Almond-Roasted Cauliflower (and ‘evolving’ taste buds!)

If you’ve been using my books since way back (like early days with The Everyday Vegan and Vive le Vegan), you’ll know I haven’t always loved all my veggies.  In fact, I once declared that you would not find cauliflower in my cookbooks!

Times have changed and now I’m eating my words (and the cruciferous)… because Let Them Eat Vegan has a selection of recipes with cauliflower, including this one:

Almond Roasted Cauliflower

When I created this recipe I had no idea how much of it I could eat.. or our girls!  Normally our girls won’t dig into cauliflower, but when I make this recipe I double the batch so we all get some!

And, we’re not the only cauliflower-converts.  I’ve heard from dozens of people that have tried this recipe and then e-mail saying “I now like cauliflower“!

While I’m still not a fan of raw cauliflower (or raw broccoli… or cabbage), I never thought I’d love eating raw greens like kale and chopping copious amounts of parsley for my lunch salads!  It is so true that over time our palates adjust.  Our taste buds evolve and we become “open” to more diverse flavors and nuances in foods.

Eating vegan did just that for me.  Before becoming vegan the only flavor I knew was – CHEESE!  Since cheese is so fatty, salty, and addictive, I relied on it to make my foods taste good.

I hope you enjoy this recipe – I think you will!  And, a note about the oil.  I have created and shared a number of oil-free recipes.  I wouldn’t make this without the oil.  You can reduce it, but if you omit it altogether the cauliflower will become dry and chewy rather than caramelized and moist.  So, if you want to reduce the oil, for sure give it a go – just don’t omit it altogether.

Almond Roasted Cauliflower wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free  (from Let Them Eat Vegan) RECIpage link here

Roasting cauliflower is not a new idea, but the addition of almond meal and nutritional yeast makes this side dish something special. Easy . . . and addictive (even if you aren’t a huge cauliflower fan)!

4 – 4 ½ cups cauliflower flowerets (about 1 medium cauliflower, with bite-sized flowerets cut and used)

1 – 1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (can reduce, but don’t omit – see note above)

1/8 tsp (rounded) sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper (optional if making for kids)

2 tbsp almond meal

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 8 by 12-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and sea salt (and pepper, if using). Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice. At the 20-minute mark, check the doneness and color of the cauliflower. If it has started to soften, turning a golden color, add the almond meal and nutritional yeast and toss again. If, at 20 minutes, it isn’t at this stage, let it bake for another 10 minutes and then add the almond meal and nutritional yeast. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or more, tossing again once, until the cauliflower is golden brown and fully softened.  Remove from the oven and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm!  Serves 2 to 3… or maybe just 1!

Be sure to upload your healthy vegan recipes to Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekends!  Link for some of this week’s recipes.

Have you found your palate has “expanded” since eating vegan?  What new foods/flavors do you now love?!  

56 Responses to Almond-Roasted Cauliflower (and ‘evolving’ taste buds!)

  1. Michelle says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. Have made several times, it is YUM!!!!!!

  2. Inna says:

    Looks so good! But daughter is allergic to some tree nuts… Could I use coconut flour? Or is almond what makes the dish?

  3. Imaan says:

    Since we have been heading towards vegan, I too, the cauliflower hater, have begun to love it. I keep making big batches of buffalo cauliflower wings (the fat free version) and my kids and I devour them. Likewise, kale chips go in a flash, as well as many veggies that my kids graze on while I’m chopping/ food prepping. It’s too awesome for words! We haven’t had cheese in a long while, and my kids love nooch! Amazing.

  4. Shane says:

    This sounds really good, but someone in my household is allergic to nuts ( all tree nuts ). Is there an acceptable substitute for almonds?

  5. Holly says:

    My 15 year old daughter not only LOVES this recipe but I find that she raids the refrigerator at night to eat the leftovers. This behavior is unheard of because she often likes to eat junk. I have learned to double the recipe because we easily devour a whole head of cauliflower in one setting and need another for later. Who am I kidding? Even at the first setting we need more than one cauliflower. Of course, I love it too and your recipe is going viral in my family and with my colleagues at work. Thanks so much Dreena!
    Much love,
    Holly

  6. Sandra says:

    I found this recipe while searching for sides for Thanksgiving. I’ve been vegetarian for a couple of years but have struggled to find new ways of making the same ol’ vegetables. I’ve never been a fan of cauliflower, but have recently decided to cook more with it. I am so glad I found this recipe. It is amazing. I have graduated this recipe to main course. I have a lot of non-vegetarian friends and they loved it too.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Helen says:

    This was a great treat! Thank you for so many wonderful recipes. I’m fairly new to being (almost) vegan and I love to cook, so I’m sure I’ll be trying many of your recipes. I also wanted to share a tip for anyone else who would like to limit their oil/fat intake. I found this great little oil mister at Bed Bath & Beyond. I think it may only be available online, but I asked in the store, and they will ship for free to your home if it’s something they don’t carry in stock.
    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=18333090
    Anyway, it was perfect for something like this where you just need a touch of oil for roasting or baking, and this way, you don’t have to pay for those expensive baking sprays, which often contain other stuff besides just the oil!

  8. Bec says:

    This is so awesome – thanks Dreena! I began making this a while ago and absolutely love it. I also enjoy proselytising its goodness to my friends and then hearing how successful it has been in their families. I’ve even taking to adding some paprika to the mix – super yum!
    Thanks! : )

  9. Is almond meal made by grinding raw or toasted almonds?

  10. Wendy J says:

    Dreena, this was fabulous! It passed both the “hubby who hates cauliflower” and the 5-year old who “hates all our food” test. Both had thirds and proclaimed it delicious. I did it without oil and it was still terrific. Next time I need to double it. Thanks!
    Wendy J recently posted..Nutty Crunch Chocolate Vegan Granola BarsMy Profile

  11. Anita says:

    I haven’t made this one yet, but just by reviewing it, I’m thinking it might taste good pureed with mashed potatoes? Or even on top of some greens and rice? Sounds good! It’s next on my list.

  12. mattheworbit says:

    I never came back to tell you how much I *love* this. I make it all the time. CRAVE it, even. So easy, and so delicious.
    mattheworbit recently posted..Quick Breakfast Fry-Up of Ridiculous TastinessMy Profile

  13. Michelle says:

    This is the Bomb! So good, planning to serve as an app at Superbowl.

  14. Francine says:

    Do u have to add the almond and yeast

    • Dreena says:

      You don’t have to Francine, but they are what makes the recipe so magically delicious! If you don’t like nutritional yeast, try it with just the almond meal… or with a lesser amount of nooch. But, I encourage you to try it with both – it really is tasty. :)

  15. Jane Plass says:

    I made this tonight with broccoli stems instead of cauliflower. Also good!

    • Dreena says:

      you know I have never made it with broccoli, Jane! Good to know that sub worked well also – should do the same myself sometime soon. Thanks for sharing. :)

  16. gail says:

    In the oven now – can’t wait!

  17. Debbie says:

    oh my gosh I am reading this as I am eating curry roasted cauliflower! If I had seen these before cooking it up, I would have tried it! Will be making this one soon, sounds most tasty!
    Debbie recently posted..Approved… what does that mean?My Profile

  18. Corrin Radd says:

    I made this–super yummy! Probably the best cauliflower-side dish I’ve ever had.

  19. Gail says:

    Absolutely delicious. I love how you combined such healthy ingredients to make an outstanding dish. We’re trying to cut down on salt, so I followed your first addition of salt, slightly increased the almond meal and nutritional yeast amounts, and omitted the salt and pepper at the end. Full of flavor!!!!!

  20. Chez says:

    This recipe turned my husband around on cauliflower! I’ve always enjoyed it, but he’s been a cauli-skeptic. :) Now he’s fully on board! Thanks for the fab/simple recipe!!

  21. Brandie says:

    This recipe is a keeper!!! Thank you :)

  22. I love this recipe! I have had roasted cauliflower before, but the addition of almond meal and nutritional yeast makes these unbelieveably good.

    Since going vegan many years ago I have become a much more adventurous eater. There were lots of styles of food I would never touch before that I can’t imagine not eating now (Thai, Ethiopian, Indian come to mind). I have a weak stomach and was always worried about the meats used in cuisines I was less familiar with. I feel much more confident just eating the vegetables…not such a mystery :)

  23. Erica says:

    YUM! Do you think I could sub almond butter in place of the almond meal and oil?

    • Dreena says:

      Erica, if you do, I’d use a raw almond butter, b/c the roasted has a different flavor (most almond butters are roasted unless specifically stated as ‘raw’). It might be tricky to coat the cauli tho, b/c the equivalent compared to almond meal will be just a tsp or two… so might take a little time to work it through… but worth a try!

  24. Lydia says:

    Hi, love your sight. This recipe sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it.
    Lydia

  25. jess says:

    there is nothing like a pan of caramelized roasted cauliflower! it’s too hot for me to get roasting veggies just yet, but it’s one thing about fall i look forward to. especially brussel sprouts – talk about taste bud evolution on my part once i had them roasted!!

  26. Tiffany says:

    Looks amazing! I’ll definitely have to make this recipe! I started school this week and I made your indian inspired rice. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you for all your hard work and passion that you put into every recipe you create :) xo

    • Tiffany says:

      By the way, I just made this for dinner and it was incredible! Thank you for the dinner inspiration. It was great to get back into the kitchen and cooking after a long day of classes :)

  27. jessica says:

    This is actually one of the best recipes in LTEV, in my humble opinion. Sadly, it’s been too hot in my 5th floor apartment to make it in the last few months… and I can’t wait til it cools down so I can make it again!

  28. mattheworbit says:

    I’m willing to believe in you enough to try this.. and because it looks so darn good! Cauliflower isn’t always my thing, but if this is anything like the deliciousness that is roasted broccoli..

    • Dreena says:

      Matt I have never tried roasted broccoli!!! I usually just like broccoli very lightly cooked, super lovely green, and not when it gets at all overcooked. I’m broccoli-picky! But, yes, if my kids (and me) are scarfing this cauli – think you will too (fingers crossed)… hoping I don’t let you down. ;)

  29. Emma says:

    Mmm, this looks delish. I actually don’t think there’s a veggie I don’t like but roasting cauliflower certainly improves it for me. I really like the herb breadcrumb roasted cauli in appetite for reduction but can’t wait to try your variation.
    My tastes have completely changed since going vegan. I wouldn’t touch ANY fruit and now am an utter fruit bat. Also hated creamy sauces and now am a little obsessed with nut or tofu based creamy things…oh and salad. 5 years ago you would not have seen it pass my lips! Very strange how our tastebuds evolve.

  30. Vanessa says:

    Do you have specific instructions for making almond meal?
    ~Vanessa

    • Dreena says:

      It’s super easy to do, Vanessa… pop some raw almonds into your food processor and whiz until really fine and crumbly – and watch, b/c it can turn pasty fairly quick. You can also use a blender, but unless it’s a high-speed blender I find the processor does better job.

  31. Katie says:

    The almond meal and nooch have no problem staying adhere to the cauliflower?

    • Dreena says:

      Stays on well Katie! If you didn’t add oil it would mostly fall off, but it coats the cauli well and gets right into some of the florets… super tasty!

  32. Boy do I love my cauliflower. Another great Dreena recipe I’m dying to try.

    Yes, I do remember in Vive le Vegan (or maybe it was one of your others), where you mention your lack of love for things like eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower. Always thought it was a shame b/c they are such tasty things. Taste buds do change, don’t they?

    • Dreena says:

      So true, Janae, and eggplant is another that I know really like – when prepared well. If it’s just poached/steamed, that doesn’t appeal to me, but grilled nicely or roasted, can be so tasty! We all evolve, huh?

  33. I never would have thought about using almond meal with roasted cauliflower. Great and easy tip! Can’t wait to try!

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Debby, it makes the cauliflower taste just a little nutty, and with the nooch it’s really rich tasting!

  34. Kate says:

    I’m not a huge cauliflower fan – can tolerate it in a vegetable curry – but I’m willing to give this a go as I love almonds. :-D

    Since becoming vegan eighteen months ago, I’ve discovered vegetables that I would never have tried beforehand. I am addicted to ratatouille, when before it just seemed like lots of lumpy veg.

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