it to steam for 4-5 minutes. Watch it close so that it doesn't boil over!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the cauliflower. Allow it to cool for a few minutes, then place the cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze as hard as you can to remove any excess water.
- Once the cauliflower rice is drained really well, place it into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 egg slightly beaten, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt. Stir the mixture well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Spoon the cauliflower mixture onto the pan and use your hands to form it into a 8 1/2 x 11 inch rectangle.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes, or even longer until the crust is golden brown and firm.
- Remove the crust from the oven and top the crust with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Cut into “breadsticks” and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping. Makes about 10 breadsticks. This recipe could easily be doubled.