Meatless Monday – Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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If you are looking for a dramatic (and delicious) non-meat entre, I have a goodie for you to try this holiday season.  You have probably roasted cauliflower florets before, or maybe you have even made cauliflower ‘steaks’, but what about roasting the whole darn thing? I have seen photos of cauliflower cooked this way but have never tried it until now. All I can say is ‘What was I waiting for?’

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I have called cauliflower a vegetable chameleon before because it is so adaptable and a great substitute for many less healthy ingredients, so I decided to take it a step further and prepare it like a ‘meat’ for roasting. I removed the stem and leaves, brushed the outer head with a thick spicy sauce made with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cayenne pepper and then roasted in a hot oven for almost an hour.  The sauce becomes a spicy and yummy crust and the interior is creamy goodness.  I served it in wedges. Yum!

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Can cauliflower really serve as a main course and not just a side dish?  It’s just a white veggie, so how can it have enough nutrients to be the star of the show?  Well, in comparison it’s not going to have as much protein as a steak but it’s also not going to have all the fat and calories either.  Cauliflower has a surprising number of nutrients for something so pale and unassuming.  One cup cooked = 2.28 grams of protein. Cauliflower is also a good source of fiber, phytonutrients and omega 3 fatty acids, plus vitamin C, a host of B vitamins and minerals (manganese, phosphorus and potassium). Cauliflower is known to help in fighting cancer and preventing cardiovascular disease.  I’m pretty sure that meat can’t make those ‘health’ claims. Just sayin’.

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TIPS:  For an even more colorful display, try using yellow, purple or green cauliflower. This is a fairly spicy and flavorful coating which can be toned down by reducing the amount of cayenne pepper and/or chili powder.  Or you could add a half cup of plain yogurt (any kind) into the spice mix.  I have made it both ways (with and without yogurt) and it looks pretty much the same either way but the yogurt makes the end result a little more mild.

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SPICE CRUSTED WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsn olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsn chili powder
1 Tbsn cumin
4-5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 Tbsn garlic powder)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

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  • Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking dish with vegetable oil. Set aside. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem and place on prepared baking dish.

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  • In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients

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  • Using a pastry brush, evenly spread the marinade to cover the entire surface of the cauliflower.

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  •  Roast about 45 minutes. Check for doneness (it should be easily pierced with a sharp knife).  Cook for another 15 miinutes, if necessary.

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  • For a pretty presentation, move to a serving platter.  Cut into wedges and serve warm.

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Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 60-75 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

20151019_193128 

1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsn olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsn chili powder
1 Tbsn cumin
4-5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 Tbsn garlic powder)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

  • Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking dish with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem and place on prepared baking dish..
  • In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients
  • Using a pastry brush, evenly spread the marinade to cover the entire surface of the cauliflower.
  • Roast about 45 minutes. Check for doneness (it should be easily pierced with a sharp knife).  Cook for another 15 miinutes, if necessary.
  • Cut into wedges and serve warm.

 

6 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Yum! Roasted cauliflower is delicious; it’s a great, blank palette for whatever flavour(s) that take your fancy. We love your spice blend btw. lol yes, it’s been a bad day in the media for meats; certainly not cancer fighting! 🙂

    Like

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