Tuesday, 10 May 2016


We love to have cauliflower cheese with our Sunday lunches in our house. The problem is, it's not the most healthiest of dishes to serve up at the dinner table when you are trying to shed a couple of pounds before your summer holidays. This is where these cheesy cauliflower bites come in to play. Roasted cauliflower seems to be very much on trend at the moment so I've taken that idea and roasted my florets in some yogurt, Parmesan cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs to create a healthier alternative to this comfort food classic.

Its a bit hard to tell you what sized cauliflower to get. Depends where you shop really but a bog standard cauliflower you can pick up in most places should suffice. As this is a healthy option make sure you pick up a low fat plain yogurt to reduce those calories but you can use a full fat version if you can't find a low fat alternative. Creme fraiche might also work but I think it may just be a bit too thick and cause your crispy breadcrumb coating to go a bit soggy. Try it though, you never know until you do.

It's a pretty straightforward recipe so I wouldn't really try and change much about it. You can use another cheese if you want but again I can't guarantee that it will melt as well as the Parmesan without becoming too claggy. Parmesan is also quite low in calories compared to other cheeses as well as being so widely available now. Try mixing up the herbs and spices as well if you don't have oregano or paprika to hand. Make them spicy by using a smidge of cayenne pepper instead if you like or how about a combination of rosemary and sage for a more rustic feel. Experiment and find the best cheesy cauliflower bites for you.

The recipe below make a maximum of 15 bites, perfect for 5 as a side or as a mighty fine meal for two. You can prepare them in advance by getting to the stage when they are just about to go in the oven and then covering with film and popping in the fridge until your ready to bake. Great if you have a lot of other portions of your Sunday roast to prepare at the same time;

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

1 Medium Cauliflower
250ml Plain Yogurt
100g Panko Breadcrumbs
50g Grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tsp Paprika
Salt And Pepper To Season

  1. Begin by preparing the cauliflower by removing the leaves and stalk and them pull the florets apart until you have roughly 12-15 large pieces. Pop them in a pan of boiling water and blanch for two minutes. Drain and then leave to cool completely
  2. Once the cauliflower has cooled, pop your oven on to 200 degrees (180 fan) and tip the yogurt into a bowl.
  3. In a second bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, oregano and paprika. Season with a super largepinch of salt and pepper and mix until everything is evenly distributed.
  4. Line a baking tray with foil and spray the foil with some oil. Take the florets and one by one, dip them into the yogurt (allow any excess to drip off!) and then dip into the breadcrumb mixture so they are coated all over and then pop them onto the baking tray. Clean and dry your hands after each dipping session so that the breadcrumbs don't become to wet and claggy.
  5. Spray the florets with some spray oil and then pop them in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through until they become evenly golden and crispy all over.
 Leave the florets for a minute or too to rest slightly before you try to remove them from the foil. These little bad boys will still be just tender and not a big soggy mess that over boiled cauliflower can be making them a delicious little nugget of joy as you bite through that crunchy cheesy herby coating. They make the perfect side dish to a good Sunday roast or you could even serve them in a big bowl as a party nibble with some buffalo sauce to dip them into. Perfect for vegetarian guests! Just goes to show that you don't have to forgo your favourites when trying to shed a couple of pounds, you just need to make some adjustments to your regular tea time treats!

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