The Foodie Physician: Dining with the Doc: Cauliflower Cheesy Bread

Dining with the Doc: Cauliflower Cheesy Bread

Nutrient-packed cauliflower forms the base of this low-calorie, gluten-free bread that's topped with cheesy goodness.  It's the perfect guilt-free appetizer for the holidays!  



As 2014 comes to a close, it’s nice to take a moment to reflect on all of the events of the past year.  This month’s Recipe Redux theme is all about reflection.  Since the group has been around for 42 months, they decided to put out a fun challenge to finish up the year.  We had to pick a cookbook and create a healthier version of the recipe on either page 42 or 142. 


The recipe I’ve chosen to redux is “Cheese Bread from Genoa” or “Focaccia al Formaggio” from Mario Batali’s cookbook Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home.  There's a full page picture on page 42, so technically the recipe is on page 43.  Mario Batali is of course, a chef superstar with an endless knowledge of Italian cuisine.  In this book, he demystifies many traditionally elaborate Italian dishes, simplifying them for the home cook.






I love focaccia but I set out to make a lighter, more nutritious version.  You’ll probably be surprised to hear what I used as the base of my focaccia instead of flour.  The answer is… cauliflower!  Yes, the humble cauliflower is actually an extremely versatile vegetable.  It can be used in any number of ways and because of it’s mild flavor, it takes on the flavors of whatever you mix it with.  A member of the cruciferous vegetable group (like Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli), cauliflower is packed with powerful phytochemicals (plant-based compounds) and antioxidants that help prevent disease.  It also has an impressive array of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health including fiber, protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, potassium, manganese and choline.




I love grilling slices of cauliflower to make cauliflower “steaks” or roasting florets at high temperatures in the oven until they’re perfectly caramelized.  I also enjoy using it to make a delicious, smooth puree that I serve as a side dish or use as a base for Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.


You can also grind up cauliflower florets in a food processor and use it to make a healthy, low calorie, gluten-free dough.  Pretty cool, right?  In addition to substituting nutritious cauliflower for the refined flour in the original focaccia recipe, my Cauliflower Cheesy Bread also scales back on the large amounts of cheese and oil.  It has just the right amount of ooey, gooey cheesy goodness.  Serve it with marinara sauce for dipping and you have the perfect guilt-free appetizer for the holidays.  Thanks for the inspiration, Mario! 




Cauliflower Cheesy Bread
Makes 16 breadsticks


Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
1 large egg or 2 egg whites
1 cup shredded cheese (I used reduced fat Cheddar Jack), divided
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or mix of dried herbs (I used thyme, basil and parsley)
Salt and pepper
Marinara sauce for serving (optional)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut it into florets.  Place them in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped and looks like rice.




Transfer the cauliflower to a microwave-safe dish or bowl.  Cover and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.  Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket or bake it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes.  

When the cauliflower is cool, transfer it to a bowl lined with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth.  Bring the ends of the cloth together and squeeze as much liquid out of the cauliflower as you can.  I got about ½ cup liquid.  


Transfer the cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add the egg, Italian seasoning, ½ cup cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Mix to combine. 




Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Form the dough into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches and ¼-inch thick. 

Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes until cooked.  Remove the baking sheet and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.  Bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. 




Cut cheesy bread into 16 breadsticks.  Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.   




One breadstick: Calories 26; Fat 0.8g (Sat 0.4g); Protein 2.8g; Carb 2g; Fiber 0.8g; Sodium 58mg



Look below to see what the other Recipe Redux members did with this fun challenge.


50 comments :

  1. this is a brilliant idea but for some reason, my previous attempts with cauliflower crust pizza have been terrible and im just scared to try it anymore. i might have to give it a try again after looking at these...yummm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dixya! I think the key is to squeeze all of the liquid out of the cauliflower before forming the crust. The egg and cheese really help to hold it together. I hope you try it again! :)

      Delete
    2. Yes, definitely squeezing out all of the liquid is key!

      Delete
  2. I am seriously salivating over here! Love making cauliflower crust pizzas but never thought to make cheesy bread. Can't wait to make this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alanna! If you like cauliflower crust pizza, I think you'll love this!

      Delete
  3. i so love this recipe. i've yet to make anything along these lines with cauliflower and i'm totally intrigued! thanks for making this look so easy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gretchen, it really is easy! Enjoy :)

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful idea for healthy cheesy bread. Brilliant! Can't wait to give this a try.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been wanting to try making a cauliflower crust pizza, and this looks like an awesome way to leap into that realm. <3 It looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Farrah, you should definitely give it a go!

      Delete
  6. I'm going to have to make these- never thought of making cauliflower into a "flour"- great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love all things cauliflower! Such a fun veggie! (P.S. Mario is the man! Haha!)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow great idea! Looks super yummy too. Pinning, thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't tried the whole cauliflower crust thing yet, but now I absolutely have to! This looks amazingly delicious and not the least bit difficult. I'm inspired!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so easy Jessica! You should definitely give it a try. Thanks!

      Delete
  10. I love cauliflower! Definitely want to try this bread, looks so delicious! Pinning :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sonali, cauliflower is without a doubt my favourite vegetable and you've outdone yourself with this- Genius. I love making a crust but never thought to try it as a bread! Pinning, winning and making!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, your favorite veggie? In that case, you gotta give it a try! Thanks Arman!

      Delete
  12. I love Mario, I miss cable and watching him on FN. I make a cauliflower pizza crust that's yummy so I know I'll love this bread, perfect for dipping in warm marinara! oxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and connecting with me! This bread really is perfect for dipping!

      Delete
  13. I hear so much about cauliflower as a crust or base. Thanks for a recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It really is such an easy and healthy option.

      Delete
  14. This looks delicious! Thanks for the informative introduction about caulifower! I didn't know it could be used in crusts, how healthy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! It's a really great healthy gluten-free option.

      Delete
  15. I've been working to perfect my cauli-pizza crust for more than a year. You make it look so easy (and delicious)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adam, thanks so much for stopping by! Happy New Year!

      Delete
  16. Yuuum! This looks so delicious and appetizing. Cauliflower crust pizza is my MY FAVORITE! Can't wait to try! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anu! If you love cauliflower pizza, this is right up your alley!

      Delete
  17. Sonali, I LOVE this!!! I've been meaning to try cauliflower pizza crust for the longest time. . but I love this cauliflower cheesy bread even more!!!! love!

    ReplyDelete
  18. can I leave out or replace eggs? egg allergies. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can use a flaxseed replacement. Mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water- this is equivalent to 1 egg.

      Delete
  19. Made it today, quite yummy, just need to get 'used' to it! Very easy, so much water came out of the cooked cauli, I was amazed... on a side note, my dogs have been loving all the bits that have been flying off the bench!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you (and your dogs) liked it! Yes, it's amazing how much water comes out of the cauliflower. It's important to squeeze out as much water as possible so that the crust doesn't get soggy.

      Delete
  20. Made this tonight, sooooooo delicious! Had it as an accompaniment to my soup. Got a thumbs up from the kids too. Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, that's wonderful! Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know!

      Delete
  21. This looks so amazing! I've never made anything like this and can't wait to try it out. My daughter loves cauliflower - the one veggie I can always get her to eat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so interesting that cauliflower is the only veggie she'll eat! I hope you guys liked it :)

      Delete
  22. Made it last night and it was a hit with a houseful of boys...and the mom!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Sonali. I was searching for cauliflower recipes, and came across this one. Looks fantastic. Will be trying this later this evening. thanks so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh, this looks delicious! I don't have a food processor, though, so I plan to use store-bought riced cauliflower. Do you think I still need the full two pounds, or should I use a little less?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can use store-bought riced cauliflower! The two pounds of cauliflower in the recipe includes the weight of the leaves and stems that are discarded so if you're using riced cauliflower, I would use less. Maybe around 1 1/2 pounds or 24 ounces? You're going to have to play with it a little and adjust the amount as needed. Let me know how it goes!

      Delete

Print

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...