Buh-bye bread. It’s been really nice knowing you, but I’m all about cauliflower bread now.
It’s not a decision I made lightly; my relationship with bread has always been strong. Even when zealots started proclaiming that all bread is bad for you, bread and I were still tight. But then this cauliflower bread came along and swept me off my feet.
It was easy to make, felt wholesome and comforting to eat, and it had this lovely savory flavor that made regular bread seem all of a sudden bland. I started thinking of the many ways I could use it — open-faced burgers, tartines, mini pizzas, for breakfast topped with a sunny side up egg — and I knew that toasty cauliflower bread would make each of those meals more interesting.
Try it and see if you agree. With egg and mozzarella cheese baked right in, cauliflower bread has just as much protein and fiber as most whole-wheat breads, but it has more flavor and far fewer carbs. The texture is dense, like a good loaf of artisanal bakery bread, yet it’s not heavy. And it’s satisfying! Ever finish a sandwich and wondered what you were going to eat next to feel full? Yeah, that won’t happen when you eat cauliflower bread.
Eating a single slice of this “bread” counts as a full serving of vegetables. Stuff some lettuce, tomato, and turkey between two slices, and even though it looks and feels like you’re chowing down on a sandwich, what you’re actually eating are three full servings of vegetables. For people who have a hate-hate relationship with veggies (you know who you are) cauliflower bread is an easy way to eat more of them without even noticing.
Turning a head of cauliflower into cauliflower toast is surprisingly easy, especially if you have a food processor. You might be tempted to skip the step where you squeeze the excess moisture from the cooked cauliflower (I was). But definitely do it. You’ll have more luck when it’s time to shape it into sandwich-sized toasts. I used a clean dish towel for this step, but you can also use cheesecloth or heavy duty paper towels (or even a clean t-shirt if you’re in college and need to get creative).
You can customize your cauliflower bread in so many ways (although some additions will affect the number of the calories). For a pizza flavor, add oregano, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Make it spicy with chopped jalapeños or a dash of cayenne pepper. Have a favorite semi-soft cheese like smoked gouda or Emmentaler? Swap it for the mozzarella. How about a combination of cheddar, chives, and a single piece of crumbled turkey bacon? And you can totally add chopped garlic or garlic powder.
- Cauliflower rice can now be found at many grocery stores. Check to see if yours carries it.
- Cheesecloth can be found in the kitchen tools section of most grocery stores.
Total Time: 45 min.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 25 min.
Yield: 4 servings, 1 piece each
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces (or 3 cups cauliflower rice)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
¼ tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
4 green onions, thinly sliced, reserve a small amount of the greens for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450º F.
2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
3. Place half of cauliflower in food processor; pulse until cauliflower is chopped into pieces about the size of rice. Repeat with the other half. Place in microwave-safe bowl.
4. Microwave cauliflower on high for 6 to 8 minutes, or until cooked.
5. Place cauliflower on cheesecloth, in small batches; squeeze dry. (If you do not have cheesecloth, use a heavy duty paper towel.) Do not skip this step, as cauliflower needs to be dry to make toast.
6. Combine cauliflower, egg, cheese, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well.
7. Place cauliflower mixture onto baking sheet in four even portions. Form into squares.
8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing from baking sheet.
• Cauliflower rice can now be found at your favorite grocery store. Check to see if they are carrying it.
• Cheesecloth can be found in most grocery stores (in the kitchen tool section).
If you have questions about the portions, please click here to post a nutrition question in our forums so our experts can help. Please include a link to the recipe.
Photographs by Kirsten Morningstar