I will admit it, I am a chronic grazer. I’d like to say that it’s the cold January air that’s making me do it, but the truth is that I’m just in an inexplicable permanent state of munchies. This is why I’ve started experimenting with healthier snack options, and Cauliflower Popcorn is one that I can say is both easy and fuss free.
Popcorn Cauliflower is just a fancy name for seasoned cauliflower thrown into a hot oven?! Seriously, that’s it.
I think the first time I heard about “popcorn” cauliflower I had imagined some fancy dehydrating process with some expensive vegan contraption. Well, I was wrong. The name comes from how the flowerettes look like popcorn when they come out of the oven. They do not feel or taste like popcorn. Let’s be completely honest and cut the crap, this vegetable will not miraculously turn into popcorn, but it can taste very good. It can be seasoned like popcorn, but the subtle bitterness and sweetness of the roasted cauliflower makes it a more flavourful snack.
Also, while this dish is not lower in calories, cauliflower is at least more nutritious and more filling than the butter and salt coated cardboard of a snack that is microwaved popcorn. It helps you snack less often, because as much as it is moreish, it is quite heavy to the stomach. I’m no nutritionist, but I will also guess (and share this article I found) that a cauliflower has many health benefits, including detoxifying your system.
Here’s the recipe.
- Half a head of Cauliflower
- 1-2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- For spicy variety: Paprika and Cayenne
- For cheesy variety: Parmesan cheese
- Break the cauliflower into flowerettes. I personally don’t mind eating the stems as well, and if you don’t either, you can cut them up into small pieces.
- Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on cauliflower and make sure that they are all lightly coated.
- Add in cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and toss to coat. (If you are going for the spicy variety, replace garlic powder with paprika and/or cayenne)
- Bake uncovered in 400° oven for 15-20 minutes. You are looking for slightly burnt ends but soft stems.
- For cheesy variety, sprinkle with cheese.
- Lemon cuts the smell of cauliflower while it is cooking and adds acidity to the dish. You can choose to omit this if you don’t mind the cauliflower smell while roasting.
- No oven? Cook in a non-stick pan on stove top covered on medium heat for a 2-3 minutes and then take off the lid and bring up the heat to crisp it up a little. Make sure that the flowerettes are touching the pan surface so that they can evenly cook.
- Great as a side dish or as a snack.
Try it and let me know what you think!