Easy Ways to Ditch the Carbs (& replace it with Cauliflower)

Are you a sucker for pizza and pasta? In other words are you a carb enthusiast?! Us ladies, especially those of us in college with difficult classes and endless stress, can struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We often resort to the easiest and cheapest meals possible that may be hindering us from those summer bods. We are all guilty off it, but we can all make simple lifestyle changes that rid you of the undeniably delicious, but unnecessary carbs. The key to this lifestyle is cauliflower. It can be altered into many of your favorite foods including pizza, pasta, rice, or even wings. You can purchase these foods premade or if you’re feeling a little crafty, you can make them from scratch.

If you are short on time and would like to buy these carb replacements premade, Trader Joe’s is the place for you. They have frozen cauliflower gnocchi, which is my absolute favorite. I have found it is best when it is microwaved for about a minute to defrost them slightly, and then sautéed in some olive oil with herbs. You can top these with sauces such as pesto or red sauce, or more specific recommendations such as the truffle Alfredo or vodka tomato sauce from Trader Joe’s. If you follow these steps, you will find yourself with a delicious “pasta” dish leaving you not feeling bloated, but full, refreshed, and satisfied. Trader Joe’s also has other amazing meals including cauliflower pizza crust, rice, mashed potatoes, and even pancakes.

If you do have a little extra time, here are some easy ways to create new recipes from scratch. Some of my favorites include buffalo cauliflower wings, cauliflower garlic bread, and teriyaki tempura. All three of these recipes require the same base of breaded cauliflower and then adding the sauce or mixture afterwards. For the base of all three, you can follow these steps: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets, and then coat them in a mixture of flour, water, and spices of your choosing. I typically infuse paprika, pepper, and garlic salt into the mixture. Give each floret a nice coating, and I have found that the bites turn out best when the mixture is thicker paste, rather than a liquid. Pop these into the oven (with a well greased pan and tin foil to avoid sticking) for 15 minutes. In the meantime, you can create your sauce.

There are three sauces that I typically use for my cauliflower bites: buffalo, cheesy garlic, and teriyaki. The first two I make from scratch but the teriyaki, I buy already-made from the grocery store. To create a yummy buffalo sauce, I mix barbecue sauce, melted butter, hot sauce, and a little touch of honey. The ratios may vary depending on how spicy/sweet you would like your mixture. For the cheesy garlic sauce, I mix melted butter, salt, garlic paste, grated parmesan cheese, and other herbs including parsley, oregano, and pepper.

Once your bites have baked in the oven for 15 minutes, take them out and coat them in your new sauce. Reduce your temperature, to 350 degrees, and place them back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, checking on them every so often, and should have a slight crunch when finished. They can serve as a wonderful appetizer, a side dish for your favorite meal, or even as a snack when getting home from class. Cauliflower bites are a great way to cut back on carbs while maintaining some flavor in your life. There are many ways to make healthy food appealing, so get creative!