Spring is here; the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the days are getting longer. As the we transition from cold winter days to warmer spring weather, we probably also want to change how we eat. Hearty soups and stews, savory pies filled with vegetables, potatoes and gravy, and meaty veggie loafs did a great job of keeping our tummies full and warm in winter but in spring, we tend to look for meals that are lighter. What better vegetable to start planning your spring meals with than cauliflower?
Whether you like to keep your meals relatively healthy or whether you like comfort food, cauliflower is the vegetable to use. You can use it to create meat-free steaks and burgers and creamy, dairy-free sauces and soups that are light and delicious. Hello, you can even turn it into a delicious frozen treat, like in these Cauliflower Nice Cream Bowls. What’s not to love?
There’s little that our cauliflower can’t do and so we’re celebrating it with 10 recipes that are perfect for spring, featuring our favorite cruciferous veg.
1. Chopped Detox Salad
This Chopped Detox Salad combines everything delicious and crunchy that you’ll find in the produce section. This veggie salad is packed with chopped red cabbage, carrots, kale, nuts, and seeds, and, of course, plenty of cauliflower. The servings are huge and you’re left feeling satisfied, but not weighed down by heavy food. This is a must-try for your lunches.
2. Cauliflower Parsnip Coconut Curry
If rainy spring days have you in a funk and you need a little cheering up, maybe you can be tempted with this bowl of Cauliflower Parsnip Coconut Curry. It’s healthy, cozy, and wholesome packed with yummy veggies and warming spices. This is a sweet-tasting curry with cauliflower, sweet root vegetables, coconut milk, almonds, raisins, and spices.
3. Cauliflower Crust Pizza
This Cauliflower Crust Pizza is reminiscent of the traditional Italian dish while also providing a sneaky way to get veggies into your diet. The crust is soft and crumbly, and the herbs and toppings are light and fresh. Try this pizza the next time you desire a fun, vegetable-centric dinner.
4. Cauliflower Bean Burger With Horseradish Slaw
Have extra cauliflower florets lying around? How about a can of kidney beans or chickpeas that are occupying space in your cupboard? Then you should make this Cauliflower Bean Burger With Horseradish Slaw! All you need to do is mash the cauliflower florets and pulses together to form patties, sear them lightly on each side, and then get creative with burger condiments. Cabbage and carrot horseradish slaw adds a tangy creaminess to this burger, and can double as a side dish as well.
5. Cauliflower Alfredo
Dairy-free, low-fat alfredo sauce?! We want it now! This Cauliflower Alfredo is comfort food bliss. Rich, creamy, and full of flavor, it’s like a sophisticated mac and cheese. While many vegan Alfredo sauces rely on cashews to create that perfectly creamy texture, this sauce is made from a combination of cauliflower and potato, making it a lighter version that’s perfect for spring. Fresh onion and garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and various seasonings are added to give it a robust flavor. Serve this over whatever pasta you like, with fresh greens mixed in.
6. Cauliflower ‘Couscous’
Often mistaken for a grain, couscous is actually pasta made from small semolina seeds. This recipe for Cauliflower ‘Couscous‘ ditches the carbs by creating a couscous-like texture using cauliflower. Enjoy this as a side dish or a large entrée, and feel free to skip the baking part to cut the cooking time in half. Cauliflower is equally delicious served raw!
7. Creamy Thai Cauliflower Soup
We love soup any time of year and cauliflower is #1 on our list of veggies that we love in spring soups. When blended, it’s creamy, but not so dense that feels like too much in warmer weather. This Creamy Thai Cauliflower Soup is a simple blend of Thai curry paste, the zing of lime, balanced out with the tender creaminess of cauliflower and coconut milk. The cauliflower is roasted prior to being blended into the soup, a step that adds a delicious and smoky flavor to the overall experience. Serve this soup with a side salad or a side of bread.
8. Orange-Glazed Cauliflower Wrap
For a light but flavorful lunch, try this Asian-inspired Orange-Glazed Cauliflower Wrap. It’s made with delicious Chinese-cuisine inspired accents like sautéed bamboo shoots and orange glaze and is balanced out with baby spinach leaves and roasted cauliflower. Considering you can whip these wraps up in less than an hour, they’re a faster and healthier alternative to take-out.
9. Hemp and Pistachio-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks
In the winter, we love the veggie meatloaf made from lentils, nuts, and savory flavors that keep us feeling full, warm, and satisfied. In spring, we still love meaty recipes, but we want something a little lighter, like these Hemp and Pistachio-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks. Cauliflower’s thick and sturdy texture make them the perfect candidate for steaks. To make a steak with this vegetable, a large cauliflower head simply needs to be halved, and then laid down flat on a pan with some seasoning to roast. These cauliflower steaks also have a crunchy gluten-free “breading” made from hemp seeds and crushed pistachios.
10. Sticky Chipotle Cauliflower Wings
Cauliflower wings aren’t just for football season! These Sticky Chipotle Cauliflower Wings are too good to be true. They taste super indulgent, but considering the bulk of the snack is cauliflower, they’re actually relatively light. Enjoy the savory-sweet kick of these “wings” with some creamy vegan blue cheese.
We repeat, is there anything cauliflower can’t do? We’re still waiting on that answer so until then, you should try making these recipes.
Lead image source: Cauliflower Alfredo