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Reducing or cutting out processed carbohydrates can be a really effective way to save some calories in a diet, but it can also sound incredibly boring. There goes all that pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches that your weekend happy hour meals are made of. But not so fast. If you’re willing to flex your culinary skills and make your own delicious eats, cauliflower can be the carbohydrate stand in that you’ve always dreamed of. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do and it looks impressive so it’s a great way to cook for your friends.

Not only is cauliflower low in carbs, but it is also low in calories in general. An entire medium head of cauliflower only has about 150 calories, and it’s a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline,manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Can you say health food?

Cauliflower as Dough

Pizza isn’t going anywhere on your low carb diet. Freshly grate two cups of cauliflower, soften it in the microwave for about seven minutes, and then mix in one egg, one cup of mozzarella, some parmesan, and salt and pepper. Mix that all up  and then press the dough into a pizza pan. Spray with nonstick spray and bake it for ten or 15 minutes until it’s gets golden. Then it’s ready to be topped as you please and thrown back in the oven if you’re melting cheese on top.

Cauliflower as Rice

Cauliflower rice takes about five minutes to make and it’s seriously as good as the real deal. (It also works as couscous.)  You’ll either need a box grater or a food processor to grind it down into small enough pieces, and then soften it up in a little butter or oil on the stove for about five to eight minutes. Think of all the possibilities here, healthier fried rice, healthier burrito stuffings…anything.

Cauliflower as Bread

Similar to creating cauliflower as dough, it can also be used to create a bread alternative that is insanely delicious smothered in cheese. You can either bake it in a loaf pan and slice it, or make it on a baking sheet like dough and then cut it into the appropriate sized pieces. The fact that the dough and/or bread recipe includes some cheese means that cauliflower bread might even be tastier than your normal sandwich bread. All the sandwich options of the world are back on the table despite your low carb diet.

Cauliflower as Mashed Potatoes

To make cauliflower mashed potatoes, start by chopping up a head of cauliflower into small pieces, and then cook in boiling water for about six minutes. When the cauliflower is done drain it from the water and allow it to cool between paper towels. Next you will process the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8th teaspoon of black pepper. Mix until it gets nice and smooth. You can also add in garlic, rosemary, or anything else that screams mashed potatoes to you.