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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Don't like cauliflower? Have you ever roasted it?

I saw this new way to do cauliflower and thought we'd give it a whirl. We don't usually eat the stuff, because the boring way I steam it is just, well, boring and bleh. Anyhow, the girls and I threw some cauliflower florets, seedless black grapes, and thick slices of red onion on a roasting pan. Then we drizzled everything with olive oil and sprinkled on lots of kosher salt (which seems like normal salt to me, but whatever).


We roasted it at 425 for about 30 minutes (check it every 10 minutes and shake the pan to stir everything up). It's done when the cauliflower starts to look a little caramelized. DSC_1963LR

I thought it tasted heavenly. Great flavor, good textures, and the grapes gave it such fun little bursts of flavor. Yum! TubaDad liked it too, and he's usually very lukewarm on cauliflower. The girls didn't like it at all, but to be honest they don't like any vegetables right not, which is a little distressing to me because they used to love all vegetables. The only veggies they'll willingly eat right now are steamed broccoli with ranch dip, frozen peas and frozen corn (served frozen), sliced raw cucumber, plain steamed green beans, and baby carrots. That's about it. Which is kind of a bummer. Anyhow, I'm hoping it's just a phase, and still serve a variety of vegetables whenever I can (which is not often enough, I'm not going to lie) and tell them they at least have to eat a little each time. If you have any vegetable recipes that your kids will actually eat, please share.

(Printable recipe)


  1. going to give this a try this wknd for sure, yummy. Adia love butternut, we made it a little different the other day, we cubed butternut, sweet potato, & drizzled it with olive oil and baked it, it was yummy

  2. In my book the only way to cook vegetable is to roast them....it brings out the natural sugars & makes them take wonderful.
    I make a medley of root vegetables - potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, green or red peppers, & believe it or not radishes! Cut everything in approx 1" pieces drizzle with olive oil, salt pepper & thyme leaves. Roast at 400 & keep turning them over until they are cooked through.

    Another favorite is asparagus, just break off the woody part at the end & drizzle with olive oil & lemon juice, sprinkle with pepper. Roast for about 20 mins.
    In the summer I just makes foil packets of mixed vegies drizzle with oil & throw them on the outside grill.........even better cus there's no clean-up involved

  3. This looks wonderful and I don't normally like cauliflower. We will have to give it a try!

  4. I'm impressed that they eat that many. My five year old daughter eats:

    Cooked Carrots

    AND THAT's IT! The rest has to have colorful artificial flavors and colors to catch her fancy.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. We roast brussel sprouts. A little salt and pepper and drizzle with melted butter. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. They get nice and crunchy and really delicious.

  7. If you chop up cauliflower into really small pieces and put it in rice - you can hardly see it - wink wink.

  8. That sounds really, really good! But none of my guys will eat it... sigh.

    Your kids eat more vegetables on a bad day than my kid has eaten since he transitioned from baby foods to table food! Need to work on that... lets just add it to my ongoing list :-)

  9. Hide the veggies in other foods... when my twins were little and my son for that part they did not like veggies... I would put carrots and other veggies in the food processor and then add them to meatloaf, hamburgers, soups... they never knew they were eating them. :)

  10. That looks totally delish!! But then, I have always been a big fan of cooked cauliflower.

    I think you may have me beat in the vegetable department. I have one girl who has refused to eat fruit (except olives) or vegetables for years. She is now 6 (and apparently healthy) and is just starting to come around. The first vegetable that she admits to liking was a dill pickle (she routinely begs for these now) and this past month, she has become hooked on corn on the cob. And she has started liking raisins again. I am so thrilled with the progress.

    Who knows? Someday, she may even try cauliflower.

  11. What about sweet potato "french fries"? Cut up sweet potatoes into fry like slices and put them on a roasting pan or cookie sheet and bake them just like normal french fries. I've never done it, but know they serve it in place of fries on the kids menu at several restaurants we frequent. My 10 month old will do anything for sweet potatoes (the baby food variety) so we'll try this one on him in the future too. :)

  12. Wonderful! I've been trying to eat cauliflower for years...I must try this. My two veggie wins this year: butternut squash mashed with brown sugar and topped with a bit of cinnamon; asparagus with the ends broken off, peeled (ever so gently), roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Otherwise, my girls would eat frozen corn and peas (yep..they do the frozen eating too), every single day.

  13. Cauliflower mash. Steam one. When soft, put it in food processor, add double cream and buter (no subs!), salt and pepper to taste and blend. Honestly its delicious. More cream if too thick etc..

    I used to hate cauliflower but absolutely adore this. Kids too...

    My two adore alot of veg but recently have taken to green bean races..who can get a whole one down first. Great trick to get them to eat!

  14. Anonymous3/03/2010

    for a while my kiddo would only eat a short list of veggies (broc., peas, green beans, corn, carrot, & mushrm.). But soon after she turned 5 (late last year) she was game to the "one bite policy". She had to eat at least one bite before she could declare it off her list. We've been pretty fortunate that it's opened her palette up to asparagus, sauteed kale, chard, cauliflower, Chinese broc., cucumbers, lettuce, celery. It also helped if I made something with a little gravy or savory glaze and drizzled a little over the veggies. And I wouldn't be surprised if "Yo Gabba Gabba" helped a little too ("There's a party in my tummy" and "Try it, you'll like it").

  15. Anonymous3/03/2010

    Puree and tuck into burgers, spaghetti, etc.

  16. This sounds SO YUMMY! I can't wait to try it! I think I'll make it for dinner tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!

    And try not to worry too much. It sounds like your girls eat more veggies then most kids their age do. And I'm sure they'll start eating more of them again soon. AJ has been in a bit of any anti veggie mood lately too.


  17. The ten year old I nanny for eats.... wait for it....

    Green beans.

    Really, that's it for vegetables.


  18. Anonymous3/03/2010

    Here's another great cauliflower receipe - Cauliflower Mash - steam the cauliflower - then put it in your food processor with butter, cream and cheese (any cheese will do but we use munster or parm.) whip it until it's the same texture like mashed potatoes! It doesn't work as well with a hand mixer so don't even try! You'd swear you're eating mashed potatoes! My 6 year old twins love it...and won't touch cauliflower any other way...good luck .
    in MA

  19. I roast almost all veggies, it makes them so yummy. One that Maisie really likes is roasted parsnip "fries." Peel & cut the parsnips into pointer finger sized "fries" then toss in a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder. Roast at 450, checking and turning as the different sides get crispy & browned. Cook until the fries are tender on the inside and crispy outside. I tell Maisie that they're fries and I serve it with ketchup or ranch dip and she devours them.

    Another of Maisie's favorites is cauli-rice. Take a full head of washed and fully dried cauliflower and grate it either on a box grater or using a grater blade on your food processor. Place the grated cauliflower in a dry glass Pyrex and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Nuke for about 7 minutes, remove plastic wrap and fluff the rice. Add butter, salt & pepper if desired. I often use it as I would rice under chili, curry or anything with a sauce. Maisie still doesn't know that it's not rice and Eammon didn't know for months and that wasn't until I told him!

  20. I thought my kid was t he only one who actually ate frozen peas and corn served frozen. So glad to know I am not alone. Thanks for the yummy recipe - we'll have to give it a try.

  21. Anonymous3/03/2010

    We bought lettuce knives and have the kids cut the veggies. They will at least try anything they help prepare. My hubby made grilled cabbage the other day and it was good. He found the recipe at allrecipes.com that is a great site if you haven't discovered it yet. Make sure to read the reviews for tips on what worked and how to improve each recipe.

  22. YUMMM... this sounds good!! Roasting veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little garlic is SO GOOD!! I love asparagus done this way. Also Eggplant, Zucchini and Squash!!

    Sarah is a big ranch fan too..... she has to dip her carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers in it, or she won't eat them. I can also get her to eat cooked broccoli if it has cheese on it:)

    I will be trying this veggie combo for sure. Thanks for sharing!


  23. Anonymous3/03/2010

    That looks delicious! I may have to try. Tess doesn't like any veggie except peas. So she eats that every night. I get some other veggie servings in her through "Vruit" juice - apple carrot or berry veggie. Good luck!

  24. THAT looks yummy!! You had me at "grapes..." What a fun addition!

    We do the "cauliflower mash" as well, but I call it "Fauxtatoes." I sautee a little garlic and onion in olive oil while the cauliflower is steaming and add that to the food processor. I also add a spoonful of lowfat sour cream for added "real potato flavor."

    A couple of tricks to add flavor to roasted asparagus - add a touch of sugar with the salt before roasting OR top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese the last 2 minutes of roasting. Piper loves the cheese version but isn't too keen on the sugar option.

  25. Those are the "only" veggies they will eat? Are you kidding me? I'd kill to have my kids eat off that list. We are down to broccoli for one, green beans for another, and peas for the third. One veggie each. It's killing me. (Oh, wait, I lie... the two boys will also eat about three pieces of lettuce from a salad at a sitting). So, yeah, I'd give anything for Ro and Ree's variety. ;-)

  26. Martina never liked sweet potatoes as a baby, but she's developed such a taste for cinnamon and brown sugar and butter, so now she'll eat a baked sweet potato right up if it's doctored up.

    I also noticed that adding about a quarter cup of pureed sweet potato to taco meat made her like the taco meat even MORE. And I did this before she liked sweet potatoes. She's never known.

  27. Anonymous3/03/2010

    Our kids love Panera's cheesy broccoli soup sold at Costco, any veggies with cheese sauce, veggies with cheese sauce and pasta, fried zucchini sticks, fried mushrooms, tempura veggies, spinach inside tortellini/ravioli/lasagna/stuffed shells (they had a great time helping us stuff them), mashed cauliflower (like mashed potatoes) and cheese, veggies diced finely and hidden in meatloaf, potpies with veggies. Good luck!

  28. Anonymous3/03/2010

    Veggie dumplings, carrot cake, zucchini bread, spinach quiche, spinach pizza

  29. http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/archives/2010/01/hello_week_hell.php

    I don't know if you read Crazy Aunt Purl, but I love her. And I love her even more for her roasted cauliflower recipe. I think I may need to try yours as well, since it sounds so yummy (I'm addicted to red onion). The address above links you to her entry with the recipe. Enjoy!

  30. My daughter is pretty picky about her vegetables, but she will try anything once. Our latest successes have been:
    smoothies with a couple handfuls of spinach thrown in, roasted sweet potato slices, kale chips (sounds disgusting, but they're yummy! http://www.katheats.com/?page_id=2544, and MckMama's spinach pancakes (oh so fluffy and sweet! http://www.mycharmingkids.net/2009/06/ss-have-it.html).

  31. Yeah, they eat lots of veggies, good for them. We found the best way to eat more vegetables - take in another child for daycare. When you have to provide a written report to someone else's parent it forces you to get very healthy with your meals...

  32. I love roasted cauliflower....and your version with the grapes and onions looks VERY good. Who would have thought to roast grapes?

    Sadly, Maya's veggie intake is quite pathetic. Let's just say that I keep a LOT of baby carrots on hand. Everything else is hit/miss for her.

  33. I saw a recipe just last night that I am going to try, roasting Cauliflower with Sweet potatoes and S&P.
    Krista D

  34. Hi M3,

    The only way I like cauliflower is roasted the way you did. Sometimes with a bit of garlic and a good squeeze of lemon and salt.

    Btw, I don't know if you know this blog:


    It's a beautiful blog of a british mum trying to find a creative way to help her son to overcome his veggie phobia. I know it's not the case of your girls, but it woth a visit. It's a great heartwarming read and there're some nice recipes there too. I've tried many of them. Peas pesto pasta is a favourite!

    And just in case you'd like some more activities ideas, may I suggest you one more link, from Loobylu:


    Sadly it's hasn't been updated but there're lots of nice things to try.

  35. I use to fry cauliflower in pan covered with flour and eggs, but never roast it, I will try your way.
    cuisinart food processor dlc

  36. I roast everything- butternut squash, asparagus, cauliflower, potatos, sweet potato, parsnips, they all taste great roasted and the girls like them that way (well, most days they do)

  37. Gosh, that looks delicious! Oh man, I love veggies. All veggies!

    My kids won't eat any of them though. So I buy the freshest ones I can find (depending on season) and put them through my Breville Juicer. Then I add the nutritious nectar to everything they will eat. I try to match the color so they don't notice the addition.

    My favorite is fresh red bell pepper and baby spinach juice mixed into pasta sauce. It is so yummy!

    Leftover juice can be frozen in ice cube trays then transferred to zip loc freezer baggies.

    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  38. Anonymous3/04/2010

    My 20 month old daughter eats broccoli and collard greens delivered from the local barbeque place. I think it might be because they come with barbeque, though.

    I laughed at the "served frozen".

  39. Anonymous3/04/2010

    I make wonderful carrot/oatmeal/cinnamon muffins using applesauce and vanilla yogurt as most of the moisture - less oil, etc. Also, my kids love canned green beans mixed with a little butter and the powdered Italian dressing mix. Heat them up in the green bean liquid with this.

  40. Yum...this looks delicious. But like you, for us, not the kiddos. I'm having a terrible time getting veggie and even most fruits into my two. I puree a lot of stuff. But it's a drag.

    I'll peruse the comments and snitch some tips.

  41. Yum! Looks great! Do the girls like soups? I have 2 vegetable soups (the blended kind so they don't realize they're vegetables). If so, I can email the recipes to you!

  42. I have a friend whose 7 year old boy is so picky he refuses even pizza! In fact, he will eat:

    cold hot dogs
    peanut butter sandwiches

    That's about the extent of his menu.

    Fortunately, she cooks for the rest of the family and if he doesn't want it, he gets one of the two items mentioned above.

  43. Anonymous3/04/2010

    Here's zucchini casserole - though we usually add Dijon mustard before we put the egg/zucchini mixture.