Roasted Cauliflower: So good even my kid will eat it

September 7, 2020

I love veggies.  It’s a running joke in our house that Mommy loves all things vegetable and Daddy does not.  Which in some ways is ironic because he owns a fitness business and is our resident health guru.  Over the years he has certainly expanded his flavor palette and in the very least will eat them as a teaching tool to get the girls to take a “no thank you bite,” after they have turned up their nose at the latest garden item that is taking up precious real estate on their dinner plates.  

Here’s what is funny.  My middle daughter who in a lot of ways is the most like my hubby loves vegetables.  Over the years I have had to pull many a green bean out of her throat because she ate them too fast.  She will also sit down and eat an entire pepper, peeled carrot, or cucumber in one sitting.  My littlest, wanting to be like her sister, has also taken to eating giant carrots and fresh peppers.  They definitely prefer raw to cooked and I’ve learned my lesson that plain is preferred. My oldest is coming around.  As a baby, she loved veggies and then went through a phase in which she declared they all were gross.  In recent years she has circled back and albeit it takes a bit of gentle reminding, she will eventually eat the cold peas that have been relegated to the far side of her plate.   

So finding a crowd-pleasing-cooked-vegetable is no small task in our house.  Depending on how much effort I want to put into the veggie side dish will usually be determined by my inner strength in the moment.  Some days my skin is thick and trying a new recipe sounds like a fun idea and other nights I warm frozen peas and call it a night.  Last weekend was one in which I was feeling good and thought I’d take on the vegetable that gets a major groan from everyone in my household: cauliflower.  For some reason, this veggie conjures up every response from complaints to tears.  But I love it.  

A couple of years ago, when I was on my Paleo kick, I discovered riced cauliflower.  Let me just say, it is delicious.  You can now buy cauliflower already in riced form or I like to use a food processor to chop it into tiny, rice-size pieces.  I love to add a bit of olive oil to a hot pan, add the cauliflower, a sprinkling of sea salt, and voila a quick rice side dish substitute.  Yum!

Departing from my riced cauliflower, I thought I’d try something new.  I love roasted sweet potatoes and thought I’d roast the cauliflower and see what happens.  

My roasted cauliflower was SO good, even my pickiest oldest daughter tried it and actually liked it.  Now if that’s not a mom win, I don’t know what is!  I made it two ways because she doesn’t like spice and the chili lime version I made for myself was equally delicious.  It was so good that I even bought a giant Costco-sized cauliflower this week just so I could make it again. I can’t wait!

Want to give it a try? If you do, please comment below! I’d love to hear what you and your family thought!

Here’s what you need

1 head of cauliflower

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt 

Cookie sheet 

Parchment paper (I love these ones because they are precut & the measurements are really helpful when we’re baking cookies!)

Large mixing bowl (the handle on this one makes stirring all things really easy!) & spoon (I can’t get enough of these cute silicone spoons!)

Spatula (I find it easier to use a large one like this)

*To kick it up a notch:

Chili lime seasoning (I love the one from Trader Joe’s!)

Fresh lime juice 

Here’s what you do

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place parchment paper on the cookie sheet.  This makes for easy clean up too!

Wash cauliflower thoroughly and chop into smaller pieces.

Place chopped cauliflower in the mixing bowl and drizzle olive oil.  I start with about a tablespoon and add more if necessary.  The goal is to coat the cauliflower without a lot of excess.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  I start with a pinch.  Feel free to add more to taste and give it a good stir.  If you want to add a little spice, then sprinkle the chili lime seasoning and a squeeze of lime juice and stir.

Pour cauliflower on the parchment-lined pan and evenly distribute.  If you have a large amount, it is worth using a second pan so everything roasts evenly and doesn’t get soggy.  

Roast for approximately 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.  I like mine with a bit of brown char, so I will cook it a couple of minutes longer.

And that’s it! Enjoy!  

I love this as a side dish alongside fish or steak and a green salad.  With the leftovers, I like to chop it up and add it to quinoa or brown rice with a bit of cilantro, kidney beans, and red onion. Then I drizzle a bit more lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt. So yummy!

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