I don’t like giving up my bread and baked goods, but I’ve found a low-carb diet is the most effective way for me to lose my baby weight. When you think low-carb, what comes to mind? Eating triple cheeseburgers with piles of bacon in a lettuce cup. No, I’m not eating that. I’m usually eating lean proteins, tons of veggies and protein shakes. But it gets boring. Fast.
The one recipe that has gotten me over my carb cravings is this cauliflower breadsticks recipe. I would make this almost weekly for my Saturday ‘cheat’ meal. It really does taste like (a slightly soggy) breadstick. I’m from Wisconsin. Pretty much anything with a lot of cheese will win me over.
But over the years, I’ve adapted this recipe to use my favorite cheese, cheddar. I’ve also subbed in low fat cheese and egg whites in place of the fattier versions, to decent results. Although I loved my version of cheddar cauliflower breadsticks, when I saw this recipe for cheesy cauliflower tots, I decided to incorporate my recipe with some of her cooking techniques.
One thing I hadn’t previously done was squeeze the water out of the cauliflower. This extra step really helps create a drier and denser texture, which makes the cheddar flavor more intense than in previous versions I’ve made. A stronger cheddar flavor and better texture made them even more delicious.
Another tip I took from the cheesy tot recipe was to cook my recipe in muffin tins. Cooking my recipe in regular muffin tins gave these cauliflower cheddar cakes a super crispy exterior and the browning only adds more flavor goodness. This is definitely my new favorite low-carb, vegetarian meal.
1 Head of Cauliflower (should yield 2-3 cups of cauliflower ‘rice’)
2 Cups of Grated Cheddar Cheese (I used a three cheddar blend)
1 tsp freshly chopped thyme (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Clean and chop cauliflower into florets. Add cauliflower to a food processor and process until finely chopped to the texture of coarse salt or rice. Continue processing in batches until all the cauliflower is finely chopped.
Place the cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. (This step helps the cauliflower release its water.)
Using a kitchen towel, place the heated cauliflower in the center of the towel and squeeze as much water out as you can. Take time to continue squeezing for a couple minutes to remove as much water as possible. Place the squeezed cauliflower in a separate bowl. Continue squeezing in batches until all the water has been removed from the cauliflower.
Measure out two cups of dried cauliflower and add the two cups of cheese, two eggs, thyme and salt and pepper to a bowl and mix until combined. (Any leftover cauliflower can be eaten in soups, or add a little butter for cauliflower mashed potatoes.)
Prepare 12 muffin tins by spraying non-stick cooking spray in each well. Add the cauliflower mixture to each muffin well until it is 3/4 of the way full. Adjust so all wells are even. Use the back of a spoon to pack the cauliflower mixture down into the wells.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the sides have released from the pan. Let stand for 2-3 minutes and then remove. Enjoy immediately.
The cauliflower cheddar cakes are best eaten fresh, but can be reheated within a day of originally making them. To reheat the cauliflower cheddar cakes, place them on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until heated through.