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Ten weeks to plant-powered eating – Week 7

Last Modified: February 14, 2022

Nutrition & Recipes, Heart Health


This series was written and created by Sarah Mohrman, RDN, LD, MA, dietitian, program coordinator, PPG – Cardiology.

Week 6 was all about ditching dairy and finding some plant-forward alternatives. For this week’s challenge, we’re going to let cauliflower – perhaps the most versatile vegetable of all – take center stage with a handful of cauli-powered recipes sure to impress.

Clap it up for cauliflower!

Cauliflower, the white cruciferous veggie that has always lived in the shadows of its perhaps more popular flowered counterpart, broccoli, is enjoying its moment in the sun. As it should! Cauliflower can be transformed as a nondairy cream sauce for a soup or pasta, used as a low carbohydrate alternative to rice, air fried as a substitute for your favorite chicken dishes, sliced and grilled as steak, mashed into creamy, low carb faux mashed potatoes and so much more. Not to mention, simple steamed or roasted cauliflower makes a superb side dish or addition to any bowl or pasta. 

Not convinced? Give one (or all) of these recipes a try and report back!

Recipes to try

Air Fryer Bang Bang Cauliflower Tacos


1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
¾ cup flour whole wheat flour
3 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
5 tablespoon sriracha separated
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup water
panko breadcrumbs
½ cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoon rice vinegar


1 cup purple cabbage shredded
1 cup green cabbage shredded
Juice of 1 lime
2 avocados sliced
8 corn tortillas
Everything but the Bagel seasoning
cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha, for serving

1. Combine the flour, corn starch, pepper, 1 tablespoon sriracha, non-dairy milk and water in a bowl. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, spread out some panko.

2. Dredge cauliflower in the wet mixture, allowing the excess to drip off. Place in the panko and coat on all sides. Add the finished floret to air fryer and repeat with remaining cauliflower. Cook on 375, tossing occasionally for approximately 10 minutes.

3. While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the slaw. Combine the cabbage and lime juice in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

4. Also prepare the sauce by combining the vegan mayo, rice vinegar and remaining sriracha (you can use 2-4 tablespoon depending on your spice preference) in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

5. Remove the cauliflower from the air fryer and use a fork to dip the florets in the sauce.  Place the florets back in the air fryer. Bake in the oven for another 3-5 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven and top with Everything but the Bagel Seasoning.

6. Heat the tortillas over an open flame or in a skillet and assemble the tacos. Layer tortillas with the slaw, cauliflower, avocado, cilantro and sriracha. Serve with lime wedges.

Makes 8 tacos

Nutrition (one taco): 288 calories, 14g fat, 1g saturated fat, 315mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 6g protein.

Adapted from a recipe featured on This Savory Vegan.


Buffalo Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Buffalo Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
¼ cup buffalo wing sauce

Cheese sauce

½ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 – 4 hours (or overnight)
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 ½ cups dry chickpea pasta (9 oz dry)
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup panko whole wheat breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower in buffalo sauce and scatter on the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes. Optional: You can use an air fryer to cook the cauliflower as well.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

3. To make cheese sauce, drain cashews and add to high-speed blender with water, nutritional yeast and hot sauce. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

4. Add 2 tablespoons of water to a pan on medium-high heat and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the cheese sauce and cook for 2 – 3 minutes while mixing. Add the macaroni and mix together until combined, about 2 minutes. Season with pepper, if needed. Layer the macaroni cheese mixture with the buffalo cauliflower on top in a baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and place in the oven on broil for about 1 minute.

5. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.

Makes 5 servings

Nutrition per serving: 326 calories, 10g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 491mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 18g protein.


Creamy Cauliflower Wild Rice Soup

1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
4 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
½ teaspoon dried thyme or more to taste
½ teaspoon dried rosemary or more to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 ½ cups filtered water
2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for two hours (unless using a high-speed blender)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile (about halfway through cooking the rice), bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 7 - 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.

3. While the cauliflower boils, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and rosemary. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute, or until it begins to soften.

4. Stir in the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, add the boiled cauliflower to a high-speed blender along with the filtered water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high for two minutes, or until completely smooth and creamy.

6. Add the cauliflower cream mixture and the cooked rice to the pot of soup and stir to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for just 5 minutes. Serve warm.

7. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Makes 8 servings

Amount per serving (1 cup): 193 calories, total fat: 6gm, saturated fat: 1gm, cholesterol 0mg, sodium: 109mg, total carbohydrates: 28gm, dietary fiber: 4gm, protein: 7gm


Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups cooked cauliflower rice
2 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 red onion, sliced
1 bunch kale, destemmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons low sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup garlic hummus
¼ cup water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Place cauliflower florets, kale and broccoli in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes to the bowl and “massage” the kale and toss with other vegetables.

3. Spread the vegetables out onto a baking sheet. If there is enough room, add the onion and mushrooms or add to a second cookie sheet.

4. Roast the vegetables for 10 -12 minutes or until kale is starting to get crunchy and cauliflower is starting to brown.

5. Meanwhile, add vegetable broth to a skillet and warm.

6. Add the quartered Brussels sprouts to the skillet. Drizzle with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Allow to brown and then toss. Close to the end of the cooking process, drizzle 1 tablespoon honey over Brussels sprouts.

7. In a small bowl, thin out the ½ cup hummus with ¼ cup of water to make a dressing-type consistency. 

8. To shallow bowls, add ½ cup of rice. Top with a healthy mix of roasted vegetables and Brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds. Drizzle with the thin hummus. 

Serves 4

Nutrition per bowl: 306 calories, 11g fat, 1g saturated fat, 477mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate, 13g fiber, 15g protein

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