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Cauliflower is low-carb diet delight, from pizza crust to 'macaroni' and cheese

Get a recipe for low carb pizza.
Get a recipe for low carb pizza.
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

What are your favorite foods? Chocolate, steak and ice cream? Popcorn, doughnuts and French fries? When people ask me that question, I inevitably get double-takes and responses of "You're joking!" Why? Because one of my top treats is cauliflower. Read on to learn why cauliflower deserves a space on your list of favorites:

  • Cauliflower is a dieter's best friend: low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. One cup contains just 30 calories and offers three grams of fiber, 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, and other vitamins and minerals such as K, A, B and choline.
  • It's highly versatile, from sneaking into casseroles to cutting up and using in salads to add zing. Making macaroni and cheese? Steam cauliflower separately, then mash and mix with the melted cheese to encourage your family (and you!) to eat more vegetables. (Shhh, we won't tell if you don't tell!)
  • You can even use cauliflower as an alternative to mashed potatoes. Boil cauliflower, mash thoroughly and stir in a butter sprinkle seasoning, such as Butter Buds. It's also a clever alternative to pizza crust! Try this recipe for low-carb pizza crust, for example.
  • Ever had roasted cauliflower? Spray an olive-oil based cooking oil in a casserole dish. Cut cauliflower into sections, removing core and leaves. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and Italian herbs. Bake cauliflower at 375 degrees until soft. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and put back in the oven until cheese melts.
  • Are you fond of baking chicken with cut-up potatoes in the pan to absorb the juices? Swap out those starchy potatoes for cauliflower. Because the veggies absorb the chicken "juice," the flavor is similar - but the calories are slashed!
  • Soup for lunch makes a quick and easy meal. Make cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup; steam cauliflower, and pour the soup over the cauliflower. Serve for a filling meal that takes minimal time but can have even your "I don't like vegetables" child saying, "Mom, can I have some more?"
  • It's hard to argue with this incredibly flavorful version of cauliflower macaroni and cheese.